The Infineon Team Joest pairing of Frank Biela and Marco Werner took an important step towards retaining the team's American Le Mans Series titles by taking a dominant win in Sunday's Fry's Electronics Sports Car Championships event at Laguna Seca.

Biela scored an overall win for the third consecutive year at the 2.238-mile circuit, while co-driver Werner won on his first appearance at the track. It was the fourth overall win for the duo in seven ALMS races this year and placed them in command of the race for the LMP 900 class drivers' championship after their chief rivals ran into problems.

"One of our goals at the start of the season was to win the championship," said Biela, who drove for the former works Audi team the past three seasons, "The team won the championship the past three years, and this year maybe it's my turn - and Marco's turn - to win the drivers' championship."

James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger finished second overall, but won the LMP 675 class in the Dyson Racing Lola EX257-MG. Other than the winning Audi, the Dyson entry was the only car to lead the race and finished on the lead lap, albeit a minute and 22secs behind the winner.

"We just got beaten today," said Leitzinger, who just managed to bring the Dyson entry home on the lead lap, crossing the line seconds in front of the winning Audi, "It was a constant battle out there with traffic, but we really didn't have anything for the Audi today. It's nice to get the class win, but we're really after the overall win."

Finishing third overall and second in P900 was the Panoz LMP01 of Olivier Beretta and David Saelens and JML team Panoz, while the ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 of JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert finished third in P900 and fourth overall.

"I am really thrilled for all the team, because getting four podium finishes in a row is great achievement," Beretta beamed, "Everything really went to plan. Our fuel economy was perfect and Michelin's contribution to our performance can't be underestimated. We now have our sights set on making five podiums in a row at Miami."

The result was a bad one for Lehto, who had harboured hopes of adding to the Champion team's Road America victory and place himself firmly in the title battle.

"We could have done without this today, as it does us no favours in terms of the championship," the Finn sighed, "We really needed to beat the Joest Audi today but, while they had a faultless race, we lost over eight minutes changing the rear section.

"Now we must win in Miami and Road Atlanta and hope that Frank and Marco have problems to have a chance of championship honours."

The Essex Racing Lola B2K40-Nissan of Jason Workman and Scott Bradley finished second in the LMP 675 class, while third went to the Intersport Lola-MG of Jon Field and Duncan Dayton.

Tomas Enge and Peter Kox scored their first GTS class win of the season in the Prodrive Ferrari 550 Maranello, winning at Laguna Seca for the second consecutive year. Kox fought off the effects of 'flu during his stint in the car, but it might all have been in vain as the #88 car was detained by the scrutineers for further inspection.

The second Prodrive Ferrari of David Brabham and Jan Magnussen finished second in class after leading an intra-team battle. Magnussen then tangled with a lapped car and spun in the 'Corkscrew', losing the lead to Enge late in the race. The Chevrolet Corvette C5-R of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell finished third.

"It is good to win here two years in a row and to maintain the Corvette losing streak here," Enge said, before hearing that the victory was in jeopardy, "Our tyres performed very well and this circuit really suits our car. We had a different strategy than the other car and it paid off for us."

Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr won the GT class in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS, clinching their second consecutive GT class drivers' championship in the process. The German duo finished a lap ahead of the Risi Competizione Ferrari 360 Modena of Anthony Lazzaro and Ralf Kelleners, while third in class went to the White Lightning/Petersen Motorsports Porsche of Craig Stanton and Johnny Mowlem.

"This race was really like a Sunday afternoon cruise," Luhr admitted, "By the time I got into the car, Sascha had done all the work and I just had to keep the car on track, stay out of trouble and take it home. We really had a nearly perfect race with no problems."

Luhr's comments overlooked a tangle involving several cars at the first turn of the first lap, which caused Maassen to lose five spots in the order. However, the veteran quickly regained the lead and the car was never seriously challenged.

"I didn't think I'd be able to overtake my team-mate Timo [Bernhard] unless they had a problem, so when the electrical problem occurred, [I was glad that] he let me pass him easily," Maassen admitted, "Then we really controlled the race after that."



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