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Monterey 13 October, 2000

The two Audi R8s were second and third during the first qualifying session for round ten of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca on Friday afternoon. Rinaldo Capello and Frank Biela both set times under the existing sportscar lap record.

The demanding track  is completely  new for  three of  the four  Audi drivers  and the  Team Audi  Sport North  America.  Audi  is  optimistic  to  improve  the  setup of  the  cars  for  Saturday's  final  qualifying session and have a run at the seventh pole position in a row.

Rinaldo Capello (#77)
"I am happy with the  car, but unfortunately I went  on the track at the  wrong moment. I had to  pass three slower  cars which  destroyed  my first  two  laps. After  that, the  tyres  had less  performance  in the  slow  corners.  However,  I was  able  to  learn  a  lot  during  this  qualifying  session  and  I  am
optimistic that I can improve my time tomorrow."

Frank Biela (#78)
"You need a  lot of experience  to find the  right line  on this track.  If you are  only half a  meter off  the line you  have no  grip  at all.  I had  some  difficulties in  the first  practice  sessions to  get used  to  the track  and  find  the  right  rhythm. During  the  qualifying  session  I  finally  got  a  feeling  for  the  car.  I hope we can  improve  the  setup  for  tomorrow.  If  it  is not  going  to  rain,  it  should  be possible  to  go much faster."

Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America
"We had no possibility to test here, so we have to start from zero. Other teams have already  some experience  on  this  track.  This  starts  with  the  setup  of the  car  and  ends  with  the  drivers  getting more mileage. It is a challenge  to find a perfect setup. It  looked a little bit better yesterday,  maybe we changed to many things  at the same time. We  will analyse the data exactly,  and I am sure we will find ways to improve."

Emanuele Pirro at Monterey

1. Brabham/Magnussen

Panoz 1m 15.219s

2. Capello/McNish

Audi R8 1m 15.408s +0.189

3. Biela/Pirro

Audi R8 1m 15.823s + 0.415

4. Lehto/Müller

BMW 1m 16.037s

5. O'Connell/Katoh

Panoz 1m 16.213s

6. Schiattarella/de Radigues

Lola 1m 16.412s

7. Auberlen/Gounon

BMW 1m 16.596s

8. Johansson/Smith

Reynard 1m 16.780s

9. Field/Sutherland

Lola 1m 18.546s

10. Angelelli/Taylor

Cadillac 1m 19.762s
Rinaldo Capello mested it up at the start like at the Nuerburgring
Rinaldo Capello
EP at Laguna Seca
Dr. Ulrich & Derek Bell attending a talk show