Champion Racing preliminary test notes

Team ADT Champion Racing Is Third Fastest Today During The Le Mans Pre-Test LE MANS, France. (April 25, 2004) - Team ADT Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL) took full advantage of today's 8-hour Le Mans pre-test session on the 8.625-mile...

Team ADT Champion Racing Is Third Fastest Today During The Le Mans Pre-Test

LE MANS, France. (April 25, 2004) - Team ADT Champion Racing (Pompano Beach, FL) took full advantage of today's 8-hour Le Mans pre-test session on the 8.625-mile Circuit de La Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Marco Werner set the third fastest time of the day with a time of 3:34.176. Today's experience will go a long way as the team prepares for the ultimate test and challenge, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.

The newly acquired #2 Audi R8 (previously a test car for Audi AG) underwent significant changes when the ACO revised the aerodynamics for last year's LMP900 and LMP675 cars. This year's Le Mans rules required an aerodynamic change narrowing the wing from 2 meters wide to 1.8 meters wide. Another significant change mandated by the ACO was in the reduction of the fuel capacity from 90 liters to 80 liters.

"We really learned a lot today, especially about the new aerodynamic package," commented Brad Kettler, Technical Director for ADT Champion Racing. "My goal all along was to learn as much as possible. We tried many different set-ups and at least 9 different tire compounds. I'm quite pleased with the data we acquired and I'm quite optimistic about the race."

The only mechanical repair to the Audi R8 came early in the morning session when JJ Lehto was shoved off the course by a competing LMP900 car. The mishap required the crew to replace the gear box, something that is not allowed during the 24 hour race in June.

Quotes:

JJ Lehto (Finland, 38 years, competing for his 9th time): "The car was good out of the box, especially since this is the first time we have driven this car. I couldn't really tell much difference from last year's car. You need to be lucky to get a good time and I've never been lucky here at Le Mans so I'm not discouraged. It's the same for me every year!

Emanuele Pirro (Italy, 42 years, competing for his 7th time): "We had a really good day because we were able to find a really great set-up. We couldn't get a good time today because of the traffic but that's true for everyone out there. The car was great all day as were the tires."

Marco Werner (Germany, 37 years, competing for his 3rd time): "I was happy with my time until the end of today's session when we suddenly found ourselves 1.5 seconds down. The car was really good though, and I think we will be fine for the race in June."

Rod Bymaster, Motorsports Manager, Audi of America: "The biggest improvement this year was with the tires. Michelin really was the star today with these new tires. That's why the car is faster this year even with the new aerodynamic package. It's going to be a real dog fight amongst the 4 Audi's in June.

The 72nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous endurance race, will be run June 12-13 at the Circuit de La Sarthe in Le Mans, France.

<pre> 1. (8) McNish A./Biela F./Kaffer P. Audi 3:32:615 2. (88) Davies J./Herbert J./Smith G. Audi 3:32:627 3. (2) Lehto JJ/Werner M./Pirro E. Audi 3:34:176 4. (5) Ara S./Capello R./Kristensen T. Audi 3:34:347 5. (22) Wallace A./Brabham D. Zytek 3:35:132

-www.championracing.net.

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About this article
Series Le Mans
Drivers Marco Werner , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto