· Audi R8 LMS ultra triumphs in Endurance Championship
· Belgian Audi Club Team WRT contests 24-hour race at Zolder
· Accolade for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
Ingolstadt – On Saturday, the Audi customer team Raeder Motorsport achieved victory on the Nordschleife. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will contest the 24-hour race at Zolder at the beginning of September. In the DTM, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline was recognized for the quickest pit stop yet again. And Allan McNish enjoyed the famous London Eye before the WEC race at Silverstone.
One-two victory: Frank Biela, Christian Hohenadel and Thomas Mutsch achieved victory of the customer sport team Raeder Motorsport at round eight of the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife. Just 1.748 seconds behind them, the Phoenix drivers Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler completed a one-victory of the Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Home round: After Audi’s overall victories with factory commitments at the Le Mans, Spa and Nürburgring 24 Hours a privateer team is contesting another 24-hour race this year. Like last year, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is aiming to win the Zolder 24 Hours. The driver line-up in the Audi R8 LMS ultra at the Belgian team’s home round on September 8 and 9: Anthony Kumpen, five-time winner of this race, and his Belgian compatriot Laurens Vanthoor, the Swede Edward Sandström plus Audi sports car driver Marco Bonanomi from Italy.
Cooperation with potential: For race cars such as the Audi R8 LMS ultra another field of activities is opening up in Asia in 2013. The successful Audi customer sport car can also be fielded in the Asian Le Mans Series in the next season, based on a cooperation agreement between the ACO as the organizer of the Asian LMS and the promoter of the Asian Super GT Series that was announced on Monday. In the GT-300 class of the Super GT, four Audi R8 LMS cars are already on the grid in this season.
Speedy mechanics: During the DTM race at the Nürburgring, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline performed the quickest pit stop yet again. The reward: At Zandvoort, the crew of Mattias Ekström received the prize offered as an incentive by the DTM’s tire partner Hankook in the form of three cases of beer.
Sweet surprise: A great gesture by the Audianer-Fanclub. To lift the spirits of the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline squad after the less than perfect DTM race at the Nürburgring, the loyal fans took 60 muffins with them to Zandvoort and passed them out to all the team members on Friday.
Excursion to the beach: Filipe Albuquerque, Rahel Frey, Miguel Molina and Edoardo Mortara used the Thursday before the DTM race at Zandvoort for a visit to the nearby North Sea beach. During their stay they also drew a picture of the four Audi rings in the sand.
Baby boy: Rita, the sister of Filipe Albuquerque, gave birth to little Tomás on August 21. The DTM racer from Audi Sport Team Rosberg is delighted about the new family member – and looking forward to indulging with him in a great passion of his in a few years from now: racing with remote-controlled cars.
Local hero: Jeroen Bleekemolen drove guests around the circuit at Zandvoort in the Audi A4 DTM race taxi. In 2008, the Dutchman contested two DTM races in the Audi A4 DTM.
High-caliber attendance: The Brazilian press conference at which Audi’s signing of Lucas di Grassi was announced saw high-caliber attendees. On Wednesday, FIA President Jean Todt and the two-time Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi were guests in São Paulo as well as the President of the Brazilian Motor Racing Federation (CBA), Cleyton Pinteiro, and the President of Audi Brazil, Leandro Radomile. Di Grassi will contest the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on September 15 in the R18 ultra for Audi.
Award ceremony: Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish together with Dindo Capello won the Michelin Green X Challenge at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The two Audi factory drivers accepted the trophy for the most efficient drive at Silverstone on Friday night.
Impressive setting: Prior to the Silverstone 6 Hours, the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC scheduled a photo shoot in front of the famous London Eye. Allan McNish and several other competitors obviously enjoyed the view of the Ferris wheel on Tuesday.
Visit at home: Oliver Jarvis visited his Audi sports car team colleagues at the fourth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on Sunday. The Briton, who finished Le Mans in third place in the Audi R18 ultra, is living in Burwell, around 130 kilometers away from Silverstone.
Excursion into the past: Two Audi drivers are looking forward to the Goodwood Revival from September 14 to 16. Sports car factory driver Romain Dumas, the winner of the Spa 6 Hours, will compete at the historic event in a Gordini Type 23S in the Freddy March Memorial Trophy. Frank Stippler, winner of the 24-hour races at Spa and at the Nürburgring, will be battling for the Goodwood Trophy in a Maserati in England.
A word from … Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
A one-two-three victory of the Audi A5 DTM at Zandvoort. An early title win with the R18 in the FIA World Endurance Championship*. And, on top of this, a one-two victory of the R8 LMS ultra on the Nordschleife – this weekend must have been quite to your liking…
No question about it: This was no doubt a really brilliant motorsport weekend for Audi. We reaped the fruits of our hard labor in the past weeks and months – in the WEC just like in the DTM. I’m also happy for Michael Dick, who was at the race track as our boss for the last time at Zandvoort.
You were standing at the pit wall at Zandvoort. How did you experience the race?
From my perspective, it was one of the most thrilling DTM races in recent years and superb advertisement for the DTM. The conditions were extremely difficult and we also saw fierce brand-internal fights – in our case as well as in the case of Mercedes. That in the end each of our teams put a driver on the podium shows how well-balanced the teams are this year. It’s just a shame that Timo (Scheider), after his brilliant qualifying performance, was struck by such major misfortune. The parking brake did not release at the start. But at Zandvoort, he showed that he’s in contention again.
In the DTM manufacturers’ standings, Audi is now ranking only five points behind Mercedes-Benz. Do you still see chances of clinching the drivers’ title as well?
If we manage further weekends like the one at Zandvoort, anything’s still possible. We’ll continue to work hard and try to get as many cars as possible to the very front at each race. Oschersleben and Valencia are two races coming up next that have always suited us particularly well too.
At Silverstone, Audi achieved an early win of the manufacturers’ title in the FIA World Endurance Championship*. How important is the world championship title for Audi?
It’s very important. It’s the first world championship title since the rally days. We strongly supported the sports prototypes receiving a world championship status. That we’ve now won the first title in this new world championship fills us with pride, not least because we’re able to demonstrate efficiency in this category. This was impressively obvious this weekend at Silverstone: there, our TDI cars managed to run a lot more laps on one fuel tank filling than the competition – this is “Vorsprung durch Technik” as well.
* subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA
Coming up next week
Sep 01 Anderstorp (S), round 5, Swedish GT Championship
Sep 02 Moscow (RUS), round 7, FIA GT1 World Championship
and round 5, FIA GT3 European Championship
Sep 02 Imola (I), round 5, Italian GT Championship
Sep 02 Campo Grande (BR), round 5, Brazilian GT Championship