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The fourth annual Petit Le Mans attracted an event crowd of 58,000.

Finish of Saturday's 1,000-mile American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans sports car race at 2.54-mile Road Atlanta with starting position in parentheses, drivers, type car, laps completed, reason out, if any, winning time and margin of victory:

1. (2) Emanuele Pirro, Frank Biela

Audi R8 394 9:15:57.547 3 laps

2. (4) Stefan Johansson, Patrick Lemarie

Audi R8 391

3. (5) Andy Wallace, Johnny Herbert

Audi R8 388

4. (9) Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli, Christophe Tinseau

Cadillac LMP 01 382

5. (7) Emmanuel Collard, Marc Goossens

Cadillac LMP 01 364

6. (15) Kelly Collins, Andy Pilgrim, Franck Freon

Corvette C5-R 362

7. (13) Milka Duno, John Graham, Scott Maxwell

Reynard 01Q 361

8. (24) Hans Stuck, Boris Said, Bill Auberlen

BMW M3 GTR 360

9. (23) Jorg Muller, Dirk Muller

BMW M3 GTR 359

10. (3) Jan Magnussen, David Brabham

Panoz LMP-1 358

11. (28) Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen

Porsche 911 355

12. (22) JJ Lehto, Fredrik Ekblom, Karl Wendlinger

BMW M3 GTR 355

13. (16) Franz Konrad, Charlie Slater, Terry Borcheller

Saleen S7R 355

14. (25) Randy Pobst, Christian Menzel

Porsche 911 353

15. (19) Mike Hezemans, Anthony Kumpen

Viper GTS-R 349

16. (29) Johnny Mowlem, Mike Fitzgerald, Boullion

Porsche 911 344

17. (18) Ben Devlin, Jason Workman, Andrew Davis

Lola B2K-Nissan 341

18. (37) Tony Burgess, Stefano Buttiero, Hugh Plumb

Porsche 911 341

19. (32) Kye Wankum, Joe Foster, Doc Bundy

Porsche 911 329

20. (38) Stephen Earle, Bart Hayden, Hugh Hayden

Porsche 911 325

21. (36) Gary Schultheis, Scooter Gable, Doc Lowman

Porsche 911 324

22. (17) Chris Bingham, Ron Johnson, Oliver Gavin

Saleen S7R 312

23. (33) Joseph Policastro, Policastro Jr., Gunnar Jeannette

Porsche 911 253

24. (31) Shane Lewis, Cort Wagner, Bob Mazzuoccola

Callaway C12-R 221 accident

25. (26) Tom Weickardt, Kevin Allen, Rick Fairbanks

Viper GTS-R 220

26. (11) Didier de Radigues, Bruno Lambert, Earl Goddard

Reynard 01Q 213

27. (14) Claudia Huertgen, Mel Hawkins, Steve Knight

Lola B2K 209 drive shaft

28. (34) Leo Hindery, Peter Baron, Tony Kester

Porsche 911 183 mechanical

29. (21) Walter Brun, Tony Seiler

Saleen S7R 152 clutch

30. (41) Grady Willingham, Taz Harvey, Sam Hancock

Porsche 911 137 accident

31. (27) Niclas Jonsson, Brian Cunningham, David Murry

BMW M3 GTR 136 mechanical

32. (30) Chris McMurry, Bryan Willman, Bret Arsenault

Pilbeam MP84 108 accident

33. (20) Rickard Rydell, Peter Kox, Marc Duez

Ferrari 550 103 mechanical

34. (8) James Weaver, Butch Leitzinger, Forbes-Robinson

Riley & Scott 94 clutch

35. (12) Jordi Gene, Yannick Schroeder, Jean Deletraz

Reynard 2KQ 60 engine

36. (40) Joe Ellis, John Cooper, Dino Steiner

Viper GTS-R 35 accident

37. (1) Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello

Audi R8 26 accident

38. (6) Klaus Graf, Franck Lagorce

Panoz LMP-1 23 engine

39. (35) Ralf Kelleners, Marino Franchitti, Kelvin Burt

Ferrari 360 excluded

40. (39) Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Scott Pruett

Corvette C5-R excluded

41. (10) Jon Field, Rick Sutherland, Mark Neuhaus

Lola B2K 10B excluded
Emanuele Pirro in the Infineon Audi R8 #2
Emanuele Pirro in the Infineon Audi R8 #2
Emanuele Pirro in the Infineon Audi R8 #2

Braselton, October 6, 2001

Audi closed its successful 2001 motorsport season with a superb 1-2-3 victory at the “Petit Le Mans” and managed to repeat a hat-trick for the second time in row: Just as last year, Audi won the three long distance classics at Sebring, Le Mans and Road Atlanta.

The incredible reliability of the Infineon Audi R8 was once more a key to success in the season´s final race of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Race winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro encountered not one technical problem during the 1000-mile distance and gave Team Audi Sport North America its eighth victory in the tenth ALMS race of the season.

