Panoz Team drives Stars and Stripes car to Washington victory. WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2002) -- In the first major automobile race held in Washington in more than 80 years, it was appropriate that an American-made car painted in a stars and...
Panoz Team drives Stars and Stripes car to Washington victory.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 21, 2002) -- In the first major automobile race held in Washington in more than 80 years, it was appropriate that an American-made car painted in a stars and stripes motif came home the winner.
Jan Magnussen and David Brabham used pit strategy and hard driving to win the inaugural American Le Mans Series Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., on Sunday. Driving a Panoz LMP-1 Prototype, the winners battled throughout the race with both cars of the formidable factory Audi team and scored a .766-second victory over Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello.
The two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race was held on a 1.661-mile, seven turn temporary racing circuit constructed on what had been a parking lot for RFK Stadium. The race was run under brutally hot and humid conditions, with temperatures above 100 degrees F on the track.
The winning move for the Panoz team came under the race's final full-course caution, which occurred with just under an hour left in the race. The team elected to give up the lead and change tires on the car in addition to adding fuel, and also chose to make a driver change and put Magnussen back into the car for Brabham. Magnussen had driven the first 55 minutes and thought he was finished for the day. During their pit stop, the two Audis took on fuel only.
"When that caution came out, we thought it would be a good idea for Jan to get back in because he had had a chance to rest," said Brabham. "We also had the chance to put new tires on the car."
"The tires made a big difference," said Magnussen, who was seven seconds behind the two Audis when the race was restarted but caught and passed both of them. "Kristensen was able to stay close, but I was able to get far enough away with just a few laps left and I knew he couldn't make a move."
The win was the second of the season in five races for Magnussen and Brabham, who also won at California's Infineon Raceway in May. The Audi driven by Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro finished third.
Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, driving a Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, scored their fourth win in five ALMS races this season in the GTS class. They won by a lap over fellow factory Corvette drivers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim. Emanuele Naspetti and Mimmo Schiattarella finished third in a Ferrari 550 Maranello.
Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen won for the third time this season in the GT class, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RS for Alex Job Racing. As was the case in the Prototype class, the GT cars had a three-car battle throughout the event, with The Racers Group Porsche of Kevin Buckler and Brian Cunningham leading part of the race before ultimately finishing second. The second Job team car driven by Jorg Bergmeister and Timo Bernhard finished third.
The father-son driving team of Jon and Clint Field won the LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes in the Intersport Racing Lola EX257-AER MG. It was the second win of the season for the elder Field, who was part of the winning team in the season-opening 12 Hours of Sebring, but Clint Field scored his first ALMS win. The Pilbeam MP84-Nissan of Chris McMurry, Bryan Willman and Jeff Bucknum was second in class, followed by Ben Devlin and Will Langhorn in a Lola B2K40-Ford.
The next race for the American Le Mans Series will be Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres on August 3 in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada.