Capello and McNish win in Mosport

Rinaldo Capello held on to win Sunday's sixth round of the American Le Mans Series at Mosport by one of the closest ever margins in sportscar racing history.

Capello and McNish win in Mosport

The Audi R8 the Italian shares with Allan McNish crossed the line little more than one tenth of a second ahead of Jorg Muller's BMW at the end of a thrilling race interrupted by rain and no fewer than five safety-car periods.

The BMW Schnitzer team made a late-race decision to swap Muller to dry tyres and he was able to eat into Capello's lead hand over fist in the closing stages. The German, who partnered JJ Lehto in the number one V12 LMR, was just over four seconds behind going into the final lap, but the Audi was able to hold on by the narrowest of margins.

"I said to the team to stay on rain tyres, which meant the last few laps were a nightmare," said Capello. "I took a lot of risks in the last couple of corners, but it turned out to be the most exciting race of my life."

McNish paid tribute to his team-mate after the race. "Dindo was superb. He was on very old wets on a dry track, but he proved his nerve."

Muller said: "Capello did a fantastic job in those last three corners. He blocked me fair and square."

The race looked as though it would go to the second Joest-run Audi in the dying minutes. Emanuele Pirro, who took over from Frank Biela, had also swapped to dry Michelins and was closing in fast on his team-mate when he tangled with a slow GT class Porsche with just 11 minutes to go. He refused to lay blame on the backmarker. "I can't blame him and I can't blame myself," said the Italian. "It was just one of those things. I'm happy with our overall performance, though. We had a good weekend."

The second BMW of Jean-Marc Gounon and Bill Auberlen notched up its first podium of the year after dropping back in the early stages with a couple of unscheduled tyre stops. Stefan Johansson's Reynard missed out on its best result of the season when team-mate Guy Smith crashed out with only two minutes of the race remaining with suspected front suspension failure. The team owner had run second when the track was at its wettest, though he had to be content with seventh in the final classification.

The high attrition rate among the prototypes allowed Karl Wendlinger and Olivier Beretta to finish fourth in their ORECA Dodge Viper. The battle for honours in GTS was no less thrilling than at the front of the field. Wendlinger passed Andy Pilgrim's Chevrolet Corvette in the closing stages and was able to hold off the advances of the expatriate Englishman over the final laps. Just three tenths of a second separated the two cars at the chequered flag.

The GT class was dominated by the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R of Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert, which led for almost the full duration of the two hour 45 minute race.


77 P McNish/Capello Audi Sport North America-Audi R8 94 Running
42 P Lehto/Muller BMW Motorsport-BMW V12 LMR 94 Running
43 P Auberlen/Gounon BMW Motorsport-BMW V12 LMR 93 Running

3 GTS Fellows/Pilgrim Corvette Racing-Corvette C5-R 91 Running
92 GTS Archer/Donohue Viper Team ORECA-Dodge Viper GTS-R 91 Running
36 P Johansson/Smith Johansson Matthews Racing-Reynard 2KQ 90 Running
2 P O'Connell/Katoh Panoz Motor Sports-Panoz LMP-1 89 Running

7 GT Stuck/Said Prototype Technology Group-BMW M3 88 Running
51 GT Wollek/Maassen Dick Barbour Racing-Porsche 911 GT3 R 87 Running
21 GT Wagner/Lewis MCR/Aspen Knolls-Porsche 911 GT3 R 87 Running
10 GT BCunningham/Pcunningham Prototype Technology Group-BMW M3 87 Running
08 GTS Brown/Rice Roock Motorsports North America-Porsche 911 87 Running
22 GT Fitzgerald/Nagel Alex Job Racing-Porsche 911 GT3 R 86 Running
70 GT Mowlem/Murry Skea Racing International-Porsche 911 GT3 R 86 Running
78 P Biela/Pirro Audi Sport North America-Audi R8 85 Accident
71 GT Bundy/Willingham/Skea Skea Racing International-Porsche 911 GT3 R 83 Running
67 GT Tumminelli/Ariana/Orcutt The Racers Group-Porsche 911 GT3 R 78 Running
66 GT Buckler/Collin The Racers Group-Porsche 911 GT3 R 77 Accident
69 GT Bartling/Doff/Wankum Kyser Racing-Porsche 911 GT3 R 67 Running


52 GT Buttiero/Burgess Seikel Motorsports-Porsche 911 GT3 R 45 Running
1 P Magnussen/Brabham Panoz Motor Sports-Panoz LMP 40 Accident
39 P Matthews/Simo Johansson Matthews Racing-Reynard 2KQ 18 Accident
5 GT Muller/Luhr Dick Barbour Racing-Porsche 911 GT3 R 12 Accident
6 GT van Overbeek/Simo Prototype Technology Group-BMW M3 11 Accident
0 P de Radigues/Schiattarella Team Rafanelli SRL-Lola B2K/10
8 P Bourbonnais/Schubot Phil Creighton Motorsports-Lola B2K/10
73 GTS Lacey/Wilkins Multimatic Motorsports-Porsche 911 Turbo

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