Allan McNish and Dindo Capello have been given the opportunity to retain their American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship in 2007 as Audi AG announced its full-season lineup and program with the diesel-powered R10 TDI. Audi Sport North America will field two of the revolutionary cars for all 12 rounds of the 2007 season, starting with the 55th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
McNish and Capello will be joined by Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner, each two-time champions in the Series’ highest class. All four full-season competitors have combined for seven class driving titles, 66 victories and 150 starts in the American Le Mans Series. In 2006, Audi swept the P1 class with 10 wins in 10 starts, including seven with R10 TDI. The group’s collective work at Le Mans is just as impressive with nine overall wins between them.
Audi Sport North America once again assumes responsibility for running the pair of R10 TDI cars. The team’s core personnel originate from Champion Racing. As last year, Dave Maraj’s team receives support in a similar way from Audi Sport and Joest Racing.
“Audi is convinced that TDI is also the strong and economical alternative vehicle power source of the future for the United States”, explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “The R10 TDI is a forerunner for the nationwide diesel offensive in the USA, and the increasingly popular American Le Mans Series is the perfect platform for this.”
McNish and Capello teamed for a record eight LMP1 victories in 2006 on their way to the class crown (the second for McNish and first for Capello). Five of those came with the R10 TDI and the other three with the venerable Audi R8.
Pirro, the 2005 and 2001 class champion, made six starts in 2006 with Frank Biela, posting two victories in the Series. They were joined by Werner (Series champion in 2003 and 2004) at Sebring, Petit Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the trio made history by winning the world’s most prestigious race for the first time with diesel power.
Audi will defend its 2006 Sebring title with the two-car lineup. The German marque is unbeaten at America’s greatest sports car race since debuting in 2000.