Audi has moved to strengthen its driving line-up for next month's Petit Le Mans marathon at Road Atlanta by bringing in two former American Le Mans Series champions and Le Mans 24 Hours winners to bolster the regular squad.
'Dindo' Capello and Allan McNish return to Audi's US strength as the German marque bids to protect its unbeaten record at the 1000-mile classic in the face of renewed opposition from both Peugeot and the Porsche and Acura entries in LMP2. The Audi R8 won six times in succession between 2000 and 2005 while, in both 2006 and 2007, Capello and McNish triumphed with the diesel-powered R10.
This year, the recent Silverstone 1000km winners will team up with Italian Emanuele Pirro in the marque's #1 machine, while the #2 will be driven, as usual, by the all-German pairing of Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner, who have already clinched the ALMS LMP1 crown. Luhr and Werner will attack Road Atlanta without the support of a third driver.
"This year, we won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series and the Le Mans Series in Europe with the R10 TDI, and obviously we'd like to continue our winning streak in the American Le Mans Series' most important race alongside Sebring, " head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, commented.
"In the shape of Acura/Honda, Peugeot and Porsche, we have very strong competitors, some of which have also strengthened their driving squad, but I'm convinced that we are in a good position with our driver line-up."