Audi Sport North America breaks new ground
Team Audi Sport North America breaks new ground once again with the Audi R10 TDI only 14 days after the accident-packed race at Lime Rock: The Le Mans winning diesel sportscar has, as yet, not driven a single meter at Mid Ohio (US state of Ohio). Dindo Capello/Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner therefore face yet another big challenge on the weekend of 21 July during the seventh round of the American Le Mans Series.
The track at Mid Ohio is only 2.258 miles long and has 13 corners, some of which are off-camber and lead over blind crests – a good terrain for the lighter cars running in the LM P2 class, which are unbeaten in the American Le Mans Series for four races and which controlled the pace at Mid Ohio last year.
Even the Audi R8, predecessor to the Audi R10 TDI, which won 63 times in 80 races, had difficulties at Mid Ohio. Two wins from five starts around the "roller-coaster” like track: In 2002, Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro, 2004 JJ Lehto/Marco Werner. It was so cold on race day last year that Dindo Capello and Allan McNish had trouble getting the tires on their R8 up to working temperature on the newly resurfaced track.
However, it should be significantly warmer this time, and in contrast to the R8, the Audi R10 TDI has traction control which is of paramount importance on the smooth tarmac at Mid Ohio.
The second-half of the 2007 American Le Mans Series opens with the race about three hours drive southeast of Detroit. The world’s fastest sportscars share the headlines with the IndyCar Series for the second time this year. Possibly a good omen for Audi Sport North America: The team celebrated first and second overall in St. Petersburg at the beginning of April when they shared top billing with the IndyCars for the first time.