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JJ Lehto in the Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 #38
Allan McNish in the Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8 #28

Sebring, March 18, 2004

For the fifth consecutive time, an Audi R8 sports car will start the 12 Hour race at Sebring Florida from the front of the grid. In Thursday’s qualifying, the Finn JJ Lehto captured the pole position in the American endurance classic for Audi’s customer Team ADT Champion Racing.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Allan McNish qualified in second position on his sports car comeback, allowing two Audis to start the race from the front row on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. local time. With the R8 of the new Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx, the Scotsman was just 0.111s behind Lehto. Johnny Herbert, driving the second “British“ Audi R8, was demoted to fourth position on the grid by the fastest MG Lola shortly before the end of qualifying.

Johnny Herbert in the Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8 #88

1 Lehto/Pirro/Werner

Audi R8 1: 48.710s

2 Biela/Kaffer/McNish

Audi R8 1: 48.821s

3 Weaver/Wallace/Leitzinger

MG Lola 1: 49.887s

4 Davies/Herbert/Smith

Audi R8 1: 49.944s

5 Field/Dayton/Connor

Lola-Judd 1: 51.288s

6 Short/Barff/Barbosa

Dallara-Judd 1: 52.407s

7 Dyson/Lammers/de Radigues

MG Lola 1: 53.336s

8 Durand/Block/Forgeois

R&S-Elan 1: 56.425s

9 Lewis/Drissi/Rice

R&S-Lincoln 1: 56.817s

10 Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen

Chevrolet 1: 56.858s

The starting grid

JJ Lehto Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 #38
“I´m happy I got the pole, not only for myself but also for Team ADT Champion Racing. I’ve been really happy with the car so far. We didn’t do any testing until we came here, but with all the preparation the team did, we obviously didn’t need to.“

Allan McNish Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8 #28
“It’s great to be back at the wheel of an Audi R8. I was on pole until seven minutes to the chequered flag. In the end it wasn’t quite good enough. Our car was set-up more with the race in mind than out-and-out qualifying which bodes well for a successful race.“

Johnny Herbert Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8 #88
“We’ve been fast since we arrived. In qualifying, I set my fastest time early in the session but got bumped down to fourth with three minutes to run. But that’s not an issue in a race lasting 12 hours and I’m certain we’ll be strong.”

Quotes after qualifying at Sebring