Audi R10 TDI clinches American Le Mans Series P1 championship

Audi has clinched its third consecutive P1 class championship in the American Le Mans Series with the diesel-powered R10 TDI. The driver pairing of Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner came out on top after a disappointing race at the Detroit Grand Prix this weekend. Luhr spun into the wall on lap 13 and the teammates went on to cross the finish line third overall which would have kept the championship race open at least until the Petit Le Mans next month. Unfortunately for Fässler and Pirro, their car was disqualified for being about 5 lbs underweight during post-race scrutineering. Also unfortunate this year is that Audi only has one season-long rival in the LMP1 class. At Petit Le Mans, the Peugeot 908s will be back from Europe and next year Audi will face competition from new LMP1 Acuras. Hopefully Acura will follow Audi and Peugeot and bring another diesel to the P1 class. Alternatively, they could get the hybrid system that will be used by the Honda Formula 1 team and apply it to the prototype. Either way, the efforts to promote green racing in the ALMS will likely heat up the competition.

[Source: Audi]

Luhr/Werner win ALMS Championship title

- Teammates excluded after Detroit race
- Early decision in the LM P1 class

INGOLSTADT/DETROIT, Aug 31, 2008 - Despite not finishing the city street race in Detroit, the two German Audi "factory" drivers Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner have already clinched the Drivers' title in the LM P1 class of the American Le Mans Series.

The title chase was decided as their teammates Marcel Fässler and Emanuele Pirro, who had originally won the LM P1 class on the "Belle Isle Street Circuit", were excluded after the race. At Technical Scrutineering, the #1 Audi R10 TDI was found to be 2.5 kilograms under the requested 925-kilogram weight limit. Following contact with another car during the morning warm-up session, a spare nose had been fitted which was prepared for both cars, not specifically set-up for the #1 car.

This is the third LM P1 title in the American Le Mans Series for Marco Werner (42) following his Championship wins in 2003 and 2004. It is the fourth win for Lucas Luhr (29) following his successes in 2002, 2003 and 2006 – however it is his first in the LM P1 category. Luhr has also become the first driver ever in the history of the U.S. sportscar series to clinch the title in three different categories: GT2, LM P2 and now LM P1.

"Of course we would have prefered to have won the title under different circumstances," said Luhr and Werner. "But with seven consecutive victories already this season we certainly feel we have earned the title."

Before the last two races at Road Atlanta (4 October) and Laguna Seca (18 October) the two Germans hold a 66-point lead over Emanuele Pirro and are 68 points clear of Clint and Jon Field who were awarded the LM P1 class victory in Detroit. Only 55 points remain available in the final two races.

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