Despite that, the „Petit Le Mans“ was not easy for the Audi works team as the Audi customer teams Champion and Johansson once more put on a great performance. Both customer cars were leading the race at Road Atlanta and had to settle behind the Audi works team only during the second half of the race. Stop-and-go-penalties were imposed against the two customer cars and some minor incidents, a broken wheel on the Champion R8 and non working rear lights on the Johansson R8 eventually played the race into the hands of the Audi works team. Stefan Johansson/Patrick Lemarié finished second, Johnny Herbert/Andy Wallace completed the Audi 1-2-3 victory with their third place in the Champion R8.

Dusk at Petit Le Mans
Emanuele Pirro in the Infineon Audi R8 #2
Frank Biela in the Infineon Audi R8 #2
Frank Biela in the Infineon Audi R8 #2
A lot of traffic at Petit Le Mans
Len Hunt, President of Audi of America, starts the race
Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela on the podium
Emanuele Pirro celebrates his title
The finish
Reinhold Joest, Teamdirector Audi Sport North America, Petra van Oyen with good luck charm Alf
The podium at Road Atlanta
“If I could give the championship away for a little bit of
   peace I would do it. “

Frank Biela (#2)
“The race was not easy, and I had some big moments during my first two stints. You had to leave the race line very often because of the heavy traffic. That´s why I got pick-up on the tyres and went off more than once. Apart from that the car was perfect. I enjoyed the race very much from the first to the last minute. I feel sorry for Dindo and Tom that it was decided in this way. But that´s racing. For us though it has been a perfect race. This result makes me feel happy.”

Emanuele Pirro (#2)
“The race was very hard and very hot. Not in temperature but in terms of competition, especially at the beginning. We tried to keep out of trouble and we succeeded. Of course I am really happy about the title. The only sad thing is that I am not able to share the title with Frank who has done exactly the same job and not one percent less than I did. Dindo and Tom also did a great championship. It would have been nice to have all four of us in first place. I also want to give a thought to the people who can not celebrate because of the problems that are going on in the world now. If I could give the championship away for a little bit of peace I would do it.”

Rinaldo Capello (#1)
“Of course I am disappointed for Tom and me because we were still hoping to win the championship. It is unbelievable that we retired three times in the last six races. This never happened in the past and I hope it will never happen again. Tom and me showed everybody that we are quick enough to win the championship. But we had some bad luck at the end of the season. Congratulations to Emanuele and of course to Frank. Both of them had a great season winning Le Mans and Emanuele winning the championship. I am happy for them.”

Tom Kristensen (#1)
“I am happy to be okay. The car proved to be very strong because it was the biggest impact I have ever had in my whole career. When I braked for Turn 1, everything was fine, but when I accelerated and steered more, the car just went straight. I suddenly lost so much front end grip, that I thought I had a puncture. But after having checked all the data it looks like there was pick-up on the front left tyre and the compound appeared to have broken loose. Frank had similar problems later on. But he was warned after my accident while I was completely surprised. Hats off for Emanuele and Frank.”

Stefan Johansson (#18)
“I suffered a stop-and-go penalty early on when I was adjudged to have overtaken Pirro before the green flag after a caution period but I thought he was slowing. It was a really fun race but frantic from start to finish involving pure racing. The Audi ran strongly throughout - a great car.“

Patrick Lemarié (#18)
“After three hours I served a 20-secs penalty because a mechanic had cleaned the brake duct while the car was being re-fuelled. The car was superb, I was really enjoying myself, but I lost a lot of time when we needed to change the rear body section due to a rear light problem. That looked to have cost us any chance of finishing second but then Herbert hit trouble.”

Johnny Herbert (#38)
“I had enjoyed a pretty steady race until 50 minutes from the end when I lost the rear brakes. The car had been superb until that point and we looked good for a solid second - there was nothing we could do about the Pirro/Biela Audi, they were just too fast.“

Andy Wallace (#38)
“When I took over from Johnny I felt a bad vibration through a front wheel which lost me time. We got a penalty after almost three hours when I run over some equipment in our pit area. Then a wheel centre broke on the left rear after seven hours when we were placed second, just 45secs behind the leading Audi.“

Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America
“The beginning of the race was very turbulent. After the accident of Tom Kristensen our chances to win the race had been cut in half very early. But I am more than happy that we were still able to put a nice end to the season for Audi, our team and the drivers.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport
“This victory was a great team effort. We had not a single problem with Frank´s and Emanuele´s car. Of course, the end of the race for Tom and Dindo caused by the accident is a pitty. But we had also an exciting battle with our two customer cars. Congratulations to the Johansson and the Champion teams.”

  Emanuele Pirro

With their second ALMS victory in a row Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela also decided the Drivers´ championship of the American Le Mans Series for themselves. Because of the controversial ALMS point system, which gives various extra points, Emanuele Pirro secured the title. Frank Biela has to be content with the second place in the championship by a narrow margin.

The title dreams of Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen in the other Infineon Audi R8 ended very early. Shortly before the end of the first hour Kristensen had to retire after an accident while leading the race. Capello and Kristensen finished the ALMS season 3rd and 4th.

Audi had already clinched the Manufacturers´ and Teams´ championships of the American Le Mans Series. Therewith Audi has successfully defended all its titles in the ALMS.