Audi celebrates class victories on the Nordschleife
- Audi R8 LMS once again best GT3 sportscar in 24h race - Basseng/Fässler/Stippler third overall - Audi TT RS best front-wheel drive car and SP 4T class winner
The Audi R8 LMS was once again class winner on its third outing in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. The mid-engine sportscar from AÚDI AG won the GT3 car class for the third time in succession and, like last year, finished third overall. The Audi TT RS also impressed in front of the 250,000 spectators: the quattro GmbH development demonstrator took the checkered flag in 14th position overall and won the SP 4T class as best front-wheel drive car in the field of 202 cars.
In a thrilling finale, the Audi R8 LMS #14 of Audi Sport Team Phoenix driven by Marc Basseng/Marcel Fässler/Frank Stippler passed the Mercedes SLS, class leader at that time, 43 minutes before the finish when it to pit wîth a technical problem. Christopher Haase/Marc Hennerici/Markus Winkelhock (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) and Mattias Ekström/Timo Scheider/Marco Werner (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) completed the Audi one-two-three in the GT3 class after taking fourth and fifth positions overall at the finish.
The dream of a first overall victory for the brand in the endurance classic in the Eifel was, however, not fulfilled. The GT2 cars of Porsche, BMW and Ferrari were superior to the GT3 cars during the 39th running of the 24-hour race. 'Qualifying had already signaled that our R8 LMS wîth the current balance of performance is not the fastest car,' explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Úllrich. 'This was confirmed in the race. Furthermore, none of our four factory cars made it through the race completely without incidents.'
Start number '14', the best placed Audi R8 LMS at the finish, lost around four minutes due to a loose front splitter just before 21:00. Early on Sunday morning the front splitter was changed , which meant an additional time loss of 2m 50s. Despite this, Basseng/Fässler/Stippler could still move up to third place.
In the opening stages of the race the second Audi Sport Team Phoenix Audi R8 LMS wîth start number '15' had contact which necessitated a quick repair. On Sunday morning Markus Winkelhock lost time in traffic because the high beam flash did not function and he was unable to warn the slower cars of his approach. The problem was solved after changing the §teering wheel. Christopher Haase, Marc Hennerici and Markus Winkelhock dropped behind the sister car at the end on Sunday afternoon due, in part, because they lost time twice during refueling.
Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider and Marco Werner held second place overall at times during the night in the Audi R8 LMS #16 entered by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, before Marco Werner was the innocent victim in a collision at 4:53 in the morning and in which the front end of the R8 LMS was badly damaged. The repair took just five minutes but threw the #16 out of the leading group.
The second Audi R8 LMS from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline (#17) lost 20 minutes at the start of the third hour after a relay loosened and paralyzed the R8 LMS sportscar's on-board electronics. After rejoining the race in 66th position Christian Abt, Christer Jöns, Luca Ludwig and Christopher Mies had scythed their way back up to eighth overall when Luca Ludwig became a victim of the ensuing drizzle and slipped off the track in the 'Quiddelbacher Höhe' track section at 3:34. Repairs to the damage rear end cost 40 minutes. Start number '17' still managed to move up to twelfth position from 18th. As a result, all four factory R8 sportscars that started saw the checkered flag.
Audi race experience could also celebrate crossing the finish line: the Audi R8 LMS #28, in which professional race driver Frank Schmickler shared cockpit time wîth Audi driving experience customers, finished a remarkable 18th overall after a completely trouble-free race. The second R8 LMS had an accident as early as the eleventh lap after a tire failed at the 'Tiergarten' section. Driver Chris Vogler was uninjured.
