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Portland, September 5, 2000

Just one week after the searing heat of the Texas Motor Speedway race in Dallas/Fort Worth, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) moves on to round 8 in the US state of Oregon. Temperatures in Oregon at this time of year normally reach slightly over 20 degrees celcius, just half that of Texas. Furthermore, rain in the Portland region is not uncommon.

For the Team Audi Sport North America, the 3.12 kilometre circuit is not completely foreign. "In preparation for Mosport we spent a day testing at Portland and worked on a basic set-up for transmission ratios and the tyre compound," explains Audi pilot Frank Biela.

It is not only for this reason that the Audi team travels to Portland with optimism. In previous races, the Audi R8 gave ample proof of its excellent qualities by bringing home three consecutive victories under extreme conditions. Whether on the rollercoster track of Sears Point, a rain race in Mosport, or facing sweltering temperatures in Texas: "The Audi R8 is a notch above the rest - it´s currently the sportscar to beat," says Head of Audi Sport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.

After capturing a double victory at the stadium-like Texas Motor Speedway, the Audi drivers look forward to the 2.45 hour race on the road track in Portland. "This track is very interesting but it´s not easy," asserts Emanuele Pirro. "Most decisive is the long snaking combination of corners that tolerates different lines. I´m convinced that only one line can be really fast. It´s undoubtedly an advantage to be familiar with this circuit."

By securing their second win of the season in the American Le Mans Series last Saturday, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro have added valuable points towards the drivers´ championship. "Now we have four irons in the fire," says the delighted team director Reinhold Joest about the equality of his driver line- up. "Again in Dallas everyone saw that both teams are extremely competitive and are capable of victory at any time."

Following victory in Dallas, the main objectives in Portland for the Team Audi Sport North America is to increase its lead in the manufacturers´ championship of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and to gain ground in the drivers´ championship.


Points Standings
Driver
1. Jörg Müller (BMW) 163
2. JJ Lehto (BMW) 160
3. Allan McNish (Audi R8) 150
4. Frank Biela (Audi R8) 149
5. Emanuele Pirro (Audi R8) 146
6. Rinaldo Capello (Audi R8) 145
7. Jan Magnussen (Panoz) 143
8. David Brabham (Panoz) 128
9. Bill Auberlen (BMW) 115
10. Hiroki Katoh (Panoz) 107

Manufacturers
1. Audi 162
2. BMW 157
3. Panoz 139
4. Reynard 80
5. Lola 73
6. Cadillac 53

Portland Timetable
Saturday, 9 September
10.30 - 11.30 1st practice
13.15 - 14.15 2nd practice
16.35 - 16.55 qualifying

Sunday, 10 September
10.40 - 11.00 warm-up
12.00 start

All times are local times.

Frank Biela
Reinhold Joest, Director Audi Sport North America
Portland International Raceway