Dallas, March 4, 2001
At the season opener of the 2001 American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Audi
continues the successes of last year: The #1 Infineon Audi R8 will start the
race from pole position. During the thrilling 20 minutes of qualifying on
Saturday afternoon, Frank Biela in the #2 R8 set fastest time. But the time
was nullified by the officials afterwards because the diffusor was 152mm
high and the rules only allow it to be 150mm according to the Sportscar
regulations. Rinaldo Capello in the companion R8, who set the second
fastest time, will now take over pole position. According to the rules the #2
Infineon Audi R8 will start from the back of the field.
Although it was only the first qualifying session of the year, it seems quite
clear that Audi faces a great challenge in defending its titles in the ALMS
and at Le Mans: First position changed again and again until Biela and
Capello drove their fastest times on their very last laps. Beside the new
Panoz model also the private Audi R8 of the Champion team is hunting the
squad of Audi Sport North America.
While the drivers suffered from cruel heat during last years race at Texas
Motor Speedway, they face completely different conditions this time. With
cold and rainy weather the track conditions change from minute to minute.
The first round of the American Le Mans Series starts on Sunday, 1 pm
local time and runs over a distance of 2:45 hours. Rinaldo Capello (#1) and
Frank Biela (#2) will start the race in the two Infineon Audi R8s.