Sears Point race report

The super Scotsman Alan McNish was the star of the Audi show at Sears Point in California today when he dominated round five of the 2000 Le Mans Series. While Audi took the top two steps on the on the podium with McNish and Rinaldo Capello ...

The super Scotsman Alan McNish was the star of the Audi show at Sears Point in California today when he dominated round five of the 2000 Le Mans Series.

While Audi took the top two steps on the on the podium with McNish and Rinaldo Capello heading home team-mates Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela, Australian star David Brabham suffered a heart-breaking event.

Brabham and team-mate Jan Magnussen staged a great chase after the Audi duo but their Panoz LMP-1 suffered clutch problems late in the race, dropping them to fifth place and out of contention for a podium spot.

BMW's JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller took advantage of Brabham's misfortune to take the final podium spot.

McNish opened up a lead of a full lap before handing over to Capello for the final stint.

"It was a great team effort today and I quite surprised because I didn't expect us to be so strong today," McNish said.

"It is great to finally get a few points on board, especially after crashing in Germany."

Brabham had run as high as second place before trouble struck.

"I got in for my final stint and found the clutch was slipping and when it got worse, I had to bring it slowly home to get to the finish," Brabham said.

"It's a real shame as I had a good dice with Pirro earlier in the race and got past him so we should have finished 2nd or 3rd."

The Panoz team suffered a further set-back when the #2 car crashed out of the event with Hiroki Katoh behind the wheel.

Dodge Viper duo David Donohue and Tommy Archer turned the tables on their team-mates Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta to take their first GTS victory for the year. Wendlinger and Beretta had won the opening four rounds of the championship.

BMW clinched their first GT victory for the year with Boris Said and sportscar legend Hans Stuck defeating the Porsche pair of Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr.

<pre> RESULTS - PROTOTYPE DIVISION 1. - Alan McNish/Rinaldo Capello - Audi - 114 laps 2. - Emanuele Pirro/Frank Biela - Audi - 113 laps 3. - JJ Lehto/Jorg Muller - BMW - 111 laps 4. - Bill Auberlen/Jean-Marc Gounon - BMW - 111 laps 5. - David Brabham/Jan Magnussen - Panoz - 106 laps GTS DIVISION 1. - David Donohue/Tommy Archer - Dodge Viper - 101 laps GT DIVISION 1. - Boris Said/Hans Stuck - BMW M3 - 99 laps

</pre> PROTOTYPE POINTS AFTER ROUND FIVE: Jorg Muller 124, JJ Lehto 122, Jan Magnussen 110, David Brabham 109, Frank Biela 108, Emanuele Pirro 106, Alan McNish 99, Rinaldo Capello 96, Bill Auberlen 81, Jean-Marc Gounon 73,

Paul Ryan

2000 Le Mans Series
Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years - December 31, 2000

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Boris Said , Karl Wendlinger , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , Tommy Archer , Lucas Luhr , Ryan Paul , David Donohue , Hiroki Katoh , Jean-Marc Gounon , Olivier Beretta , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto