Road Atlanta Pirro, Biela win Petit Le Mans; Pirro is ALMS Champion

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 6, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela led most of the last five hours and cruised to a three-lap win in Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the final race of the 2001 American Le Mans Series season. With his win in...

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 6, 2001) -- Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela led most of the last five hours and cruised to a three-lap win in Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the final race of the 2001 American Le Mans Series season. With his win in the 1,000-mile sports car endurance race, Pirro clinched the ALMS driving championship for the season. The drivers led a sweep of the top three finishing positions in the event for Audi R8 Prototypes. Stefan Johansson and Patrick Lemarie finished second, with Johnny Herbert and Andy Wallace third. The second factory Audi, driven by championship contenders Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello, was eliminated from the race when Kristensen slid off the track while leading on lap 26. The polesitting car suffered heavy damage when it crashed into a guardrail. One of the biggest winners in the race was Terry Borcheller, who clinched the GTS class driving championship for the season. The driver of the Saleen S7R finished second in class in the race, but benefited when the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of point leader Ron Fellows and second-place Johnny O'Connell suffered electrical problems only two laps into the race. The second factory Corvette, driven by Andy Pilgrim, Franck Freon and Kelly Collins, salvaged part of the day for General Motors by winning the GTS class in the event for the second straight year. Though Didier de Radigues had already clinched the LMP 675 championship, his team, Dick Barbour Racing, wrapped up the team championship with a victory by the team car driven by Scott Maxwell, Milka Duno and John Graham. The Reynard 01Q-Judd finished seventh overall. Jorg Muller earned the GT class driver's championship with BMW Motorsports by finishing second in class in the event. The BMW Team PTG car of Hans Stuck, Boris Said and Bill Auberlen took the race win, with sports car racing veteran Auberlen taking his first win since the formation of the ALMS in 1999.

The fourth annual Petit Le Mans attracted an event crowd of 58,000.

- American Le Mans Series

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Johnny Herbert , Stefan Johansson , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Frank Biela , Boris Said , Patrick Lemarié , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Franck Freon , Andy Pilgrim , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , John Graham , Kelly Collins , Scott Maxwell , Terry Borcheller , Dick Barbour , Emanuele Pirro