There was also joy and sorrow at Raeder Motorsport which fielded a brace of Audi TT RS on behalf of quattro GmbH. Despite a tire failure at the start of the race and a collision on Sunday morning, Michael Ammermüller, Frank Biela, Jens Klingmann and Martin Tomczyk made the finish as the best front-wheel drive car in an excellent 14th position overall and, in doing so, convincingly won their class in the development demonstrator. Christian Hohenadel/Jimmy Johansson/Miguel Molina Andrea Piccini lost 75 minutes in the second TT RS early on due to a faulty wastegate valve on the turbocharger and more time just before the end of the race because of a gear shift problem.Source - Audi
Motorsport Newsletter 12/2011: World Championship status for the sports prototypes
- ACO and FIA create World Endurance Championship - New field of activity for the Audi R8 LMS - Tom Kristensen promotes safety
On Friday the FIA announced two new world championship categories of importance to Audi. And in Austria Audi attracted attention through the DTM at the Red Bull Ring, the R8 LMS at the Wörthersee lake, a driving safety demonstration in Teesdorf and an appearance at the Technical Úniversity Graz.
World Championship status for the sports prototypes: The FIA World Motor Sport Council on Friday announced a decision of importance to Audi and to sports car fans. The Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), which Audi contests wîth the R18 TDI, will receive world championship status in the 2012 season. The FIA World Endurance Championship to be created in cooperation wîth the Le Mans organizer ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest) will also include the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Worldwide GT class: Customers using the Audi R8 LMS will have an additional field of activities in the 2012 season. The FIA has announced a new 'GT World Class' in which the GT cars of the previous GT1, GT2 and GT3 categories are to compete for the GT world champion's title in a single class.
DTM on campus: Directly after the DTM race at the Red Bull Ring two Audi factory drivers and an engineer traveled to Graz. Their destination: the Institute of Vehicle Engineering (FTG) of the Technical Úniversity Graz. Mattias Ekström, Martin Tomczyk and Markus Michelberger, Miguel Molina's race engineer, will provide fresh reports about DTM racing routines to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hirschberg, the director of the institute, and the FTG's professional audience.
A peek behind the scenes: 30 children from the Children's Cancer Foundation Graz visited Audi during the DTM round at the Red Bull Ring. In the garage of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline they were given a personal tour after the qualifying session. Afterward they met their idol Timo Scheider. The German who lives in Austria was pleased to grant all wishes for autographs.
Liquid prize: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline has again received the award for the quickest pit stop in the DTM. On Friday Mattias Ekström's crew was pleased to receive three cases of beer from tire partner Hankook.
Audi turn: At the new Red Bull Ring Audi has a turn of its own. 'Turn 4,' the first left-hander of the reopened race track wîth an easy view of the apex has now been named 'Audi ultra Kurve'.
DTM stars on tour: Mike Rockenfeller and Martin Tomczyk did a lap around the Red Bull Ring on mountain bikes by G. Grill Großhandels-GmbH from Kapfenberg. The two Audi factory drivers used the occasion to explain the reopened race track in the Austrian province of Styria to journalists and guests of Audi.
Stürmer in the A4 DTM: The guests of the Volkswagen Group at the DTM race at Spielberg included Christina Stürmer. The Austrian singer used her visit to ride in an Audi A4 DTM race taxi. The Austrian ski racer Klaus Kröll and Austria's former Minister of the Interior Karl Schlögl had the opportunity of riding in the passenger seat of the A4 DTM as well. All three were obviously thrilled wîth the high performances delivered by racers.
A1 causes a sensation: Audi has caused a sensation wîth the 370 kW (503 hp) A1 clubsport quattro show car at the 30th edition of the 2011 Wörtherseetour. The car of which only one unit exists gives the impression of just having left the shop freshly painted on the way to its first rollout on the race track. As a road car designed for the race track, many of the features of the A1 clubsport quattro will soon be found in the range of accessories of the A1 family. An Audi R8 LMS sporting the colors of Audi Sport performance Cars attracted attention at the Wörthersee Lake as well.
Safe ambassador: As eSafety ambassador Tom Kristensen promoted the 2011 eSafetyChallenge 2011 in Austria last Tuesday. The Audi factory driver appeared in front of more than 300 delegates and members of the media. At the wheel of an Audi A7 he demonstrated the operation of advanced safety systems at the ÖAMTC Driving Safety Center in Teesdorf. The systems relieve the driver in situations like emergency braking, passing and evasive maneuvers, and help save lives.
