05.09.2012, 18:53:12 cet
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Podium at Sears Point
Sears Point traffic
A big crowd watch the ALMS Sears Point under the California sunshine
Tom Kristensen, Audi R8
Emanuele Pirro, Audi R8
Johnny Mowlem Porsche 911 GT3 RS
David Brabham, Panoz LMP01
Ron Fellows, Chevrolet Corvette C5R
Boris Said, BMW M3 GTR

San Fransisco, July 22, 2001

The new Audi direct fuel injection (FSI), which debuted during the triumph at the Le Mans 24 Hour race, has now proved its worth in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS): Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen won the race at Sears Point ahead of their team mates Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro in the companion Infineon Audi R8.

The race was full of thrilling action at the front. During the entire 2:45 hours of racing, both Infineon Audi R8 diced hard on the undulating Californian circuit in the middle of Americaís vineyards. Especially Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro executed an exciting duel over many laps.

Tom Kristensen set excellent lap times, although the victory for the #1 Infineon Audi R8 was settled not on the track but in the pitlane: The crew of Capello and Kristensen had chosen the more fortunate strategy. At the end, there was a margin of less than seven seconds between the two Infineon R8.

The Champion team also showed strongly with their 2000-spec Audi R8. Andy Wallace and former Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert achieved fourth position after fighting for a place on the podium with the fastest Panoz.

There is not much time to relax for drivers and mechanics of Audi Sport North America: On 5 August, the next round of the American Le Mans Series starts in Portland (Oregon).

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Rinaldo Capello (#1)
"We won this race not on the track but in the pit lane. Tom did a fantastic job this weekend as he has never raced on this circuit before. I think we put on a great show for all the spectators. Frank and Emanuele were at least as quick as us but they will fight back."

Tom Kristensen (#1)
"I have to thank Dindo for his great help during the weekend. That was really an exciting race, especially the fight I had with Emanuele. I tried to put him under pressure as much as I could, but he didnít make a single mistake."

Frank Biela (#2)
"It was a very tough race today with a lot of bad luck for our car. We lost some seconds with our different pit strategy and perhaps that cost us victory. But that shows just how close this race was."

Emanuele Pirro (#2)
"First of all I have to thank the mechanics for their work during this weekend. When we came here on Friday there was a lot to improve on the car and now the R8 was simply perfect. Of course Iím not happy with second position but at least we had a really good fight for the lead."

Johnny Herbert (#38)
"When I took over from Andy it was game over really because unless the two factory Audis or Panoz suffered from a problem then the best we could finish was fourth. I had a good dice with the Panoz and got past him which proved a point but weíll be back and with luck on our side, will be pushing hard for honours. "

Andy Wallace (#38)
"We started on a slighter lighter fuel load because we wanted to stay with the factory Audis but I made an appalling start. Brabham was driving very hard and I got delayed. But we lost any hope of claiming a podium position when the pace car came out in front of me having just been lapped by Dindo which allowed Brabham to gain almost a lap. "

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport
"The race was decided by the various pit stop strategies with Dindo and Tom coming out on top on this occasion. Until the final moments of the race, it was a tough battle between our two cars. The Champion Audi did similar lap times but the team may have taken too much risk with their pit stop strategy."

Reinhold Joest, Team Director Audi Sport North America
"We did a reliable and fast race which was really thrilling. The full course yellows always allowed the margin to fluctuate. Without these yellow flags, Frank and Emanuele might have taken the victory."

1. Capello, Kristensen

Infineon Audi R8 107 laps

2. Biela, Pirro

Infineon Audi R8 - 6.647s

3. Brabham, Magnussen

Panoz - 1 lap

4. Wallace, Herbert

Audi R8 - 1 lap

5. Fellows, OíConnell

Chevrolet - 10 laps

6. Pilgrim, Collins

Chevrolet - 10 laps

7. Lehto, Müller

BMW - 10 laps

8. Müller, Ekblom

BMW - 11 laps

9. Said, Stuck

BMW - 11 laps

10. Auberlen, Jonsson

BMW - 11 laps
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