The Adelaide Race of a Thousand Years

Race results and report
Greg Sarni Photo

Alan McNish clinched the ALMS title, sore back and all, with help from teammate Rinaldo Capello in the series and race dominating Audi R8. The Toyota F1 bound Scotsman aggravated his back while removing his ceremonial kilt! His first stint of 25 laps secured the series championship. He also ran the last sector, taking the checkered flag in a race win that looked all too easy. In honor of the race down under the car was painted to resemble a crocodile. Even though the car was crashed into the wall during the pre-race warm-up, the team of dedicated technicians from Audi Sport North America had the car ready to go at race start. The only other skin painted in the same livery had to be lifted from the Audi tent where it was on public display.

The Audi R8 of McNish and Capello finished 21 laps ahead of the second-place Lola Ford of German Franz Konrad, South Australian Alan Heath and American Charlie Slater. The Team Oreca GTS-class Chrysler Viper of Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy finished third ahead of all the other prototype entries. Beretta wrapped up his second consecutive GTS driving title in the last race for the Viper. Next year Team Oreca plans to campaign Chrysler powered prototype cars.

The other Team Oreca Viper driven by Ni Amorim of Portugal and Jean-Philippe Belloc of France was fourth. American Dick Barbourís Porsche 911 GT3 R, driven by Dirk Muller and Sascha Maassen of Germany finished fifth. Muller clinched the GT driving championship for the 2000 season.
Emanuele Pirro of Italy damaged the front right of the #78 Audi; losing 80 minutes before teammate Frank Biela of Germany was able to resume. The same was true of the all "Down Under" team of locals David Brabham, Jason Bright and New Zealander Greg Murphy, who inherited second when Pirro crashed. First Murphy crashed, costing the team 31 minutes and then Bright crashed, further testing the mechanicís prowess. They eventually finished ninth, third in class.

Greg Sarni Photo

The Audi effort capped a season, which was highlighted by the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team dominated the schedule with a total technology and budget commitment reminiscent of a Formula 1 effort. While the World's largest carmaker has farmed out the Cadillac Northstar campaign to the French Dams Team with Motorola backing, Audi's was a true factory effort that nobody on the grid could compete with. Replete with digital illuminated pit boards that swing out towards the pit straight by remote control alerting drivers of laps covered in their respective runs, many teams looked like club racers in comparison.

Meanwhile, the Vipers had one lone Porsche in category to compete with because Chevrolet preferred to keep their Corvettes in the US. Development is one thing, but unless a race team is dedicated to competing on the track and completing a race series, there is no chance of the ultimate success that Audi has achieved.

Go to Saturday qualifying results and photos

Go to Friday Images from the pre-race activities


Copyright 2001-2013 Greg Sarni, USA