Pirro and Biela Clinch Title

Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela won the LMP1 American Le Mans drivers' championship on Saturday after winning the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

Pirro and Biela Clinch Title

The Champion Racing Audi duo took a convincing victory in the event beating the Chris Dyson and Guy Smith's Dyson Racing Lola by 12 laps.

Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin and Jan Magnussen finished third overall and won the GT1 class in their Corvette Racing C6-R for the second straight year, beating the onslaught of Aston Martin. The DBR9 of David Brabham, Darren Turner and Jonny Kane finished fourth.

Drama occurred at the first corner on the opening lap when pole-sitter Hayanri Shimoda's Zytek, James Weaver's Dyson and Lehto's Audi collided.  The Japanese driver retired on the spot, Englishman Weaver led the opening lap but pitted with accident damage while Sebring and Le Mans race victors Lehto and Marco Werner recovered from 29th position and a 40-minute pit-stop for repairs to take seventh overall, third in class.

"All we had to do was keep it on the track," said Pirro. "I want to thank our mechanics for a great job. Winning this championship is an absolute dream."

"For us, it's not so easy with such a big lead," Biela said. "Sometimes it's a little bit easier when there's a lot of competition. You're not concentrating on not making mistakes, but having to overtake and keep them behind you. Our guys did a brilliant job. Finally we won it. When we came to Audi this season, all we wanted to do was win. We didn't think we could win here then, but we did it."

Result of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta:

Pos    Drivers                             Make                  Class Laps
 1.    Pirro/Biela                         Audi R8               P1    394
 2.    Dyson/Smith                         Lola EX257/AER        P1    382
 3.    Gavin/Beretta/Magnussen             Corvette C6-R         GT1   379
 4.    Brabham/Turner/Kane                 Aston Martin DB9      GT1   378
 5.    Field/Halliday/Field                Lola B05/40/AER       P2    375
 6.    Borcheller/Mowlem/Kelleners         Saleen S7R            GT1   373
 7.    Lehto/Werner                        Audi R8               P1    372
 8.    Bertolini/de Simone/Babini          Maserati MC12         GT1   371
 9.    Stanton/Long/Bergmeister            Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   364
10.    Baas/Collard/Tiemann                Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   363
11.    Kox/Lamy/Enge                       Aston Martin DB9      GT1   359
12.    Fellows/O'Connell/Papis             Corvette C6-R         GT1   357
13.    van Overbeek/Fogarty/Law            Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   356
14.    Bach/Cosmo/Robinson                 Courage C-65/Mazda    P2    354
15.    Lewis/Willman                       R&S MRK III C         P1    350
16.    Johnson/Woodman/Forgeois            Lola B2K/40 AER       P2    350
17.    Bernhard/Dumas                      Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   349
18.    Henzler/Rockenfeller/Jensen         Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   343
19.    Jackson/Sugden/Jonsson              Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   324
20.    Weickardt/Rugolo/Belloc             Dodge Viper           GT1   304
21.    Franchitti/Sellers/Jeannette        Panoz Esperante GTLM  GT2   258
22.    Cawley/Burgess/Keen                 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2   253
23.    Bennett/Barazi/Julian               Courage C-65 AER      P2    225
24.    Gue/McMurry/Bucknum                 Courage C-65/AER      P2    197
25.    Binnie/Hancock/Timpany              Lola B05/42           P2    195
26.    Weaver/Leitzinger/Wallace           Lola EX257/AER        P1    164
27.    Auberlen/Liddell/Maxwell            Panoz Esperante GTLM  GT2    90
28.    Pechnik/Neiman/Murry                Porsche 911 GT3 RSR   GT2    89
29.    Van der Steur/Devlin/van der Steur  Lola B2K/40 AER       P2      7
30.    Shimoda/Chilton                     Zytek 04S             P1      0
shares
comments
Organisers Expecting High Speeds
Previous article

Organisers Expecting High Speeds

Next article

Chinese Motorsport Gets Boost

Chinese Motorsport Gets Boost
Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past Plus

Porsche’s hopeful Le Mans future meets its illustrious past

Rising sportscar star Adam Smalley had to pinch himself when offered the chance to drive the car that won the world’s most famous enduro in 1987

Historics
Sep 6, 2022
Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return Plus

Why romanticism isn't the key factor in Lola’s racing return

The iconic Lola name is being relaunched after it was taken over by new ownership. Part of that reboot is a planned return to racing, though the exact details of this are still to be finalised - though its new owner does have a desire to bring the brand back to the Le Mans 24 Hours. But romanticism doesn't appear to be the driving force behind this renewed project...

General
Jul 14, 2022
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021