Audi has secured the LMP1 manufacturers' title in the American Le Mans Series following a 1-2 finish in the latest round of the season at Mosport.
Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner secured their fifth overall win of the season at the Canadian circuit despite a brief scare when Werner touched the wall exiting the pits and slightly damaged the front of his car – although it didn't stop him going on to set a new lap record.
The pair had elected to gamble on strategy when they stayed out during the second caution period of the race and made a third refueling stop later than scheduled. It dropped Luhr to eighth place but he gradually climbed back up the order to take the lead just nine laps from the flag.
"That was a real challenge for me when I had to overtake almost all prototypes again at the end of the race,” he said. “It worked out well. Our car was not in a perfect shape after our little mishap in the pits, and I really had to fight. Our engineer told me on the radio that I had to push like hell. I did, and fortunately it worked out."
The sister car had made its final refueling stop during the second caution period, with Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro hoping that another yellow flag would allow them the chance to run to the flag. However with the race remaining green, the pair were forced to reduce engine power and save fuel although they still took the flag in second place.
"I really learned to save fuel during the stint,” Pirro said. “I was two steps of power down, but this was not enough and I had to roll the car into the corners. Despite that my lap times were good enough to keep the LMP2 cars behind. I'm not happy about the race result because we had a fast car but we gambled and didn't make it. I'm happy on how we managed the situation and I'm happy about the way I drove. I literally ran out of fuel at start and finish. It was good to finish second in these conditions."
With the manufacturers' title now secured, Audi motorsport chief Wolfgang Ullrich was understandably pleased with the result.
"It was a fantastic race with a difficult strategic decision in the final phase,” he said. “All the more beautiful it is that we have now clinched a double victory in the American Le Mans Series for the third time in succession proving 'Vorsprung durch Technik' – and this being achieved against very strong competition. Congratulations to the whole team, also on prematurely clinching the Manufacturers' Championships."