ALMS »

Pirro, Biela complete hat-trick at Road America.


In a race that featured some of the closest finishes ever seen in three of the four American Le Mans Series classes, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro completed a notable hat-trick of race wins that helped to extend their still slim championship lead a little further.

Victory for the European pair's #2 Champion Racing Audi was the third in as many races, and the 3.239secs margin of victory in Sunday's Generac 500 was made all the more important as it came over the #20 Dyson Racing Lola of Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson, with main title rivals - and Champion team-mates - JJ Lehto and Marco Werner a further 3.7secs back in third. As a result, Biela and Pirro extended their lead in the LMP1 category to 15 points, with three rounds left.

"We came in with the lead in the championship, and our strategy was to do our best," Pirro said, "But we knew we didn't have to win races to win the championship. What really made me very happy is that, coming here, we were kind of conservative, but we were able to come in and win more points. That's why you could see some tears in my eyes when Frankie crossed the finish line. Just kidding!"

All joking aside, it was a toss-up for most of the day between the two Audis and the two Lolas. The pole-sitting #16 Dyson car of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger ruined its chances when Weaver went into a gravel trap about an hour into the race, allowing the event to boil down to pit-strategy. However, the #2 team only won in the waning moments, after the #1 car was assessed a penalty.

Pirro and Biela excelled on the high-speed track, and said they expect to do the same thing two weeks from now at Mosport. Another victory would give them an even stronger hold on the championship crown.

"It looks a little better than three races ago, there is no doubt," Biela admitted, "Everyone in our team is very happy. We've had three very good races, and it feels really good looking at the points and thinking of the championship. On the other hand, I think we saw three wins in a row from the #1 car [earlier in the year] and then it ran into trouble, so we have to keep our focus. I hope that everybody knows that we'll try to do a good job. We do have a comfortable lead."

Despite suffering a minor damage in an early-race collision, the #10 Miracle Motorsports Courage of Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry took its third LMP2 victory of the season.

McMurry and the #63 GT1 class ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen made contact on the opening lap, causing slight rear-left damage to the Courage. Although mostly cosmetic, it did slow the car down. However, the Miracle team leaved up to its name, gaining a large slice of luck when the #37 Intersport Lola, with Liz Halliday at the wheel, caught fire just shy of the 30-minute mark. Halliday was able to exit the car, but the damage already was done.

"I was coming through Canada corner smelling smoke, then I lost the gears, and next thing I know the guys are radioing me that I'm on fire," Halliday said, "All I was worried about was getting off the track and not causing a seven-car pile-up. I just wanted to stay out of everyone's way."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Emmanuele Pirro and Frank Biela celebrate ALMS victory at Road America
Another Corvette 1-2 was enough to give the marque its fifth GT1 title - Gavin/Beretta winning by 0.142secs over O`Connell/Fellows at Road America
Pat Long and Jorg Bergmeister returned to winning ways at Road America with a last-gasp GT2 victory
Audi`s Dindo Capello, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen win Sebring 12 Hours   [image courtesy Audi Motorsport]
Audi leads into the night at Sebring 12 Hours   [image courtesy Audi Motorsport]
Audi leads at start of Sebring 12 Hours   [image courtesy Audi Motorsport]
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#08  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI FAP and #9 Audi.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI heads #9 Audi and #08 and #07 Peugeot
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#9  Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI followed by #08 and #07 Peugeot.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7  and #8 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI followed by #08 Peugeot.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7 & #9 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#07  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI FAP nd #7 Audi.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#9  Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI pit stop.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI pit stop.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#07  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI FAP followed by #7 Audi and #08 Peugeot.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI followed by #08 Peugeot.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#07  Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 908 HDI FAP followed by #7 Audi, #08 Peugeot, #99 Oreca.
29 September-2 October, 2010, Braselton, Georgia USA.
#7 Audi Sport North America Audi R15 TDI of Allan McNish heads field into turn one

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.