Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner ensured Audi concluded the 2008 sportscar season in winning fashion by taking victory in the final round of the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca.
The series champions ensured the Audi R10 maintained its winning record at the Monterey circuit as they took the flag ahead of Christijan Albers and Emanuele Pirro, who celebrated his final outing for the team with a second place finish.
Starting from row five of the grid, the Audi drivers were able to take advantage of enormous torque of their TDi engine to make their way through the field, aided by a dozen caution periods in somewhat truncated four-hour race into darkness.
Luhr needed only 37 laps to fight his way from tenth on the grid to first place but lost a lap to the leaders when he was forced to put for fuel during one of the few green flag periods.
That seemed to put the race into the hands of sportscar Albers and Pirro, with the Italian taking the lead of the race on lap 89 and holding position through to the final caution period.
However, on the final restart, he lost out to team-mate Werner who had fought his way back through the field and he managed to hold on through the final 20 minutes of the race to secure victory by less than two seconds.
"This was a great day for us,” Werner said. “Lucas did a superb job in the beginning. He worked his way from tenth to first position. We lost a lap but came back on the lead-lap thanks to Audi and the Champion team. In the end it was up to me. I really pushed and tried to keep the tyres clean during the caution periods."
Pirro admitted that he had been at fault on the final restart, thus ending his hopes of a winning end to his Audi career, but said he had enjoyed his final outing in the R10 TDi.
"I really enjoyed the race,” he said. “From ninth and tenth on the grid we finished 1-2. Unfortunately I was in second gear at the last restart instead of first. After so many good restarts in my career I was sleeping this time. But all in all it has been a positive race.