Ingolstadt, 13 November 2005
Motorsport Newsletter 22/2005

Podium result for the Audi R8 in LMES finale

The Audi R8 has claimed second place and thus another podium result on its last competitive race in Europe. Allan McNish and Stephane Ortelli brought the Audi PlayStation Team Oreca R8 home 69-seconds behind the winning Pescarolo prototype in the fifth and final round of the Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) at Istanbul Park (Turkey). The whole 6-hours were run in wet, but ever-changing conditions. One moment the track was almost flooded, causing the cars to aquaplane, later the track was drying but still damp. McNish/Ortelli started from fourth position on the grid after a dry qualifying session. In the race they were able to fight for the lead which changed several times. At the penultimate pit-stop, the ORECA team decided to save time and not change tyres. But with the rain easing the Audi, running on worn "wet" tyres on a drying track, was powerless to prevent the Pescarolo, utilising its fresher "rubber" to the full, from re-taking the lead with one hour to go.

The LMES finale brought the curtain down on the Audi R8's European race activity. New technical regulations come into force for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans Series in 2006. Since making its race debut in 2000, the Audi R8 has scored 61 outright race victories from 77 races -- including five Le Mans 24 Hour victories. Despite power and weight restrictions being imposed on the Audi R8 in the 2005 LMES season, McNish/Ortelli were able to score one victory and two second places from three races.

Ekstrom and Kristensen contest Race of Champions

Audi factory drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Tom Kristensen have been invited to contest the Race of Champions on 3 December in Paris pairing up as "Team Scandinavia". In the Race of Champions, international stars from various motorsport categories compete with identical cars. The event in the Stade de France is organised by former Audi factory rally driver Michèle Mouton.

Audi factory drivers to appear at Essen Motor Show

From 25 November to 4 December the Essen Motor Show opens its gates. On both weekends, Audi factory drivers from the DTM and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) will take part in autograph sessions at the AUDI AG stand in hall 3. On Saturdays and Sundays, interviews with the Audi drivers are scheduled for 10 a.m., 12 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

News from the Audi brand group

Germany dominates European Supercopa finale

German drivers dominated the "European Masters" of the SEAT Leon Supercopa at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. Germany's runner-up Florian Gruber won the battle of the four best drivers from Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Turkey with a start-finish-victory. Bastian Kolmsee fought his way from fourth place on the grid to second position. German Champion Thomas Marschall completed the German 1-2-3 success finishing third. His victory earned Florian Gruber a guest start with the SEAT works squad in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. During the weekend at Barcelona, SEAT also presented the car for next year's Supercopa season: The new Leon features an even more aggressive look, 280 hp and DSG gear shift.

SEAT with six Leon cars in the 2006 WTCC

At the presentation of the new Leon Supercopa at Barcelona, SEAT, member of the Audi brand group, also announced its plans for the 2006 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in which it will have a powerful team of six drivers racing in the new Leon WTCC. Current drivers Jordi Gene, Rickard Rydell and Peter Terting will stay for 2006. New additions to the SEAT team are Yvan Muller from France, Italian Gabriele Tarquini and Briton James Thompson.