Audi was able to complete its successful 2008 sportscar season with another 1-2 victory. In the finale of the American Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca, the drivers Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner celebrated a narrow victory in front of teammates Christijan Albers and Emanuele Pirro.
The Audi R10 TDI thus remains undefeated at Laguna Seca for the past three years. In 2006 and 2007, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish had won there.
This year's race was one of the most unusual of the season. The Safety Car was deployed no less than 12 times - the most occasions all season. During 46 of the 145 laps no overtaking was allowed.
Team Audi Sport North America dealt with the difficult circumstances. Starting from row five of the grid, the Audi drivers were able to take advantage of the enormous torque of their TDI engine, mainly at the restarts, to improve positions.
Lucas Luhr needed only 37 laps to fight his way from 10th on the grid to first place. Because he had to pit for fuel under green, Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner lost a lap and dropped temporarily to 12th position.
This seemed to play the race into the hands of sportscar rookie Christijan Albers and Emanuele Pirro as the latter took the lead on lap 89 with a spectacular move and defended it until the final caution period.
At the decisive restart, however, he was passed by his teammate Marco Werner who had fought his way back to the front, taking the lead just 20 minutes from the end of the race. Werner crossed the finish line the eventual winner 1.941sec ahead of Emanuele Pirro in his last race in the Audi R10 TDI.
It was the seventh outright victory for Audi in the eleven-round American Le Mans Series. Acura/Honda and Porsche each scored two victories. Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner celebrated their eighth win of the season in the LM P1 class. The two Germans had already secured the title in the LM P1 Drivers Championship.
Emanuele Pirro finished third in the Championship. Christijan Albers finished his first sportscar race on the podium.
ALMS Laguna Seca Results
1 Luhr/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) 145 laps in 4hr 01min 05.315sec (1st LMP1)
2 Albers/Pirro (Audi R10 TDI) +1.941sec (2nd LMP1)
3 Montagny/Kanaan (Acura/Honda) +3.536sec
4 de Ferran/Pagenaud (Acura/Honda) +3.590sec
5 Dumas/Bernhard (Porsche) +9.481sec
6 Castroneves/Briscoe (Porsche) +26.178sec
7 Smith/Dyson (Porsche) +45.278sec
8 Franchitti/Leitzinger (Porsche) +1min 18.045sec
9 Fernandez/Diaz (Acura/Honda) -1 lap
10 Maassen/Long (Porsche) -1 lap