The Audi R8 LMS celebrated podium results wîth importers and customer teams at various national championships this weekend. At the second round of the Swedish GT Championship at Mantorp Park Jan Brunstedt in the Audi R8 LMS of the Brunstedt team took second place. Úp to the final phase the R8 LMS of the Alfab team wîth Daniel Roos/Erik Behrens had been leading the race but due to a puncture dropped far behind just eight minutes before the end.
The Audi R8 LMS celebrated a second place at Saturday's race of the Italian GT Championship at Misano. Marco Bonanomi and Andrea Sonvico crossed the finish line as the runners-up and relegated their colleagues from Audi Sport Italia, Alessandro Cicognani and Alberto Cola, to third place wîth a lead of 0.252 seconds. At the second race on Sunday Marco Bonanomi and Andrea Sonvico occupied third place and thus continued to defend their lead of the championship.
César Campaniço and Ni Amorim in the Audi R8 LMS of the NovaDriver Total team finished the third round of the season in the Portuguese GT Championship at Braga wîth two second places.
The Audi R8 LMS also achieved a podium finish at the Dutch Supercar Challenge at Assen: Robert de Graaf and Ardi van der Hoek (Brinkmann Motorsport) occupied third place at the second race.
A brief interview wîth ... Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Úllrich
The Intercontinental Le Mans Cup will be awarded world championship status in 2012. What is Audi's position on this? It shows that we're heading in the right direction. Audi has been involved in sports prototype racing and the Le Mans 24 Hours since 1999. Ever since then we have been energetically supporting the idea of a worldwide racing series for this particularly fascinating form of motorsport – always wîth the long-range aim of a world championship. After the ALMS and the LMS the creation of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup by the ACO last year marked the first major step in this direction that is now seeing its consistent continuation in the FIA World Endurance championship. This leads to a further upgrading of our activities wîth the R18 TDI.
What advantages does the World Endurance Championship have compared wîth Formula One? Audi made a conscious decision against Formula One and in favor of the sports prototypes. At Le Mans and in the World Endurance Championship we can test new technologies, which are subsequently of relevance in our production cars as well, in the tough competition on the race track. In 2001 we successfully introduced the combination of turbocharging and gasoline direct injection at Le Mans – today we are using the TFSI technology in conjunction wîth downsizing production engines. The TDI that was invented by Audi is subjected to further development by means of the endurance races. Overall, our new Audi R18 TDI features numerous innovative details of interest for subsequent use in production cars.
What is Audi's position on the creation of a worldwide class for GT cars? What are the implications for the Audi R8 LMS? It is a basic problem of today's motorsport that there are too many similar racing series in existence. Therefore, such a step is to be welcomed. GT sport is already a very attractive form of racing now due to the so-called 'supersport cars' ('Dream Cars') which will no doubt be strengthened further by a worldwide standard class for GT vehicles. Our customers who are fielding the R8 LMS will benefit from this as well. The range of possible uses for the R8 LMS will increase even further and create another incentive to attract new customers to our customer sport car. That's a welcome development.Source - Audi
The 'next big Audi' at the DTM
- 40 Audi A1 cars at the 'Audi Drive Away' at Oschersleben - Junior Curling Team Germany to visit Audi - Slot car race wîth Audi 'factory' drivers
The 'next big Audi' will be one of the stars at the DTM at Oschersleben (September 17 to 19). Before the DTM race starts 40 Audi A1 cars will do a lap around the track.
The Sales Organization Germany of AÚDI AG will hand over the premium vehicles from the small car §egmènt to dealers at the Audi Drive Away. The lap around the race track on Sunday will be the grand finale of this activity.
The Junior Curling Team Germany – the German Junior Champions in 2008, 2009 and 2010 – will be lòòking over Audi's shoulders at Oschersleben. The sportsmen Konstantin Kämpf, Alexander Kämpf, Marc Bastian, Philipp Häckelsmiller and coach Marcus Angrick are paying a return visit to the DTM squad after the racers had completed a training unit at the Ice Sports Center Oberstdorf during their Winter Camp in February.
