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First the good news for Audi Sports North America. The No. 7 R10 won the LMP1 class during last weekend's 9th Round of the American LeMans Series race at Mosport. With the win, Audi has clinched the LMP1 championship with three races left to run. Unfortunately, Audi has yet again failed to claim an outright win despite dominating the entire race ahead of those pesky LMP2 cars.

The Audi driven by Alan McNish had inherited the lead late in the race when Timo Bernhard pitted his LMPS Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder. Things were going well, with the McNish building a comfortable 22-second lead. Unfortunately, the R10 then experienced some kind of gearbox malfunction with ten minutes to go that left McNish with only the higher gears. Every tight corner of the track gave Bernhard another opportunity to close the gap. Bernhard caught McNish with about five minutes left to go, and went on to build a 19.575-second lead.

Check out the rest of our recap and VIDEO of the last five minutes of last weekend's race at Mosport after the jump, courtesy of SPEED.

[Source: ALMS]

McNish was fortunately able to hold on to second place overall, as the another Porsche Spyder was far behind in third place. The other Audi R10 driven by Marco Werner at the end of the race came in fourth overall, and it too had a chance to win the race at Mosport overall, but unfortunately experienced a snafu in its final pit stop that kept it from exiting the pits in front of the pace car.

Everyone seems to agree that both Audi R10s were the fastest cars at Mosport last weekend, but bad luck seems to have prevented them from ending the LMP2 domination of ALMS this season.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Its simple. There are two classes based on allowable power. However the more dominant the ALMS perceives you to be the more weight they add to your car. So since Audi spent their hard earned cash on developing an engine that circumvents the penalties of horsepower limits by building a diesel that will throw down more torque, ALMS has responding by throwing a temper-tantrum and limited the size of their fuel tank to less than its competitors, added weight penalties and just generally penalized innovation in the name of parity. The LMP2's can not only keep up, but beat the more powerful Audis here in America, but when they hit LeMans in France they get destroyed. All in All, ALMS was sick and tired of Audi humiliating the field with the older R8 cars (still gas powered then) so when Audi announced a faster prototype racer, ALMS started hating it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Neither the Porsche RS Spyders or the Acuras were at Le Mans this year, which left the LMP2 category in it's usual funk. Assuming that Penske and maybe one or more of the Acura teams receive an invitation to the 2008 Le Mans race and actually show up, things could be a bit different.

        I can't wait to hear that big Audi diesel at Belle Isle this weekend though. :-)
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are wrong. Read literally, your comment would lead others to believe that the ACO is crippling Diesels unfairly. This is not the case. My proof? All the other LMP1 cars - every single one - finished lower than the Audi R10's.

        So what does being a Diesel have to do with the R10's finishing after the Rennsport LMP2's? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Diesel tanks are limited to 10% less than gas cars. But Diesel fuel contains 15-18% more energy per gallon than gas, so the Diesel is still in an advantageous position.

        Absolutely no weight penalties were added to the R10s by ALMS or ACO (Le Mans). In fact, the minimum weight in LMP1 was raised to benefit the R10s (this was done at inrto of the R10 by ACO). Due to the size of the engine, the R10 was hundreds of pounds over the (previous) minimum weight for the LMP1 class, so the minimum weight for the class was raised so that gas cars in the LMP1 class wouldn't have a huge weight advantage over the R10s.

        What has happened more recently is that this year the ACO reduced the size of the restrictor in the LMP2 cars, this constricts the air allowed to the engine and reduces the power. ACO did this so the LMP1 cars wouldn't be rivaled by the LMP2 cars. ALMS (IMSA) didn't implement this change. The reasons for this are in both cases to ensure there is some competition for the overall win in the series.

        In ACO's case, they race in Europe and Peugeot fielded a Diesel this year, and has been able to compete with Audi for the overall win. In ALMS' case, they race here in the US and Peugeot doesn't race here (since they don't sell cars here), so they needed other cars to compete with Audi and so they made sure the LMP2 cars could compete for the overall win.

        After great whining by Audi (a sports car racing tradition), ALMS has made some changes middle of this season which give advantage to Audi (Diesels in general). Although of course, if your car breaks (as happened here), you're gonna lose.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Kudos to the person who taped the last 5-minutes. Not really into the motorsports series... or any kind of racing, but it was fun to watch these cars pass each other in the last few laps of the race.

      Is there a site that give more details of the history of the R8 and R10, their results, and other pertinent information?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Joe, wow that sure is a lot of rationalization.

      Fact is, they've been losing races. Fact is, when they could have won one, their powertrain broke. Quit the whinin and go home.