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(July 17, 2005) – The #2 Champion Audi R8 driven Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro claimed a first victory of the year in the fifth round of the 2005 American Le Mans Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma today.

In what began as a four-way battle between the pairs of Champion Audis and the fleet Dyson Racing Lolas it was a blend of speed, patience and persistence that finally paid off.

Their victory today was the Pirro's first win since Miami in October, 2002, and Biela's first since teaming with Pierre Kaffer and Alan McNish to win the 2004 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Conserving fuel to stretch their pit window, the #2 Champion Audi benefited from contact between its sister car and a GT1 car as the #1 JJ Lehto and Marco Werner machine exited the pits. The contact damaged the upper left wishbone on the #1 car and cost it two laps for repairs.

Second place went to the #20 Dyson Lola of polesitter Andy Wallace and Chris Dyson. The #1 Champion Audi of Lehto and Werner took third, completing a Michelin podium sweep.

MICHELIN TRIPLE PLAY: "We had just about a perfect race weekend here at Infineon," said Amanda Head, manager of motorsports marketing for Michelin North America.

"There were five other tire companies (Goodyear; Pirelli; Yokohama; Dunlop and Kumho) competing here today, but our Michelin partner teams had the speed and consistency to meet every challenge."

Michelin teams entered three ALMS classes (LMP1; GT1 and GT2) and won all three poles (#20 Dyson Racing; #3 Corvette and #23 Alex Job Racing Porsche) and all three classes.

Michelin ran its 2005 ALMS race wins/entries record to 14 class wins in 15 class entries. After leading every lap today, Michelin has now led 851 out of 866 laps in 2005.

 
GT1—CORVETTES 1-2, SALEEN MAKES THREE: Continuing an outstanding debut season for the Corvette C6 Rs. The GT1 class pole wining #3 Compuware Corvette of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell took the win over #4 Corvette teammates Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta.

Competing another Bibendum podium sweep with a solid third place was the improving #63 Acemco Saleen driven by Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller.

The victory extended Michelin's success in the GT1 class to 17 consecutive races.
 
GT2—ALEX JOB AND WHITE LIGHTNING PORSCHES SCORE A MICHELIN 1-2: Having celebrated the 50th ALMS GT2 class victory for Michelin at Lime Rock, the Alex Job Racing Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas wasted little time in and raising the bar to 51 wins as they took the pole and dominated the race.

Taking a very a well-earned second in GT2 class was the #31 Petersen/White Lightning Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

American Patrick Long who teamed with veteran Jorg Bergmeister aboard the #31 White Lightning Porsche dropped to ninth in class after early contact with a prototype entry broke their left rear wheel and cost them a pit stop.

Next stop for the American Le Mans Series will be at Portland, Oregon on July 30th.



INFINEON RACEWAY RESULTS

 
#
DRIVER
CAR
TIRES
TIME
CLASS
           
1
Pirro/Biela *
Audi R8
Michelin
111 laps
P1
           
2
Dyson/Wallace
Lola EX257
Michelin
111 laps
P1
           
3
Lehto/Werner
Audi R8
Michelin
110 laps
P1
           
4
C. Field/Halliday *
Goodyear
Kuhmo
105 laps
P2
           
7
Fellows/O'Connell *
Corvette C6-R
Michelin
104 laps
GT1
           
12
Bernhard/Dumas *
Porsche 911GT3
Michelin
100 laps
GT2
           
* class winners