Mid-Ohio, July 19th 2008
Audi Sport North America’s two Audi R10 TDI prototypes were in a
class of their own in round six of the American Le Mans series at Mid-
Ohio (U.S. state of Ohio). Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner and Dindo
Capello/Emanuele Pirro achieved a comanding 1-2 victory for Audi – on
a track which in the past favoured the lighter LM P2 cars and on which
Audi last scored an overall victory in 2004.
Particularly impressive was the victory of the two Germans Lucas Luhr
and Marco Werner. They led 107 of the 111 laps. After the start, Werner
needed just five laps to pass the four Acura/Honda and Porsche cars
which had started in front of him. The German set a new race lap record
on lap seven and handed over the R10 TDI to team-mate Lucas Luhr in
first position after 50 laps. Luhr defended the lead until the finish.
Four caution periods wiped out the advantage of the #2 Audi, but each
time Luhr was able to pull away from the rest of the field after the re-start
– and this despite the fact he completed lmost two hours on just one set
Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro also showed a strong performance:
Capello worked his way from seventh on the grid to second position in
just 18 minutes giving Audi a early 1-2 lead. Despite contact whith a GT2
car, which he was not responsible for, and which resulted in a spin
dropping him temporarily to third place, Capello handed the Audi R10 TDI
over to Emanuele Pirro in second position.
The decision to change tyres a second time cost the #1 R10 TDI the
second place. After the last caution period, however, Pirro had no
problems to overtake Romain Dumas in the Porsche RS Spyder thus
giving Audi a perfect double victory.
For the Audi R10 TDI it was the sixth 1-2 victory and the 17th overall
success since its début in March 2006. Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner
extended their lead in the LM P1 Drivers’ Championship with their fifth
victory in six races. With three overall victories, Audi is the most
successful brand in the first half of the season. The second half of the
American Le Mans Series begins on 9 August at Road America (the U.S.
state of Wisconsin).
Quotes after the race at Mid-Ohio
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
"It was a perfect performance today, everything went so well. The key
factor was that both cars had a good and consistent speed. We also had
a good strategy regarding the fuel consumption – even if this was
somewhat eased by the caution periods. I’m glad that my first visit to a
race in the U.S. since quite a while was rewarded with a 1-2 victory. I
promise, I’ll come also to the next race ...”
Lucas Luhr (Audi R10 TDI #2)
"It was a perfect day for Audi! It looks like then, if the boss is there,
everything goes well. He should come over to some more races ...
Seriously: I’m super-happy. Our car engineer and the whole team did a
great job. The strategy was perfect. First, I had a bit of doubt. But when I
did not see any car behind me two laps after the first caution period I
knew that nobody would catch us today. Marco (Werner) drove a fantastic
first stint. My thanks go to Audi Sport North America, Team Champion and
everybody at home in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm."
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2)
"A fantastic Audi day and a fine double victory! I started to believe in it after
yesterday’s qualifying, when the gap to the front was quite small, which
usually means we are well sorted for the race. This was really the case
today. Lucas (Luhr) completed his stint on one set of tyres which is not
easy. This means that the set-up of our R10 TDI was perfect. The timing
of the pit stops was also good. Today, everything fitted together. We are
happy – thanks to the whole Audi team.”
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"I think I did a very good stint recovering the gap we had. I was very
confident. Unfortunately I was touched by a GT car and sent into a spin.
This was really bad luck. The yellow flags helped quite a lot to recover
again. Anyway: 1-2 is a great result for Audi, we deserved this already at
Lime Rock, but fortunately we got it here.”
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"This was a good race for us. As always when the gap in qualifying is not
so big we have a very good car for the race. We had a great 1-2 for Audi
and played a good team strategy together over the radio. Of course
sometimes it would be nice to have a 2-1 instead of a 1-2 ... But after the
bad luck we had in the last races we can go home with a big smile.”
Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America)
"After yesterday’s qualifying I did expect a podium finish, but not such a
dominant performance. I want to congratulate the whole team and the
drivers for a fantastic job. It was a great team effort!”