Herbert wins Laguna finale

Johnny Herbert and Pierre Kaffer won the final round of the 2004 American Le Mans Series as the Champion Racing Audi team dominated the four-hour day/night race at Laguna Seca. The pair, drafted in to the team for the last two races of the series, survived a late-race rainstorm and a fightback through the field to take victory

Herbert wins Laguna finale

Champion Audi's regular crew and newly-crowned champions JJ Lehto and Marco Werner finished second after getting caught out when they pitted under green just as a final full-course yellow waved for cars spinning off in the increasing rain.

Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver finished third in the Dyson Racing Lola B01/60-AER, but the challenge from the visiting Creation team which took pole with its DBA Zytek proved short-lived. Nicolas Minassian led early-on but eventually succumbed to the pace of the Audis before retiring just after the first hour.

"Winning is a great feeling," said Herbert. "I remember a couple of years ago here we lost by seconds. I'm glad we got one in a stealthy way. We had a very difficult start. My uniform zipper wouldn't go up on the grid so I had to start the race with it open. Then Chris Dyson got into me and I was in the sand. We had to battle back to the front."

Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell also took the lead of the GTS class in their Chevrolet Corvette from the sister GM machine, driven by Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta, during the final stops. Then in driving rain, Fellows held off Gavin to take the win.

The victory completed an undefeated season for the factory Corvette team in the GTS class. GM now plans to mothball its ultra-successful Chevrolet Corvette C5-Rs and replace it with the new C6.

Terry Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem finished third in the GTS class in the
ACEMCO Motorsports Saleen S7R.

Clint Field, Robin Liddell and Rick Sutherland won the LMP2 class in their Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40-Judd. They set a series record for the most LMP2 class wins in a single season, surpassing Didier de Radigues' five-win season in 2001, but it wasn't enough to stop Ian James taking the title in the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER.

Timo Bernhard needed only to finish sixth to claim the GT class driving title, but he and Jorg Bergmeister dominated the Laguna Seca event until losing the lead to Alex Job Racing team-mates Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb on a late-race pit stop exchange. Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law, the only drivers who had a mathematical chance of overtaking Bernhard for the title, finished third in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche.

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