Ingolstadt - April 19, 2006
Capello/McNish contest American Le Mans Series
Following the Audi R10 TDI prototype’s victorious debut in the 12-hour
race at Sebring (USA), which wrote headlines all over the world, AUDI AG
has also defined its programme for the remaining races of the 2006
American Le Mans Series. From the fifth round at Salt Lake City on 15
July, two Audi R10 TDI prototypes will compete in the world’s most
important sportscar racing series. The driver pairings will be Dindo
Capello/Allan McNish and Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro.
Since an intensive test programme is scheduled for the two Audi R10 TDI
prototypes before the season’s highpoint at Le Mans on 17/18 June, the
cars will be prepared for the US programme after Le Mans. The Audi
Sport North America team will thus rely on the proven Audi R8 for the
races in Houston (12/05), at Mid-Ohio (21/05) and at Lime Rock (01/07).
Dindo Capello and Allan McNish will share the R8, which has claimed 61
wins from 77 races to date, and must race with 35 kilograms extra ballast
(935 instead of 900 kilograms) as stipulated by the 2006 regulations.
Defending champions Biela/Pirro also in action from July
All four Audi "factory” drivers are among the most successful drivers in the
American Le Mans Series. German Frank Biela and Italian Emanuele
Pirro both have already won the championship twice (Pirro in 2001 and
2005, Biela in 2003 and 2005), and last year together for the first time.
Allan McNish (Scotland) won the title during the 2000 season, the Audi R8
prototype’s debut year. Dindo Capello (Italy) was runner-up twice and
third overall once, and with his 15 race wins, is one of the most
successful drivers in the ‘top-flight’ LM P1. Capello and McNish formed a
strong driver squad in the 2000 season and are now reunited.
"It wasn’t easy to decide which of our six Le Mans drivers should compete
in the American Le Mans Series,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr
Wolfgang Ullrich. "All six have already proven just how good they are at
the wheel of the Audi R8 and also the R10 TDI. Because Tom Kristensen
also starts in the DTM, and there are several clashing dates, he was not
an option. It was obvious that Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro would
compete again as defending champions. With Dindo Capello and Allan
McNish we chose the two drivers who won at Sebring and who have
already collected valuable championship points. Bearing in mind the
strong competition, every point counts.”
Audi R10 TDI test programme for Marco Werner
Marco Werner, who won the title in 2003 and 2004, will not compete in the
American Le Mans Series for the time being. In 2006, the German
24 Hours of Le Mans with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro and is
especially involved in the new Audi R10 TDI development programme.
"Furthermore, Marco is first choice if we should compete in any additional
races with the R10 TDI,” stresses Dr Ullrich.
The second round of the American Le Mans Series is held on 12 May
around the street circuit in Houston (US state of Texas). The race starts
on Friday evening at 8:00 p.m. local time and finishes 2 hours 45 minutes
later in the dark.