Len Hunt, Head of Audi America, has announced that Champion Audi of Pompano Beach, Florida, will campaign an Audi R8 prototype in the 2001 American Le Mans Series.

With a rich history in endurance racing, Dave Maraj and Champion aim to compete at the sharp end of the grid with the factory Audi effort. The Champion team also prepares the British-built Audi S4's of Michael Galati and Derek Bell for the Speedvision GT Series.

"We wanted to expand the Audi racing presence by offering the R8 to qualified privateers. Champion has been a good racing partner with the S4's this last year and we are very excited that they will be running one of the R8's in 2001," said Hunt.

President of Champion Motors, Dave Maraj, explained, "We wanted to get back to the ALMS series with a full time effort. The Audi R8 proved to be the car to beat last year, so we are excited for the 2001 season."

Audi scored a flawless one-two-three in last years Le Mans 24 Hours, and won nine of the twelve ALMS races staged in North America, Europe and Australia - the latest of which was accomplished on New Year's Eve by Allan McNish.

"Flying Scotsman" McNish signed off from his year with Audi in style by claiming the ALMS Drivers' title with a victory in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years. Audi had already won the Manufacturers' division.

McNish is now scheduled to take up his new position of test driver for Toyota's new Formula One car, and is aiming to secure a race seat with the Japanese team for its F1 debut in 2002.

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