The exciting American Le Mans Series made its most recent stop at the Mosport International Raceway in Canada last weekend for the ninth race of the season. The most notable story before the race is Audi’s aim to break the winning streak of Le Mans Prototype 2 cars. Although Audi competes in the Le Mans Prototype 1 class, the team is looking to beat the faster LM P2 cars which have been the overall winners for six consecutive events going into the 2007 Grand Prix of Mosport. Unfortunately for the Audi team fielding a diesel race car, they failed to take the overall victory due to a mechanical problem late in the race.
Although the pair of Alan McNish and Rinaldo “Dindo” Capello failed to take the overall win at the race, they still managed to top all competitors in their class. The drivers posted their seventh win of the season and clinched the championship for their team with three races still remaining in the season. That means that they can now focus better in beating the lighter LM P2 cars.
McNish has this to say after the race: “My Audi R10 TDI was fast and strong while excellent team strategy had put us in control of the race. But with only a few minutes to go, I encountered a technical issue with the gearshift. I was stuck in fourth gear at times losing a lot of time. I lost the lead with five minutes remaining.”
“Despite Dindo and I claiming our seventh class win of the season and extending our championship lead, we’re obviously very disappointed having come so close to winning the race outright,” McNish added. Capello succeeded in taking a pole position for the race and with 15 minutes remaining and with McNish on behind the wheel of the Audi R10 TDI, their lead over their nearest rival is 29 seconds. That was before the problem with the gearbox occurred.
The pair now is looking to perform well at the upcoming race, the Belle Isle Detroit Grand Prix. Going into that race though, McNish admitted that the track will be difficult for their LM P1 cars developed by Audi, the same manufacturer of auto parts and accessories such as Audi floor mats. “Having just raced on one of the fastest tracks in the series at Mosport, we now head for what is likely to be one of the slowest,” said McNish. “I visited Detroit last month and saw that it’s a pretty slow, tight and flat concrete-lined track ? exactly the opposite to Mosport.”
“While I think it?ll be an exciting race for what is expected to be a big crowd, I think it’s going to prove extremely difficult for our Audi like most of the other ‘street? tracks,” the driver continued.
With seven straight victories for LM P2 cars over the more powerful but heftier LM P1 cars, it would be somewhat of an upset if an Audi R10 or any LM P1 car can beat the faster LM P2 cars at the next race.