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The 2000 Race of a Thousand Years was an endurance race and the final round of the 2000 American Le Mans Series. It was run on the Adelaide Street Circuit in Australia on New Year's Eve, 31 December 2000. The race was run on the full 3.780 km (2.349 mi) Grand Prix circuit used by Formula One for the Australian Grand Prix between 1985-1995, rather than the shorter 3.219 km (2.012 mi) Supercars version of the circuit used since 1999. The Race of a Thousand Years was intended to be run for 1000 kilometres but was stopped short due to time constraints, two hours before midnight, after completing 850 kilometres.

BackgroundEdit

Like the 1999 Le Mans Fuji 1000 km, the Race of a Thousand Years was intended as a precursor to a planned Asia-Pacific Le Mans Series (APLMS) run by Don Panoz and the Professional Sports Car Racing body, just as the Silverstone and Nürburgring events earlier in the season were for the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). After a small number of entrants for the European series in 2001, as well as a lack of entrants for a third Asian-Pacific exhibition event at the Sepang Circuit, the APLMS plans were cancelled.

The race was the final of twelve endurance sports car racing rounds of the 2000 American Le Mans Series and took place at the Adelaide Street Circuit on 31 December 2000.[1] The event was the first in a nine-year contract, but was abandoned after only one. Over 135,000 fans attended the race meeting, with almost 70,000 of them in attendance on race day. Organisers expected around 200,000 people in attendance during the race weekend.[1]

Race SummaryEdit

By completing the first 25 laps (and in the lead after having passed team mate Frank Biela on lap 17), Allan McNish became the 2000 American Le Mans Series LMP Drivers' Champion. McNish and team mate Rinaldo Capello completed 225 laps in their Audi Sport North America R8. Australian driver Brad Jones had also qualified the R8 but did not drive in the race. Jones, the team owner and lead driver of Audi's factory backed Super Touring team in Australia, was on stand-by for Scotsman McNish who had injured his back a few days before the race while stepping out of his kilt after a photo shoot and had spent the day before the race flat on his back in bed in a successful effort to be fit to race. The Audi team suffered a setback on the morning of the race when Capello crashed the R8 (painted in crocodile livery in honour of the host country Australia) into the tyre barriers on the outside of turn six. However the team were able to repair the car to allow McNish to start.

The GTS class was won by Olivier Beretta, Karl Wendlinger and Dominique Dupuy who piloted their Team Oreca Dodge Viper GTS-R (known as a Chrysler Viper in Australia) to 3rd outright, while finishing 5th outright were the GT class winners Dirk Müller and Lucas Luhr in their Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R.

McNish (Audi), Portuguese driver Ni Amorim (Viper) and German Luhr (Porsche) set the fastest laps in their respective classes, with McNish's time of 1:25.2189 being the fastest ever non-Formula One race lap of the Adelaide circuit (compared to the outright lap record of 1:15.381 set by Damon Hill in a Williams FW15C-Renault during the 1993 Australian Grand Prix).

 
The winning Rinaldo Capello / Allan McNish crocodile liveried Audi R8 driven early in the race by McNish.

Top 10 QualifiersEdit

Pos No Team Driver Car Time Gap
Pole 77   Audi Sport North America   Rinaldo Capello Audi R8 1:23.8038
2 78   Audi Sport North America   Frank Biela Audi R8 1:23.9783 0.1745
3 12   Panoz Motor Sports   David Brabham Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S 1:24.9890 1.1852
4 2   Panoz Motor Sports   Johnny O'Connell Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S 1:25.1683 1.3645
5 1   Panoz Motor Sports   Jan Magnussen Panoz LMP07 1:26.8596 3.0558
6 31   Motorola DAMS   Éric Bernard Cadillac Northstar LMP 1:27.5513 3.7475
7 32   Motorola DAMS   Christophe Tinseau Cadillac Northstar LMP 1:27.7513 3.9475
8 0   Team Rafanelli SRL   Domenico Schiattarella Lola B2K/10 1:28.8167 5.0129
9 28   Konrad Motorsport   Franz Konrad Lola B2K/10 1:32.9607 9.1569
10 91   Viper Team Oreca   Olivier Beretta Dodge Viper GTS-R 1:34.6027 10.7989

Official resultsEdit

Class winners in bold.

