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ALMS: Adelaide Race Review
With The Dust Finally Settled, The Best Factory Teams and Drivers
have Swept the Race, and the Championships. Is Anyone Surprized?
Formation Flying for the ORECA Vipers!
Photo courtesy of: Viper Motorsport
Beretta/Wendlinger
Bring It On Home
The Croc OUTLIVED The Hunters!
Photo courtesy of: Team Unicorn
McNish/Capello Dominate
Prototype Race
Dick Barbour's Team Stayed On Top!
Photo courtesy of: Team Unicorn
Luhr/Muller Beat
Out Team Mates
It was business as usual for the ORECA Vipers, and they did what they do best: Beat the TAR out of the GTS class and half of the Prototype field.
Chamberlin Motorsports Viper driver Milka Duno attracted plenty of affection from fans, but the Venezuelan and her comrades would have their hands full during the race. The Chamberlin Viper was expected to duel heavily with the Intersport Porsche 911 Turbo of Rice/Buckler, but the Porsche would fall out with mechanical woes after a mere 19 laps. Chamberlin went on to finish 3rd in class, but was ominously outpaced by the top three finishers in the slower GT class. With the coming C5R Corvettes and Saleen S7Rs, Chamberlin may find themselves in quite a struggle next year.
The ORECA victory ensured the driver's championship for Beretta (as if there were any doubt), and reaffirmed the strength of the team. This is the last race for the venerable red and white machines, as ORECA is planning on moving up to the Prototype ranks in 2001.
Even so, Daimler/Chysler is presently in some serious financial troubles - and ORECA enters the 2001 Chrysler Prototype program with some degree of uncertainty. If the whole deal blows up, we may see ORECA back in the Vipers. Time will tell.
Talk about business as usual: Team Joest's Audi R8s led the entire race. After the #78 Audi smacked the wall hard halfway through, the Aussie squad Panoz of Brabham/Murphy/ Bright worked up to second place - only to be sidelined later for repairs.
Casualties included the new 2001 Panoz, which suffered a suicidal alternator failure just a few minutes into the race. The future of Panoz is here, but such is to be expected from an unproven car. To no one's surprise the Cadillacs didn't do much beyond finishing some laps - both gave up before the halfway mark. Rafanelli's To Do List included "Finish On The PODIUM!"  However, after an exhilarating push up to second place the car retired with only an hour to go. Heartbreaking, to say the least.
Konrad's Lola finished with a season best second place, 14 laps ahead of the struggling Panoz of Brabham/Murphy/Bright.
Even with his kilt-induced back injuries, Allen McNish jumped back into the car for the final stint and secured the victory.
All in all, the Prototype season ended at Adelaide as it began at Sebring - A virtuoso performance from Team Joest and their Audi R8Rs.
The real battle of this race looked to be in the GT ranks, as the underdog PTG BMWs managed to outqualify all but the top two works Dick Barbour Porsches. PTG fought hard - even leading at one point, but were eventually hampered by broken half-shafts and drivetrain problems. Not surprising considering how hard they were throwing the BMW M3s against the curbs.
Considering their strong performance and All Star driver line up, it makes us wonder how much better the PTG M3s will be in 2001 if they get the V8s...   Porsche's revised 911 GT3RS may have its hands full in 2001!
The Dick Barbour Porsche of Maassen/Wolleck was temporarily sidelined after a tire-eating brush with a passing Prototype. In the pit lane  Wolleck heckled about poor driving on the part of the LM/P pilots. But, clearly he was partly to blame for this particular incident. No foul was issued by the race officials.
Barbour's #15 Porsche would finish second in class, followed by the recovering PTG BMW M3s of Borcheller/ Lazzaro, and Auberlen/ Jonsson/ Cunningham. With the Maassen/ Wolleck Porsche combo down in the ranks, the Dick Barbour Porsche of Luhr/Muller went on to claim the GT class victory, and Muller the Drivers' Title.
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