Houston - April 20, 2007
Allan McNish misses pole-position by a mere 0.006 sec
The two Audi R10 TDI sportscars start Saturday’s fourth round of the
American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in Houston (US state of Texas) as
fastest LM P1 prototypes from the first and third rows. During the
qualifying on Friday evening, Allan McNish (Scotland) was beaten in the
fight for pole-position by a mere 0.006 seconds. His team-mate Marco
Werner (Germany) qualified the second Audi R10 TDI in sixth place –
second in the LM P1 category – with a gap of 0.7 seconds.
Qualifying finally decided in the very last seconds
Allan McNish immediately posted the fastest time in the 20 minute
qualifying session, improving his fastest time twice. Until the final
moments of qualifying, the Scotsman was in front with his 650 hp diesel
sportscar but was ultimately beaten in the very last seconds by David
Brabham in the fastest LM P2 car.
Marco Werner claims sixth position in “sister” car While Allan McNish
and Dindo Capello (Italy) know the 1.7 mile street circuit around the
"Reliant Park” stadium complex following their victory in the Audi R8 last
year, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro (Italy) had to use the two, one-
hour practice sessions on Friday to gain their first experience on the very
bumpy concrete track.
The race in Houston starts on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. local time (0:30 a.m.
on Sunday morning in Germany) and lasts 2:45 hours.
Quotes after qualifying
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"We found a good balance in qualifying. There is a tinge of personal
disappointment that I ultimately missed out on pole right at the end of the
session by 0.006 secs. Starting on the front row we’re in the fight but I
think the race will be harder than qualifying. We need to set consistently
fast lap times and not just one – and my qualifying lap was on the
absolute ragged edge.”
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"After the first practice our engineers improved the car very much. Even on
‘old’ tyres I was happy. The race will be hard – consistency will be the key.
Last year we were very happy when we won here. I hope we can do it
again. It’s great to be back on the front row – Allan did a great job in
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2)
"We have improved a lot since the practice. The qualifying looked good.
The lap times were very close. We have a good car for the race, we only
have to find a little bit more. The race is long and the track will be full of
traps. I think our grid position is not a big problem for the length of the
race although it will be very difficult to overtake any other cars.”
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2)
"I had expected a little bit more. I tried everything, but the car was a little
harsh on the bumps with low fuel for the qualifying. I did a lot of laps in the
practice before and the car was good, so I hope that we are well prepared
for the race.”
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America)
"It was a great effort from both drivers, for as we know, the Audi R10 TDI is
not suited to this kind of tight, street course. I most certainly never
expected that we would start from the front row of the grid especially after
the morning practice. But there still remains a big effort from us to come
through and score a good race result. Thankfully it’s back to a 165-minute
race so we can work on strategy.”