The two Audi customer teams, Infineon Team Joest and ADT Champion Racing, are looking forward to a particularly remarkable race in the American Le Mans Series. Drivers will slug it out next Saturday on a spectacular street circuit in downtown Miami (Florida). Further highlights of the “Grand Prix Americas” include a round of the Champ Car World Series and a concert with superstar Elton John.
“Street racing is in principle something very special, and the atmosphere in Miami is simply awesome,“ says Audi driver Frank Biela, who leads in the drivers’ points standings with his partner Marco Werner heading into the last two races in Infineon Team Joest’s Audi R8. The two are traveling to Miami with an 18-point lead. “Regardless, I’m not just thinking about driving home points,“ emphasizes Marco Werner. “I have too much fun winning to be able to do that.”
Biela/Werner have already crossed the finish line four times in the ALMS this year as outright winners. Fellow Audi drivers Johnny Herbert and JJ Lehto won two races in Team ADT Champion Racing’s Audi R8. Miami is the home race for Dave Maraj’s team, since they are based at Pompano Beach, located just short of 40 miles from the race track.
Not only for that reason do Lehto and Herbert want to defend their chances for the title with a third season win. “We have to win and hope at the same time that our rivals receive the least possible amount of points,” says Lehto. “I have driven on many street circuits in my life,” adds Johnny Herbert. “But there is almost no other track that is as narrow as Miami. There are very few chances for passing.”
For that reason, the starting position in Miami plays a larger role than in other ALMS races. In addition, there is no test session on the street course. Practice and the race will take place over the course of only two days (Friday and Saturday). Because the track has been rebuilt, no team can use past data as a frame of reference. “I truly believe in the skill of our engineers and am very confident,” says Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director of Team Joest. “However, the weekend will be very tough for the whole team due to the expected heat and the high humidity.“