Auto Service World
News   September 5, 2006   by Auto Service World

Audi Clinches ALMS Championship at Mosport


With victory in the eighth race of the season at Mosport (Canada), Allan McNish (Scotland) and Dindo Capello (Italy) in their Audi R10 TDI clinched the LM-P1 title in the American Le Mans Series ahead of time.
With their fifth outright race victory of the season, the two Audi “works” drivers now have an unassailable championship lead with the final two races at Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca remaining.
The Audi R10 TDI, that celebrated a race-winning debut at Sebring in March and then won the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, remains unbeaten and is the first diesel-powered sportscar to win an important championship.
After the success with the legendary R8, it is the seventh title in the prototype class for Audi.
While Allan McNish was already ALMS champion in 2000, his co-driver Dindo Capello wins the championship for the first time on this occasion.
After qualifying on Saturday was cancelled due to heavy rain, it remained dry during the race on Sunday. Dindo Capello, who started next to Butch Leitzinger (Lola-AER) from the first row, had an exciting duel with Leitzinger on the 2.5 mile-long course, the fastest ALMS track of the season.
Invariably the two prototypes were only separated by a few seconds.
Capello handed over his leading Audi R10 TDI to his co-driver Allan McNish in the 73rd minute.
After various lead changes, McNish won with a gap of 2.79 seconds ahead of the two Dyson Lolas of Chris Dyson/Guy Smith and James Weaver/Butch Leitzinger.
After the times of the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday were taken into account, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro started the second Audi R10 TDI from the third row of the grid and finished the race in fourth place.
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport said, “By prematurely clinching the drivers’ title in the American Le Mans Series with the R10 TDI, Audi has yet again demonstrated ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ on the race track. Bringing new technology in to a racing series and immediately clinching the title is a tremendous achievement. It also shows how quickly the team has got used to the diesel engine. Congratulations to the team of Audi Sport North America and of course to Dindo (Capello) and Allan (McNish), who withstood enormous pressure from the Dyson Lolas at Mosport and have earned the title.”


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