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Forth Worth, September 2, 2000

Texas Motor Speedway
In front of the banks
In the infield
Emanuele Pirro qualified just 93 thoundands of a second slower the the #77 Audi

Emanuele Pirro qualified just 93 thoundands of a second slower then the #77 Audi

The Grid

1. Capello/McNish (Audi R8) 1m 12.716s
2. Biela/Pirro (Audi R8) 1m 12.809s + 0.093s
3. Brabham/Magnussen (Panoz) 1m 13.741s
4. Auberlen/Gounon (BMW) 1m 14.178s
5. Lehto/Müller (BMW) 1m 14.222s
6. O'Connell/Katoh (Panoz) 1m 14.261s
7. Schiattarella/de Radigues (Lola) 1m 14.608s
8. Johansson/Smith (Reynard) 1m 15.358s
9. Matthews/Simo (Reynard) 1m 17.296s
10. Field/Sutherland (Lola) 1m 19.531s

Audi starts from pole position in the American Le Mans Series for the fourth time in as many races. Under a gruelling temperatures reaching up to 42°C, the Audi drivers recorded the fastest times during Saturday afternoon’s final qualifying session at the Texas Motor Speedway near Dallas/Fort Worth. Despite some surprising rain drops during the final 20-minute session, Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro were able to improve their times from Friday increasing the gap to the third placed Panoz to a full second.

Round seven of the American Le Mans Series starts on Saturday, 7 pm local time at dusk and runs over a distance of 2:45 hours. Allan McNish (#77) and Emanuele Pirro (#78) will be the start drivers in Audi R8s.

Quotes after second qualifying

Rinaldo Capello (#77)
„Our two cars did almost the same times which proves how perfect they are prepared. The most important thing is that the two cars finish the race in the same positions they are after qualifying. We practiced in the darkness yesterday evening. At the beginning it was quite difficult to see in the infield, but in the end I adapted very well to it, so I don’t think this will be a problem.”

Allan McNish (#77)
„Obviously I am very happy to be on pole. It proves that the Audi is working on all types of circuits as we had four poles in a row now. The nice thing is that it is an Audi 1-2. Let’s hope after 2 hours and 45 minutes it will be an Audi 1-2 as well.”

Frank Biela (#78)
„The starting grid is perfect, Audi on one and two. Emanuele will start in our car - that’s how we always handle it: Whoever qualified will start the race. For our car the strategy is clear, you always have to be prepared to change your tactics because of many caution periods. We need to win this race to close the gap to the leading drivers.“

Emanuele Pirro (#78)
„I went out late and just then it started to drizzle, the only drops for 5 minutes in the last 4 month. I am disappointed because this time I could have made it. On the other hand I am happy because we are progressing.”

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport
„After qualifying both R8s are close in speed. On average we are about seven to eight tenths faster than our competitors. For all the teams it is difficult to handle the extreme temperatures. Especially when the car is close behind another car the water temperatures go up so there is a chance of having a problem. We keep a close eye on the development of all the temperatures to be able to react - for example to tell the driver to slow down a little bit in order to cool the temperatures. But I hope this will not happen.”

Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America
„We did reach our goal. Both cars are in front and so far I’m very pleased with this result. We are not expecting particular problems because of the heat. Everyone is well prepared - the drivers and the team. We hope to travel to the next race at Portland with a Dallas win in our pocket. That would be nice.”