Successful weekend for customer sport teams
• DTM debut for di Grassi and Müller
• WEC: Remembrance of Allan Simonsen
• Team Novadriver successfully defends GT title in Portugal
Ingolstadt – First championship win of the season for an Audi customer team: Team Novadriver has successfully defended the title after clinching the fourth victory of the season in the Portuguese GT Championship. A class victory in the 12-hour race at Sepang plus third places for Thomas Schöffler in the GT Sprint Series and for Prosperia C. Abt Racing in the ADAC GT Masters round off the successful weekend.
Wet DTM debut for di Grassi and Müller
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz prepared themselves for the final spurt in the DTM beginning at Oschersleben on September 15 with a three-day test at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. Rain showers on all three days hindered the test programs of all three manufacturers to such an extent that the results and lap times should be treated with caution. Testing for Audi were championship leader Mike Rockenfeller, the double DTM champion Mattias Ekström and for the first time sportscar driver Lucas di Grassi and youngster Nico Müller. The two DTM newcomers quickly settled in the team and gave the Audi Sport technicians interesting opinions and feedback about the Audi RS 5 DTM. All four drivers were in action on all three days and completed a total of about 2,700 test kilometers.
Audi team members at charity dinner
Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, and Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director of Audi Sport Team Joest, attended a charity evening in São Paulo on Wednesday. Emerson Fittipaldi, promoter of the fourth WEC round in Brazil, had invited to the gala dinner together with local VIPs. The proceeds from the sale of accessories will go to the Instituto Arte de Viver Bem, an institution dedicated to assisting cancer patients.
Visit by Audi customer sport driver Fábio Ebrahim
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich welcomed Fábio Ebrahim to the garage of Audi Sport Team Joest during the WEC round at São Paulo. The race driver from Brazil, together with his brother Wagner Ebrahim, is contesting the South American GT Championship in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. The brothers are currently in second place of the standings. The Ebrahim Motors race team is supported by Audi Brazil and advertises Audi Top Service – as do the mechanics of Audi Sport Team Joest who are wearing the Audi Top Service logo on their overalls.
A word from Lucas di Grassi
You traveled directly from the Red Bull Ring in Austria to the WEC round at São Paulo. How did your first DTM test go?
It was a great experience for which I’m very thankful to Audi. I was at the Red Bull Ring for the first time. The RS 5 DTM is a fascinating car. I felt like I was at home after just a short time. It didn’t take long to ease my way toward the limit. The DTM is a series at the highest level and obviously the RS 5 DTM requires a special driving technique. It’s a shame that the constant weather changes thwarted our plans. The comparison of the times is hardly conclusive. Still, the test was an extremely positive experience.
In your career you grew up with formula cars and have been driving sports cars for a year. By comparison, how does a DTM race car feel?
I think that there’s no other touring car category anywhere in the world that resembles an LMP sports car as much as the DTM race car does. The RS 5 DTM produces a lot of downforce and is relatively light as well. Its braking power is absolutely astonishing. Thanks to the carbon brakes and the downforce you can brake very late and the car remains stable. It was nice to see that Mattias Ekström and I basically share the same views regarding the car. Our driving techniques and the feedback to the engineers were very similar.
Does your future lie in the DTM?
No, because one of the reasons for me to take the wheel was that rookies are allowed to test as well – and in the DTM car I’m a rookie of course. I’ve got a mid-term contract with Audi and I fully identify with the LMP program for which I’m scheduled again next year. I hope that with my combination of Formula 1 and LMP experience and my feedback I was able to assist my DTM colleagues a tiny bit – even though everybody knows that excellent drivers and outstanding personnel, who know exactly what they’re doing without me, are under contract in Audi’s DTM program.
Success in 12-hour race
Class victory for the Audi customer team Tiger Absolute Racing in the 12-hour Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race at Sepang (Malaysia). Jacky Yeung, Alex Yoong and Ashraff Dewal in their Audi R8 LMS Cup won the classification in the GTC category ahead of their brand colleagues Ren Wei/Sun Bo/Yang Xi/He Yi/Wu Zhou in an Audi R8 LMS Cup car of Team BRT. For Alex Yoong, following the double victory in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, this marked the third success on a weekend on his home race track.
Podium success in ADAC GT Masters
Christer Jöns and Markus Winkelhock from the customer team Prosperia C. Abt Racing finished the second race of the ADAC GT Masters at the Lausitzring in third place. The Audi drivers had started the race from position six. The duo had been the best Audi team in fifth place the day before as well.
Title win in Portugal
César Campaniço, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen in an Audi R8 LMS from Team Novadriver won round four of the Portuguese GT Championship at the ‘Autódromo Internacional do Algarve’ in Portimão. On clinching this success, the team has been confirmed as the new champion. Companico/Vieira thus defended the title they had won last year, which marks the first success for Eskelinen. César Campaniço, who is a driver and team boss at the same time, is even celebrating his third title in four years.
Third place twice at Donington
Successful weekend for Thomas Schöffler. The German driver from the Audi MTM customer team together with Audi factory driver Oliver Jarvis clinched two third places in his Audi R8 at the sixth round of the GT Sprint International Series at Donington in the UK. In the overall standings, Schöffler, who now has 153 points to his tally, took the lead again, thus maintaining his good chances for the title before the last two rounds of the season at Imola (September 29) and Vallelunga (October 13).