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DATE News (chronologically)
10/06/07
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Luhr replaces Pirro
Lucas Luhr (pictured right with Mike Rockenfeller) has been added to the lineup of the No. 2 Audi R10 TDI for Petit Le Mans, replacing Emanuele Pirro. Luhr will team with overall fast qualifier Marco Werner, who will start the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta from the back of the grid.

Pirro was feeling the effects of a concussion he suffered in Thursday’s first practice session when he went off at the end of Turn 1 and hard into the outside wall. After meeting with IMSA and medical personnel, Audi concurred with the decision by IMSA Medical to withdraw Pirro from the race.

Werner recorded all the laps during the warm-up and qualified on the overall pole position with a track record of 1:08.906. It puts Penske Racing’s Timo Bernhard on the overall pole after Romain Dumas qualified second overall and first in LMP2 on Friday. This will mark the first time a P2 car has started from the overall pole at Petit Le Mans.

Luhr, an Audi factory driver, originally had been allowed to drive the Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Ferrari in GT2. However, Petersen/White Lightning management allowed Luhr to move to the diesel-powered Audi. Luhr’s only race in the R10 TDI came at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June although has tested the car since that time.

“Dr. Ulrich came to us during the warm-up and asked that, if it did not interfere with our race, if we would be willing to allow Lucas to replace Pirro today,” said Petersen/White Lightning entrant and team manager Dale White. “It was entirely left to us and there was no pressure from Audi whatsoever. Mike (Petersen) and I discussed it briefly on the spot and agreed, even as Lucas was sitting in the No. 31 Ferrari doing his warm-up laps. We are certainly disappointed that Lucas won’t be racing with us but there was no question on the decision. This is a business but you still have to do the right thing and this was clearly the right thing. We have won this race the last two years with a two-driver lineup and Dirk (Muller) and Peter (Dumbreck) are more than up to the task. Certainly it required us to do some strategy changes and we will miss Lucas’ experience at this track but nothing that we can’t overcome. We wish Audi the best and plan to see them on the podium at the end of the day.”

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