10.09.2012, 08:37:25 cet
Fosti con me nel pericolo e nella vittoria
Top of page
Results Results
Schedule Schedule
Gallery Gallery
Career Career
Fitness Fitness
Culinaria Culinaria
Hobby Hobby
Info Info
 Home  Home
Family Family
Contact Contact
 Copyright  Copyright
News News
 Previous page
 Next page

San Francisco, June 28, 2003

Round three of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) will go down in history. Not only did the spectators see the first overall victory of an LMP675 sportscar, but also one of the most exiting races that remained undecided until the last of its 102 laps.

The lighter prototypes of the 675 class took full advantage of their 225 kilogram weight advantage over the LMP900 sportscars for the first time on the hilly and twisty circuit in the vineyards of Sonoma Valley close to San Francisco. The two MG Lolas of the Dyson team secured the front row of the grid for themselves ahead of the Audi R8 sports cars of the Joest and Champion customer teams.

Although ALMS points are only awarded in the various classes, the Audi teams did not surrender victory to the MG Lola so easily. “We are not driving for class wins, but for overall victories,” declared Ralf Jüttner, Infineon Team Joest Technical Director. The Audi drivers followed his words: Initially, during the opening stages of the race, it was JJ Lehto in the Team Champion Audi R8 who put the MG Lolas under pressure. The Finn split the leading pair as early as on lap seven. He followed pole sitter Butch Leitzinger like a shadow till the first full course yellow.

Frank Biela was also able to reduce the gap to Leitzinger and Lehto. During the first of a total of four caution periods, the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8 took the lead. “The boys did a fantastic job in the pits,” enthused Biela after handing the R8 over to Marco Werner. Werner rapidly was able to open a gap of over ten seconds before the sensor of the left rear tyre alerted a loss of pressure. The Joest crew was able to change the punctured tyre during another caution period, despite that the Joest R8 dropped to fourth.

Johnny Herbert in the Champion Audi took advantage of the Joest team’s bad luck only for a very short time. Also the Briton thought he had a puncture and came into the pits. “However, it transpired it was only ‘pick-up’ on the tyres,” explained Herbert, who lost almost a lap due to the unscheduled pit-stop and also his chances to win the race. He was still able to bring the Champion R8 back from fifth to third capturing the place on the podium for Team ADT Champion Racing with a stunning overtaking manouvre on the very last corner.

Meanwhile, Infineon Team Joest once again took advantage of the economic fuel consumption of the FSI engine in the rear of the Audi R8. By saving fuel, Marco Werner was able to avoid a third pit-stop and to take the lead again. However, another caution period in the thrilling closing stages of the exciting race, again cost the advantage. 15 laps from the finish, James Weaver squeezed his MG Lola past Marco Werner. “I put pressure on until the very end and hoped for a chance in traffic, but it did not come,” said Werner, who crossed the finish line just 3.708 seconds behind Weaver after 2:45 hours of exciting racing.

By winning the LMP900 class, Audi drivers Marco Werner and Frank Biela are now leading the overall classification of the ALMS. JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert, who made it an Audi 1-2 in the LMP900 category at Infineon Raceway, are just behind them. The next race will take place as soon as next Sunday on the street course in Trois-Rivières (Canada).

Weather: dry, very warm
#38 Lehto passes #1 Biela at the start
Lap 1
#16 Leitzinger leads #20 Wallace, #38 Lehto and #1 Biela
Lap 7
#38 Lehto passes #20 Wallace, takes third
Lap 24
#1 Biela moves to third after an early pit-stop of #20 Wallace
Lap 35
Safety Car
Lap 37
All leaders in the pits, #1 Biela hands over to Werner, #38 Lehto to Herbert. Both Audis change tyres and refuel. #1 Werner rejoins as leader ahead of #38 Herbert and #16 Weaver
Lap 40
#38 Herbert touched by #16 Weaver after the restart
Lap 42
#38 Herbert drops to third behind #16 Weaver
Lap 50
#1 Werner leads #16 Weaver by 11.8s and #38 Herbert by 20.5s
Lap 52
Safety Car
Lap 54
#1 Werner has to change tyres because of a rear left puncture, refuels, drops to 4th, #38 Herbert now second
Lap 55
Lap 56
#38 Herbert drops to third behind #11 Saelens
Lap 57
#38 Herbert complains about tyre problems, stops for tyres and fuel, rejoins in 5th, 1m 22s down, #1 Werner third behind #16 Weaver and #11 Saelens
Lap 62
#1 Werner takes second position from #11 Saelens
Lap 63
#38 Herbert lapped by leader #16 Weaver
Lap 68
#38 Herbert moves to fourth after pit-stop of #11 Saelens
Lap 75
Safety Car
Lap 77
#1 Werner takes lead when #16 Weaver stops for fuel
Lap 81
Lap 82
Safety Car, #38 Herbert back on lead lap
Lap 84
#38 Herbert takes four new tyres during caution period
Lap 85
Restart, #1 Werner leads #16 Weaver by 0.369s, #38 Herbert in 4th, 19.981s behind
Lap 87
#1 Werner drops to second behind #16 Weaver
Lap 102
#38 Herbert takes third from #27 Auberlen on the very last corner
Audi takes 1-2 victory in LMP900 class, finishing 2nd and 3rd overall
#1 Biela/Werner extend their LMP900 championship lead



Weaver/Leitzinger MG Lola 102 laps


Biela/Werner Audi R8 + 3.708s


Herbert/Lehto Audi R8 + 39.750s


Auberlen/Theys Dallara-MG + 39.878s


Beretta/Jeannette Panoz - 1 lap


Saelens/Leuenberger Panoz - 1 lap


Dyson/Wallace MG Lola - 2 laps


Fellows/O’Connell Chevrolet - 5 laps


Gavin/Collins Chevrolet - 5 laps


Magnussen/Brabham Ferrari - 6 laps


1 Frank Biela

Audi 62

1 Marco Werner

Audi 62

3 JJ Lehto

Audi 58

4 Johnny Herbert

Audi 55

5 Didier Theys

Dallara-MG 36

6 Olivier Beretta

Panoz 34

7 Philipp Peter

Audi 26

8 Max Papis

Panoz 24

8 Gunnar Jeannette

Panoz 24

10 Eric van de Poele

Dallara-MG 23

Chassis Manufacturers

1 Audi


2 Dallara


3 Panoz


4 Lola


5 Bentley


6 Riley & Scott


Engine Manufacturers

1 Audi


2 MG


3 Elan Power Products


4 Bentley


5 Lincoln


6 Judd



1 Infineon Team Joest


2 Champion Racing


3 Doran Lista Racing




5 Team Bentley


6 American Spirit Racing


6 Intersport Racing


8 Audi Sport UK


9 Taurus Sports Racing

JJ Lehto in the Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8
Frank Biela in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
Marco Werner in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
Marco Werner in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
Johnny Herbert in the Team ADT Champion Racing Audi R8
Frank Biela in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
Frank Biela
Marco Werner in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
JJ Lehto, Johnny Herbert, Frank Biela and Marco Werner on the podium (from left)
Infineon Team Joest during a pit-stop
Frank Biela in the Infineon Team Joest Audi R8
Johnny Herbert in front of Frank Biela