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyre Laps
Engine
1 LMP 77   Audi Sport North America   Rinaldo Capello
  Allan McNish
  Brad Jones
Audi R8 M 225
Audi 3.6L Turbo V8
2 LMP 28   Konrad Motorsport   Franz Konrad
  Charles Slater
  Alan Heath
Lola B2K/10 G 204
Ford (Roush) 6.0L V8
3 GTS 91   Viper Team Oreca   Olivier Beretta
  Karl Wendlinger
  Dominique Dupuy
Dodge Viper GTS-R M 202
Chrysler 8.0L V10
4 GTS 92   Viper Team Oreca   Jean-Philippe Belloc
  Ni Amorim
Dodge Viper GTS-R M 202
Dodge Chrysler 8.0L V10
5 GT 5   Dick Barbour Racing   Dirk Müller
  Lucas Luhr
Porsche 911 GT3-R M 199
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
6 GT 15   Dick Barbour Racing   Randy Wars
  John Graham
  Christian Menzel
Porsche 911 GT3-R M 191
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
7 GT 6   Prototype Technology Group (PTG)   Terry Borcheller
  Anthony Lazzaro
BMW M3 Y 190
BMW 3.2L I6
8 GTS 61   Chamberlain Motorsport   Milka Duno
  Stephen Watson
  Ray Lintott
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 190
Chrysler 8.0L V10
9 LMP 12   Panoz Motor Sports   David Brabham
  Greg Murphy
  Jason Bright
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S M 190
Élan 6L8 6.0L V8
10 GT 10   Prototype Technology Group (PTG)   Brian Cunningham
  Bill Auberlen
  Niclas Jönsson
BMW M3 Y 190
BMW 3.2L I6
11 GT 66   The Racer's Group   Robert Orcutt
  Darren Palmer
  Christian D'Agostin
Porsche 911 GT3-R P 188
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
12 GT 8   Haberthur Racing   Patrick Vuillaume
  Manfred Jurasz
  Francesc Gutiérrez
Porsche 911 GT3-R D 187
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
13
DNF
LMP 0   Team Rafanelli SRL   Domenico Schiattarella
  Didier de Radigues
  Norman Simon
Lola B2K/10 M 183
Judd GV4 (Rafanelli) 4.0L V10
14 GT 30   White Lightning Racing   Mike Fitzgerald
  Randy Pobst
Porsche 911 GT3-R M 178
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
15 LMP 78   Audi Sport North America   Frank Biela
  Emanuele Pirro
Audi R8 M 170
Audi 3.6L Turbo V8
16 GT 70   Skea Racing International   Johnny Mowlem
  Richard Dean
Porsche 911 GT3-R P 164
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
17 GT 51   Dick Barbour Racing   Sascha Maassen
  Bob Wollek
Porsche 911 GT3-R M 162
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
18
DNF
GT 69   Kyser Racing   Kye Wankum
  Joe Foster
  Jeff Pabst
Porsche 911 GT3-R P 159
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
19
DNF
LMP 31   Motorola DAMS   Éric Bernard
  Emmanuel Collard
Cadillac Northstar LMP M 72
Cadillac Northstar 4.0L Turbo V8
20
DNF
LMP 32   Motorola DAMS   Christophe Tinseau
  Marc Goossens
Cadillac Northstar LMP M 54
Cadillac Northstar 4.0L Turbo V8
21
DNF
GT 71   Skea Racing International   Doc Bundy
  Rohan Skea
  Des Wall
Porsche 911 GT3-R P 53
Porsche 3.6L Flat-6
22
DNF
GT 7   Prototype Technology Group (PTG)   Hans-Joachim Stuck
  Boris Said
  Johannes van Overbeek
BMW M3 Y 30
BMW 3.2L I6
23
DNF
GTS 37   Intersport Racing   Vic Rice
  Kevin Buckler
Porsche 911 GT2 ? 19
Porsche 3.8L Turbo Flat-6
24
DNF
LMP 1   Panoz Motor Sports   Jan Magnussen
  Klaus Graf
Panoz LMP07 M 2
Élan (Zytek) 4.0L V8
DSQ LMP 2   Panoz Motor Sports   Hiroki Katoh
  Johnny O'Connell
  Klaus Graf
Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S M 187
Élan 6L8 6.0L V8

† – #2 Panoz was disqualified for allowing an unassigned driver, Klaus Graf, to drive the car during the race.

StatisticsEdit

  • Pole Position – Rinaldo Capello – #77 Audi Sport North America – 1:23.804
  • Fastest Lap – Allan McNish – #77 Audi Sport North America – 1:25.219
  • Average Speed – 148.048 km/h

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Frank, Michael (14 December 2000). "Adelaide: Race Of A Thousand Years". Forbes. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  • Auto Action, 12–18 January 2001
  • Official Program, Adelaide Race of a Thousand Years, 29–31 December 2000

External linksEdit