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The final chapter held a fairytale ending for the "old girl's" last ever race: Dindo Capello and Allan McNish steered their Audi R8 home to an amazing and emotional victory at Lime Rock Park - the final race for the most successful Le Mans Prototype of all time.
Team Audi Sport North America's R8 started the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series from the second row of the grid aiming to repeat their Houston victory which began the three-race "final tour" for the Audi R8 in May. Capello handed over to McNish after 45mins in second place during the race’s second full course caution, the Audi sweeping in to the lead after 64mins in the 2hr 45mins race staged in humid heat.
An 18secs lead was wiped away with another full course caution with an hour to go when McNish was forced to delay his final fuel stop by a lap when officials stopped him entering the pit lane allowing the second placed Porsche, which headed down pit road moments later, to leapfrog the Audi. But a determined charge saw the R8 back in front with 30mins to run, McNish ultimately taking the chequered flag by 11.812secs to extend their lead in the LM P1 Drivers', Manufacturers' and Teams' Championship points advantage.
The Audi R8 thus bowed out of motorsport in stunning style. Sixty-three outright wins from 80 races including five victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 50 ALMS race triumphs since its debut in 2000. The R8 makes way for the new Audi R10 TDI - the first diesel powered sportscar to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans - returning to American Le Mans Series action since recording a historic debut victory in the ALMS season-opening Sebring 12 Hours fourth months ago.
LM P1 championship leaders Allan McNish and Dindo Capello are joined for the final six American Le Mans Series races from the next race in Salt Lake City (July 15) by reigning ALMS LM P1 champions Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro in a brace of Audi Sport North America R10 TDI sports-prototypes. The race winning Audi R8 at Lime Rock spotted a sticker saying "My other car is a diesel".