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The start of the 2000 Petit Le Mans. It was an all Audi front row, with Panoz and BMW sharing the second and third rows.
It was not long before Allan McNish began leaving the field. In the first Petit Le Mans, McNish had done the same when he was driving the Porsche GT1-98.

That year, McNish was two laps ahead early in the race when his co-driver Yannick Dalmas experienced the blowover on the back straight. This year, McNish would not be comfortable with the lead until the victory flag fell.

 

The awesome Audi R8 duo looks very stable at high speeds.

McNish in his Audi R8 puts a lap on Wayne Taylor in the Cadillac Northstar LMP.
JJ Lehto was confident that BMW could win the race.
Early in the race, Bill Auberlen experienced the Petit Le Mans' second dramatic blowover in three years. He left the ground in the #43 BMW V12 LMR, did a complete nose to tail flip and then hit hard on the right rear. Auberlen experienced a bruised elbow.
My 'Courage Award' for the 2000 Petit Le Mans goes to JJ Lehto. After Auberlen's blowover, Lehto kept pushing hard in his #42 BMW V12 LMR and had the car as high as second place late in the race.

Of course it reads, "YOU ARE SO COMPLEX THAT YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO DANGER" on the side of his BMW Art car.

The Panoz LMP-1 team of Brabham and Magnussen drove a strong race and were the 'fastest of the rest' after the super-quick Audi R8.
The #2 Panoz LMP-1 of Graf/ O'Connell/ Katoh.
The Corvettes looked great on the grid and ran a strong race to win in GTS. The #4 of Pilgrim/ Collins/ Freon came home first to ensure Corvette Racing a spot in next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Last year's winner in GTS, the #91 Dodge Viper GTS-R of Beretta/ Wendlinger/ Duez had its problems this year and finished 4th in class. The #92 finished second in class.
Bumping and grinding became a part of the hotly contested race. Here the Audi and Panoz race only inches apart as they approach turn 6.
The Panoz #1 passes the Cadillac #9 while being pursued by the #77 Audi.
Butch Leitzinger in the Cadillac Northstar LMP.
McNish drove a large portion of the stints in the #77 Audi R8. Here, he goes back into the car just before dusk.
The BMW crewman on the left seems to be saying, "Uh, something looks different back here! Isn't there supposed to a wing on the car?" as Jorg Müller brings the #42 BMW V12 LMR into the pit after spinning out of second place and destroying the rear wing.

It was deja vu!

Last year, Lehto turned the #42 over to Müller when the car was in first place and Müller spun out of the lead in the darkness. This year, Lehto turned the car over to Müller when the car was in second place before he spun in the dark.

The BMW crew went to work and replaced the rear wing support and wing as Müller gets out of the car. Unlike last year, Lehto stuck around this time and BMW put him back into the car. The car finished in fifth position.
And the winners are... McNish, Capello and Alboretto in the Audi R8. And experience Georgia they did!

Other winners include the state of Georgia, Road Atlanta, the American Le Mans Series, Don Panoz and international sports car racing.

The crowds were large, the weather perfect and the sights, sounds and smells outstanding. Once again, there was a quality field of cars, drivers and teams in the race. Sports car racing gained many new fans as well as bringing some back to the track.

Results


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