A race before the race will be contested by the Audi 'factory' drivers Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström on Saturday night. Together wîth Rockenfeller's race engineer Jürgen Jungklaus the two drivers wîth two Audi R8 LMS cars will participate in the 'Audi DTM Challenge' – a slot car race to be held at the Audi Team and Media Hospitality.
Michael Dick, Member of the Audi Management Board for Technical Development, will visit the Audi DTM squad at the eighth round held at the circuit in the plains near Magdeburg. Dick has brought Audi's DTM team good luck on several previous occasions.
Two former Audi DTM drivers will take part in the supporting program at Oschersleben: the multiple Le Mans winners Frank Biela and Marco Werner will contest the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup as guest entrants.
Audi used the opportunity of an 'open house' hosted by the public MDR radio and television station Sachsen-Anhalt to present itself to the audience before the race at Oschersleben. The crowd had the chance to see Markus Winkelhock and Oliver Jarvis as well as an Audi A4 DTM in Magdeburg. Autograph sessions, photos wîth fans, interview rounds and a drawing of admission tickets yet again proved how much Europe's most popular touring car series stays in touch wîth the audience.'Source - Audi
100th win for the Audi R8 LMS
• Milestone for the AÚDI AG customer racing program
• Already 41 GT3 cars in action worldwide
• Near standard production V10 engine guarantees long service life
Three weeks after winning the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Audi Sport customer racing has yet another milestone to announce in the company's young customer racing program: the 100th win for the Audi R8 LMS.
The GT3 sportscar was unveiled at the Essen Motor Show at the end of 2008. It is the first racing sportscar in AÚDI AG history developed specifically for customer teams. In 2009, within the framework of a test program, the first races were contested by teams closely associated wîth Audi Sport. Delivery to customers started in March 2010. In the meantime 41 examples of the fascinating mid-engine sportscar are racing in 18 championships worldwide.
Seemingly more impressive than the 100th win is the ratio: since its debut the R8 LMS won in almost every third race. As a result it is already one of the most successful sportscars in the increasingly popular GT3 category.
'Everybody who was and are still involved in this project can be proud of the success of the R8 LMS,' explains Werner Frowein, who in his function as Managing Director of quattro GmbH is also responsible for customer racing activities since January 1, 2011. 'The Audi R8 is a fascinating sportscar. For me personally the R8 LMS is currently the most beautiful race car in the world.'
Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, adds: 'You shouldn't forget that we are only at the very beginning of our customer racing activities. The positive record of the R8 LMS is all the more gratifying. And on top of this because the V10 engine from the production R8 remains almost unchanged for racing purposes and has a very long service life as a consequence. This is exactly what customer sport needs because the running costs are kept low in the process.'
For example, the winning car in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (chassis number 218) had already completed the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring beforehand – wîth the same engine. Úp to 20,000 kilometers are possible before the V10 power plant producing up to 520 hp must be rebuilt – a clear and strong plus point for Audi customers.
'High service life, maintenance friendly and forgiving handling characteristics suitable for amateur drivers were on the specification sheet to start,' says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Úllrich, under whose leadership the R8 LMS was developed. 'I think we managed this exceptionally well.'
The Audi R8 LMS cost 298,000 Euro (net). Audi Sport customer racing guarantees worldwide spare parts supply via the Audi groups logistic department and is on location at the most important European races wîth technicians and service trucks. Furthermore, the Audi race experience offers Audi customers the unique possibility of achieving a racing license and booking cost-effective races wîth the R8 LMS around the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
The 100th win for the Audi R8 LMS was recorded by Hitotsuyama Racing in the GT3 Asia Series at Suzuka.Source - Audi
Audi R8 LMS in exotic livery
• Audi on the grid in Australia wîth designs from the animal kingdom
• Formula 1 know-how at Audi Sport Team Rosberg
• Exhibition and conference appearances for Audi factory drivers
• The two Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS will be two visually striking highlights in the field at the Bathurst 12 hours at the end of February.
