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 (July 31, 2005) – Michelin moved within one class victory of becoming the first tire manufacturer to capture 150 class wins in the American Le Mans Series after another dominating performance in Portland yesterday.

Michelin won the P1, GT1 and GT2 classes with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro taking their second overall victory in a row for Champion Audi after a heartbreaking finish for the #16 Dyson Lola of James Weaver and and Butch Leitzinger.

The Mid Ohio winners looked set to grab their second win of the year before suffering fuel pressure problems with only one lap to go.

The victory was actually Michelin's 60th in the P1 class (59 overall race wins)—that result coming 12 months after the Bibendum boys won their 50th overall ALMS race at Portland last year.

The victory by Biela and Pirro launch them into the lead of the championship after team-mates JJ Lehto and Marco Werner suffered a spectacular crash on the back straight when the rear bodywork of the Audi flew off the car at the fastest part of the circuit.

The #20 Dyson Lola of pole sitter Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson took second while Weaver and Leitzinger were classified third after limping home to the finish.
 
Hard luck stories for Michelin quick men: Lehto and Marco Werner's race ending crash also caused an unfortunate end to the day for the GT1 Saleen of Terry Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem.

The Michelin-equipped Saleen led the GT1 class from the start with Borcheller doing an outstanding job holding off the Corvette of Olivier Beretta.

Beretta's car was actually damaged in the first incident suffered by the #1 Audi when Werner spun at the end of the start-finish straight, striking the Corvette at the Festival Curves and damaging the bodywork.

The Champion crew repaired the damage to the Audi, but when Lehto suffered his race ending crash, Borcheller was following close behind and spun off the circuit and hit the wall while trying to avoid the debris.

"It was a disappointing way to finish the event because we led the race in our own right today," Borcheller said.

"The entire team has worked very hard and the switch to Michelin this year has helped us a great deal."

Beretta and Oliver Gavin fought back from the incident to take their second win of the year over team-mates Johnny O'Connell and Ron Fellows.
 
Four in a row for GT2 top guns: Alex Job Racing's Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (pictured right) became only the fourth driver pairing in the history of the American Le Mans Series to take four class victories in a row at Portland yesterday.

After earning Michelin's 50th GT2 victory recently, the duo's streak has included wins at Mid Ohio, Lime Rock, Infineon Raceway and now Portland.

Over the past two races, Bernhard and Dumas have led every lap, a span of 226 consecutive laps.

The Michelin equipped Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche of Johannes van Overbeek and Jon Fogarty finished third.

The four win streak is the second such effort by Alex Job Racing in the American Le Mans Series. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen won the final three races of the 2002 seaon at Laguna Seca, Miami and Road Atlanta and took the opening race of 2003 at Sebring.

Victory count: Michelin continued its unbeaten run at Portland yesterday - another American Le Mans Series track where the Bibendum Boys have an unblemished record for overall victory.

Michelin now has a total of 149 class victories in the ALMS compared to Goodyear on 45, Yokohama on 11, Pirelli on 9, Avon on 8, Dunlop on 4 and Kumho on 2.

In the premier P1 class, the total now stands at 60 wins for Michelin with a further 37 GT1 wins and 52 GT2 victories adding to the tally.

PORTLAND RESULTS

 
#
DRIVER
CAR
TIRES
TIME
CLASS
           
1
Pirro/Biela *
Audi R8
Michelin
138 laps
P1
           
2
Dyson/Wallace
Lola EX257
Michelin
+ 9.998 sec
P1
           
3
Weaver/Leitzinger
Lola EX257
Michelin
+ 2 laps
P1
           
4
C. Field/Fiskin *
Lola B05/40
Goodyear
+ 5 laps
P2
           
5
Gavin/Beretta *
Corvette C6-R
Michelin
+ 6 laps
GT1
           
10
Bernhard/Dumas *
Porsche 911GT3
Michelin
+ 12 laps
GT2
           
* class winners