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Frank Biela in the cork screw
R8 - V8
R8 cockpit

Monterey 14 October, 2000

Audi took its seventh pole position in a row in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at Laguna Seca. After the Audi engineers changed the setup of the no. 77 Audi R8, Rinaldo Capello improved his time from Friday by four tenths of a second setting a new sportscar lap record and beating the fastest Panoz by 0.119s. The companion Audi R8 will start Sunday's race from the third position on the grid.

Should one of the two Audi R8 sportscars cross the finish line in the first four places ahead of the BMW and Panoz, then Team Audi Sport North America secures the ALMS manufacturer´s title two rounds before the end of the season. The race at Laguna Seca starts at 12:30 pm and runs over a distance of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Cowboy rite it

Rinaldo Capello (#77)
"It was a great battle for pole position and the important thing is that we are in front. We won the fight for pole and we hope to win tomorrow as well. The car improved a lot, I am now very confident for the race. It would have even been possible to go faster, but I lost half a second behind a slower car."

Allan McNish (#77)
"Today we felt the car was better. We made some changes over night. The Audi engineers did a very good job. But Dindo in qualifying had to convert second position to first. In qualifying it is not all down to the car, there is a lot down to the driver on one lap. And he did a very, very strong lap."

Frank Biela (#78)
"I am still not happy with the car. I had even more understeer than yesterday despite we made some changes which should have improved the front suspension. This, however, did not work. I hope we'll find a solution for the race."

Emanuele Pirro (#78)
"We made some changes after yesterday's qualifying and we were sure it would work. But we made one or two steps backwards. The car did not have a very good setup. The practice is so short here that you really have no time to fix it. For tomorrow, we have to see what we can change."

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport

"One of our cars did it, but we still have some work to do on the other one. Both R8s have a very similar setup, despite that the Biela/Pirro-car suffers from a strong understeer. We have to find the reason so we can improve for the race. As expected Panoz once again is our toughest rival, but BMW closed the gap a little bit since Road Atlanta. There fore it is very important that we use our full potential."

Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America
"After this close qualifying, I am convinced that we will see an exciting race tomorrow. We are in a good position for the race having one car on pole position and the second car close to the front. While we found a very good setup for the Capello/McNish-car, we were not able to do the same for the other R8 despite working on it for two days."

1. Capello/McNish Audi R8 1m 15.028s
2. Brabham/Magnussen Panoz 1m 15.147s
3. Biela/Pirro Audi R8 1m 15.823s
4. Lehto/Müller BMW 1m 16.037s
5. O'Connell/Katoh Panoz 1m 16.213s
6. Auberlen/Gounon BMW 1m 16.389s
7. Schiattarella/de Radigues Lola 1m 16.393s
8. Johansson/Smith Reynard 1m 16.780s
9. Field/Sutherland Lola 1m 18.546s
10. Angelelli/Taylor Cadillac 1m 19.576s