|July 5, 2011
Source: Audi of America
· Axel Löffler honored as Rising Star of the European Auto Industry
· Two more victories for the Audi R8 LMS
· 1 000 Top Service mechanics at the DTM
Ingolstadt, Germany – While Audi presented numerous attractions at the Norisring an engineer from Audi Sport had the pleasure of receiving an award by publication of Europe-wide renown.
International honor for an Audi employee: At the Automotive News Europe Congress 2011 Axel Löffler received an award. As Head of Chassis and Aerodynamics, the Audi Sport employee and his team defined the overall vehicle package of the Audi R18 TDI that won Le Mans. The Automotive News Europe magazine honored Löffler at a gala dinner in Cologne. He is one of several “Rising Stars of the European Auto Industry. The award was presented for the first time this year.
Two more victories plus a Cup title: The Audi R8 LMS was successful on the Iberian Peninsula. On the third race weekend of the FIA GT3 Championship the Belgian duo Enzo Ide/Greg Franchi in the car of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT celebrated victory in Sundays race at Navarra. In Portugal César Campaniço/João Figueiredo won a Cup, the Taça de Portugal de Circuitos GT, which consists of two rounds. At Boavista the two Portuguese celebrated a victory and a second place in the Audi R8 LMS, thus winning the title with a one-point lead. This has brought the number of all exploits achieved by the Audi R8 LMS customer race sports car up to 92 victories and eight titles to date.
Two times 1 000: The employees of the company and the Audi service partners are wholeheartedly committed to the brands motorsport program. No less than 1 000 employees from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm watched the DTM race on location at the Norisring. In a section of the stands reserved to them they made a particularly conspicuous appearance. In addition, about 1 000 Top Service mechanics kept their fingers crossed for the drivers of their brand. Before the race Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Team Director Hans-Jürgen Abt and Timo Scheider visited the Audi Top Service marquee in the middle of the Zeppelinfeld complex. Dr. Ullrich, Martin Tomczyk, Rahel Frey and Edoardo Mortara subsequently welcomed the Audi employees in a marquee that was set up for them.
Test in the Ardennes: On Wednesday Audi will be represented at the official test day for the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours with two teams. Audi Sport Team Phoenix is fielding an R8 LMS for Christopher Haase, Mike Rockenfeller and the Italian Andrea Piccini. Audi Sport Team WRT is relying on the Portuguese Filipe Albuquerque and the two Belgians Greg Franchi and Bert Longin.
Podium at the golf tournament: At the traditional DTM golf tournament in Hilzhofen Hans-Jürgen Abt occupied a podium place. The DTM team director took third place on Thursday in front of Harry Unflath, ABT Sportslines head of marketing. Another place in the top ten was achieved by ITR board member Dr. Thomas Betzler.
Soccer fascination at the Norisring: Around the Norisring Audi promoted the Audi Cup to be held on July 26 and 27. The Audi A1 cars painted in the colors of SC Internacional de Porto Alegre from Brazil, AC Milan and FC Barcelona attracted the crowds attention to the premium-class tournament at the Audi Fantreff in the middle of the Zeppelinfeld complex. One of three Audi Design soccer tables was set up there as well. Another one pleased the guests at the VIP Lounge. At the third soccer table that was located at the Team and Media Hospitality the former World Soccer Champion Andreas Brehme competed against Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and factory driver Rahel Frey, among others.
Celebrities galore: The three ski jumpers Felix Schoft, Severin Freund and Richard Freitag visited the DTM in Nuremberg and had the chance to watch Martin Tomczyk at work in the pits. Laith Al-Deen received insights into the DTM as well: Mattias Ekström explained his workplace to the pop musician during a personal tour of the pits.
Management visit: Three members of the Board of Management of AUDI AG visited the Norisring. Rupert Stadler (Chairman of the Board of Management), Axel Strotbek (Finance and Organization) and Peter Schwarzenbauer (Marketing and Sales) watched the brands showing. Jörg Schlagbauer (Works Council and Member of the Supervisory Council) was on location as well to witness the home round of his brand.
Art and racing: The guests at the Audi Team & Media Hospitality were able to marvel at a work of art since Saturday night. Artist Armin Flossdorf has made a painting of the Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM driven by Martin Tomczyk. It is expected to be hung on a wall of the Schaeffler company headquarters in nearby Herzogenaurach.
Quick Abt squad: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline again received the prize for the quickest pit stop. At the Lausitzring the crew of Timo Scheider handled the mandatory task in the most efficient manner. Hankook, the DTMs exclusive tire partner, rewarded the speedy squad from the Allgäu with another three cases of beer in Nuremberg.
Beginning of a new era: On Saturday as part of the DTM event the ITR together with the DMSB and the manufacturers provided some insights into the 2012 DTM. The presentation featured the safety cell as the core element of the future generation of race cars which will be identical for Audi and the other competitors.
A brief interview with … Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
At the Norisring the DTM presented the new safety cell that will be used by all three manufacturers from 2012 on. Audi has been involved in setting standards yet again. What characterizes the joint cell?
Our engineers have been involved in bringing safety in the DTM up to the highest possible level. Le Mans has taught once more that our way of designing safety structure is a very good and correct approach. This is exactly what we, together with our colleagues from BMW and Mercedes, have been trying to feed into the safety concept of the DTM. The new concept is a great example of what is possible when the employees of three premium manufacturers try to achieve a common aim: to get the best possible, lowest-cost, safest vehicle off the ground and a great one at that. Even those who were not involved from the manufacturers side, such as the DMSB or Dekra, will confirm that this project was marked by a very special spirit.
Will the identity of the manufacturers be preserved despite a growing number of identical components?
There is no doubt about that. We have always tried to advance new technologies in motorsport with Audi and to make motorsport relevant to the product. The DTM is the best stage for competing with the Audi A4 and the A5 with exactly the competitors we are meeting in the marketplace as well. That is why the DTM is a very good fit for us.
The new vehicle generation will not only be clearly safer. Costs could be saved as well. How was that possible?
The fact that all three manufacturers are contributing their abilities and know-how and benefit from this in the end is an outstanding example of synergy effects. Another example is the way we work in our organization. Due to our structure the touring car and the sports car department profit from each other. Although there is a certain split between the projects a major portion of the technical expertise is used for both projects. And last but not least the suppliers involved play a part in this as well. We used to have a lot of international contacts. But now we are realizing a large number of components for the new concept with German manufacturers. They submitted the best bids to us.
Coming up next week
July 06 Tests for the Spa (B) 24 Hours with press conference
July 07 Tom Kristensen, 44th birthday
July 08/09 Spa-Francorchamps (B), British GT Championship, rounds 5 and 6
July 10 Nürburgring (D), ADAC GT Masters, round 4
July 10 Townsville (AUS), Australian GT Championship, round 4
July 10 Magny-Cours (F), French GT Championship, round 5