Auto Service World
News   August 21, 2006   by Auto Service World

Audi Continues to Prove Diesel Can Race

The Audi R10 TDI remains unbeaten: Frank Biela (Germany) and Emanuele Pirro (Italy) celebrated together with their team-mates Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) a double victory in the fifth race of Audi’s new diesel sportscar.
In the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series at Road America, Biela and Pirro clinched their third victory of the season, including the Le Mans 24 Hours, by a margin of just 0.4 seconds.
The long distance race over two hours, forty-five minutes did not start well for the German-Italian duo: Starting driver Frank Biela, who went into the race from second position on the grid, was touched at the first corner by a rival and pushed into the gravel trap.
Biela rejoined the track but pitted for new tires due to a vibration dropping to the back of the field. From the very last position, Biela started a charge which brought him and his team-mate Emanuele Pirro to second place behind the second Audi R10 TDI of Dindo Capello and Allan McNish before the final phase of the race.
Allan McNish, who had clinched pole-position with a lap time of 1:49:181 minutes, breaking the ALMS track record on the 4.048 mile track north of Milwaukee, was also hit on the opening lap but did not lose time.
After 32 laps, he handed over the leading Audi R10 TDI to his co-driver Dindo Capello.
The Italian stayed in front until a pace par phase in the final half hour of the race.
At the re-start team-mate Emanuele Pirro just eased ahead. After 76 laps the two Audi R10 TDI sports-prototypes celebrated a second successive 1-2 success following the Portland double victory in July.
Round eight of the 10-race American Le Mans Series is staged in two weeks at Mosport (3 September) with Dindo Capello and Allan McNish heading for Canada as championship leaders.
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport) said, “This was a really exciting race with an incredibly tight finish. As expected the track at Road America suited our R10 TDI very well. Despite this we had to fight hard for the victory because the caution periods cost us the advantage we gained over and over again. The lighter Dyson-Lolas today came very close to us, sometimes even too close. Congratulations to the team who did a great job and had a good strategy.”

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