Black and white: The two Audi R8 LMS which compete in the 12 hours Bathurst between February 24 and 26 are unique wîth their visual references to the animal kingdom. Christer Jöns/Christopher Mies/Darryl O'Young share a black R8 LMS. An oversized version of the world-famous yellow traffic sign symbolizing the kangaroo is reproduced on the bodywork. A spider's web covers the entire surface of the white sister car driven by Mark Eddy/Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff. A typical Australian Redback spider sits in the web.
Top-class new team member: Formula 1 know-how moves to Audi Sport Team Rosberg. New team member Ossi Oikarinen spent 14 years in Grand Prix racing. The 41-year old engineer is new Technical Director of the DTM team from March 1 and successor to Andreas Roos. After starting at Arrows in 1997, Oikarinen moved to Toyota in 2000 where he also worked together wîth Dieter Gass, the new Head of Racing Commitments at Audi Sport. Oikarinen who hails from Lahti in Finland managed the BMW Sauber teat team from 2007. From 2009 he was the leading test engineer at Ferrari. 'We expect many new impulses for our team in 2012 season from this high-class new team member,' explains Team Director Arno Zensen.
Great enthusiasm in Erfurt: Rahel Frey was a popular guest at the ADAC Motorsport Show at the exhibition center in Thuringia. The Swiss lady representing Audi was a popular interviewee and signed many autographs. Among the biggest attractions in Hall 1 was also the Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM.
Crowds of fans at Lake Constance: Audi factory driver Timo Scheider was kept busy signing countless autographs all day, every day from Friday to Sunday on the Motorradwelt stand at the exhibition center in Friedrichshafen. The two-time DTM Champion is an enthusiastic motorbike rider.
Presentation in Paris: At a press conference on February 2 the ACO and FIA will present the new World Endurance Championship (WEC). Audi will be represented by factory driver Benoît Tréluyer and also displays the Audi R18 TDI wîth which the Frenchman and his team mates won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011.
Trade fair exhibit in Qatar: Visitors attending the Motor Show in Doha between January 25 and 28 were not only able to admire the latest production cars. An Audi R18 TDI joined the many eye-catchers on the Audi stand.
Familiar faces: With the introduction of the GRAND-AM program two engineers from sport prototype programs return. The American Brad Kettler was an engineer for different Audi teams since the Audi R8 LMP era. He now provides technical and logistical support in the customer racing program. Ron Mathis, one of the race engineers from the former American Le Mans Series program, is new race engineer at Oryx Racing.
Big program: about 180 guests of Audi of America visibly enjoyed the debut of the R8 GRAND-AM at Daytona. A tour through the paddock, exclusive pit tours during the race and visits to meet the drivers in the Audi Lounge on the main grandstand ensured the weekend remained unforgettable. The guests enjoyed a unique view across the oval track from the Audi Lounge.
A word from ... Emanuele Pirro
Your start in the 24 hours Daytona 2012 has a special meaning to you. What connects you wîth this race? 'Oh yes, it's my first race as a 50-year old racing driver! No, seriously though, I contested my first race outside Italy as 19-year old racing driver at Daytona in 1981. And now 31 years later I have the honor of being in the thick of the action as the R8 GRAND-AM makes its debut in Daytona. This is why this race wîth Audi is so special.'
What has changed over the course of more than three decades? 'Earlier there were so few buildings that it was possible to recognize the banking from a long way away. This put so much fear in our hearts that two of my team mates – Michele Alboreto and Beppe Gabbiani – and I wanted to turn around on the spot! At that time there was no chicane in the oval. Today it's great fun to drive on the demanding circuit wîth such a well developed car like the R8 GRAND-AM. By the way, despite being in motorsport for many decades, I attended the Rookie briefing at Daytona again this year.'
What memories do you have of the famous Daytona weekend? 'After coming home after my first race in 1981 I didn't realize what we had achieved. Thanks to our points our employer became World Champion. And now we've started a campaign which will hopefully also have a big effect. I'm sure that the Audi R8 GRAND-AM will have a big future in this series.'Source - Audi