Infineon Team Joest celebrated a crushing victory in round seven of the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca, extending its championship lead after comfortably leading home the rest of the field in California.

Having already dominated practice, Frank Biela and Marco Werner led 115 of the 120 laps, and crossed the line more than a minute ahead of the MG-Lola of James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger.

"This has been a perfect weekend," Biela commented, "Thanks to the advantage we now have, it looks quite good for us in the championship. We had a superb car here from the very beginning.

"The race went perfectly. It was a nice feeling to set the pace, and I was able to pull away from the competition, even before they ran into trouble. It was a shame, because it took the air out of the race, but, of course, it doesn't feel too bad if the pressure from behind suddenly ceases!"

Starting from pole position, Biela was able to constantly pull away from the rest of the field in the opening stages of the race. The three-time Le Mans winner handed the Audi R8 over to Werner with almost a full minute lead, and the two Germans retained the lead even during their final refuelling stop, bringing home an unrivalled victory.

"It was a totally new feeling for me to drive without any pressure," Werner admitted, "Usually, it is not as easy to keep your concentration, and that's why the race was not completely easy.

"Frank laid the foundation for victory during practice - he drove a superb qualifying and was strong in the race. We have not only won because the others eliminated themselves, we simply were faster here. With a view to the championship, this victory was very important for us. We can now drive a little bit more relaxed, even if we are keen to win the final two races."

"This victory was a great end to a completely perfect weekend, one that we dominated since it started," confirmed technical director Ralf Juttner, "After practice, anything less than a victory would have been disappointing.

"The drivers drove without mistakes, the car worked faultlessly and the team did a perfect a perfect job as usual. We reached our aim to make up the defeat of Road America, and now we have the same nice point advantage we had before that race."

By winning at Laguna Seca for a fourth time in a row, Infineon Team Joest helped Audi to prematurely clinch the ALMS Manufacturers' Championship.

"This weekend, the experience of our crew played out," explained team director Reinhold Joest, "The whole team can be proud of helping Audi to successfully defend its title. Of course, now we also want to clinch the drivers' and teams' championships."

In the drivers' standings, Biela and Werner have an 18-point advantage heading into the series' final two races at Miami and Road Atlanta. Team Joest is also 18 points ahead in the teams' championship.

 

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