Lehto and Werner take title

ADT Champion Racing Audi R8 drivers JJ Lehto and Marco Werner clinched the 2004 American Le Mans Series drivers' championship after taking victory in the Road America 500 in Elkhart Lake on Sunday

Lehto and Werner take title

Werner adds to his ALMS title that he won last year when he co-drove with Frank Biela and becomes the first driver in ALMS history to win two championships in the series' top Prototype class. Lehto, who has raced in the series since its inception in 1999, took his first title.

"[Winning] two times is great," said Werner. "This team has done a fantastic job this season and JJ has been a wonderful team-mate."

Lehto added: "It feels good to win the championship. I've come close a few times but it's the first championship I've won since '88 in British Formula 3. I've been working hard with Champion Racing and Marco [Werner]. It's been a pleasure working with Marco."

Lehto and Werner won the event by over a lap from the Intersport Racing Lola B01/60-Judd of Jon Field and Duncan Dayton. Lehto charged back to the front after spinning on the opening lap due to contact with Field's car and falling to the rear of the field.

"It was like I was looking at it in slow motion when all those cars were going by," said Lehto, who had to restart the car when the engine stalled on the spin. "After I stopped swearing, I decided I just had to remain calm and go for it. The car felt really good today and was fast."

The polesitting Dyson Racing Lola B01/60-AER of Butch Leitzinger and James Weaver led the first 29 laps of the race but retired due to a broken exhaust header. The Dyson team car of Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace retired for the same reason after running second in the early going.

Ian James and James Gue won the LMP2 class in the Miracle Motorsports Courage C65-AER, helping clinch the LMP2 class team title and putting a stamp of approval on team owner John Macaluso's decision to buy the French-built car last weekend.

Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin won the GTS class in the Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, finishing 13.837 seconds ahead of the other factory Corvette driven by Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell and clinching Chevrolet's fourth straight ALMS GTS Manufacturer's title. The ACEMCO Saleen S7R of Terry Borcheller and Johnny Mowlem finished third in class in the race.

Timo Bernhard moved into a narrow lead in the GT class driver standings as he and Jorg Bergmeister won the class in the Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The win was Bernhard's class-leading fourth of the season and second in a row.

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