TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING ON FRONT ROW FOR PETIT LE MANS BRASELTON, GA. (September 30, 2005) - Team ADT Champion Racing qualified 2nd and 3rd for tomorrow's 8th annual Petit Le Mans sports car endurance race. JJ Lehto managed a time of 1:11.769...
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING ON FRONT ROW FOR PETIT LE MANS
BRASELTON, GA. (September 30, 2005) - Team ADT Champion Racing qualified 2nd and 3rd for tomorrow's 8th annual Petit Le Mans sports car endurance race. JJ Lehto managed a time of 1:11.769 in the Audi R8 No. 1 car placing him on the front row alongside the Zytek, which is joining the American Le Mans series for the last two races of the season. Emanuele Pirro, who qualified a mere 1/100th of a second slower than Lehto (1:11.779) parked his No. 2 Audi R8 early in the session to preserve the tires for tomorrow's 1,000 mile (394 laps) or 10 hours, whichever comes first.
The stakes (and pressure) will be evident tomorrow for both Audi R8s when they compete against each other as well as the other 29 cars on the grid. Tomorrow's race could either determine the LMP1 American Le Mans Series Driver Championship (Pirro/Biela) or place Lehto in the history books as being the only driver to win Petit Le Mans three times in succession. Another bonus to Lehto and teammate Marco Werner winning this particular race is the fact they would complete the sports car trifecta, i.e., winning the three most important sports car races in the world: 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans.
Team ADT Champion Racing has also won this endurance classic road race twice in succession and a win buy either Audi could score the team a second hat-trick following wins this year at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
And finally, the Audi R8 has never been beaten at Petit Le Mans and would provide a fitting farewell if Audi could, in it's sixth appearance at Petit Le Mans, retire on top of the podium.
The ninth round of the American Le Mans Series, the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans, will get the green flag tomorrow at 11:20 a.m. EDT at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. SPEED Channel will provide live television coverage. American Le Mans Series Radio, and IMSA Living and Timing Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #1
JJ Lehto (Fin)
"Starting in the front row is more than we expected. It's definitely a nice way to start the race but it still is a very long race so it really doesn't mean that much. Having consistency is the most important aspect to winning Petit Le Mans and our car set-up is pretty good right now."
Marco Werner (D)
"Being in the front row definitely has its advantages as overtaking is difficult here. I never thought we would be there (front row) but JJ is unbelievable. The car is running well and we'll look to stay out in front and hopefully get the win here like we did last year."
TEAM ADT CHAMPION RACING AUDI R8 #2
Frank Biela (D)
"We were very close in qualifying so even though we are third, we are very happy. We expected the Zytek to be very fast so this we expected. For us, it is more important to realize where the others are (Audi R8 No. 1, Dyson Team) as we fight for the Championship. From that point of view, we feel pretty confident. The car is great and as long as we keep it on the road, we should be okay."
Emanuele Pirro (It)
"Quite honestly, every position is a good position for a 10 hour race. I'm very happy with the car and I want to thank the mechanics for this because we had to change a lot to get here. 1/100th of a second behind JJ is pretty close and you can definitely win the race starting from third position."