Audi R8 LMS celebrates 75th victory
- Dream weekend for Audi in customer sport with the R8 LMS
- Three DTM drivers participate in charity run
- World Ski Championship entrants visit Zandvoort
Audi’s customers had plenty of reasons to celebrate this weekend as victories were scored in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. After just 25 months the "young" GT3 sports car can look back on a set of remarkable interim statistics.
A dream weekend for the R8 LMS: Two years and one month after its debut on April 4, 2009 the Audi R8 LMS has achieved a special mark of success. On Saturday the customer sports car from Audi clinched its 75th victory. Team ABT Sportsline with Christopher Mies and Luca Ludwig popped the champagne bottles at the Sachsenring. Christer Jöns/Jens Klingmann complemented the team’s one-two result. On Sunday the Audi R8 LMS even managed a one-two-three-four result: Andreas Simonsen/Christopher Haase won in front of their Phoenix team-mates René Rast/Stefan Landmann and the Abt line-up of Luca Ludwig/Christopher Mies and Christer Jöns/Jens Klingmann.
Audi’s dream weekend was complemented by further successes. In the United Kingdom the United Autosports team clinched its first triumph. Michael Guasch and Matt Bell won the third round of the British GT Championship in the R8 LMS at Snetterton. In France Stéphane Ortelli/David Hallyday from the Audi France team prevailed in the first of the two races at Dijon. A one-two result was achieved at the debut in Sweden. The Alfab team with Daniel Roos and Erik Behrens won the season opener at Anderstorp in front of Jan Brunstedt from the Brunstedt Motorsport team. Consequently, the Audi R8 LMS’s successful track record now reflects 79 victories.
"Factory" drivers in the TT RS: Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk will contest the Nürburgring 24 Hours on June 25/26 in the Audi TT RS. Audi Sport makes the two DTM racers available to quattro GmbH which develops the TT RS for customers.
Fast on their feet: At the "Audi 24 Hours" Rahel Frey, Edoardo Mortara and Martin Tomczyk will have the chance to prove that they are not just quick at the wheel of their cars. Next weekend they will join 2 000 Audi employees at a marathon run across the plant in Ingolstadt. The proceeds from each completed lap of the run will go to the "Sternstunden" ("Great Moments") charity project.
Remembrance of earthquake victims: Miguel Molina was wearing a black ribbon on the left-hand sleeve of his overall on the DTM weekend at Zandvoort. The Spaniard wore the ribbon in remembrance of his fellow countrymen who became victims of the earthquake in south-east Spain on Wednesday.
Quick reward: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline completed the quickest pit stop at the DTM race at Hockenheim. Timo Scheider’s second stop took exactly 20.043 seconds - measured between his pit lane entry and exit. The mechanics received a special reward for this feat on Friday at Zandvoort. The exclusive tire partner, Hankook, donated three cases of beer. The Abt squad can already look forward to the next bonus because at Zandvoort the Audi team even managed to perform the three quickest pit stops.
Start in Spain: Audi "factory" driver Marcel Fässler will also contest the second round of the Blancpain series. At Navarra the Swiss driver will race for the WRT Belgian Audi Club team in the Audi R8 LMS. His colleagues in the cockpit will be Greg Franchi and Andrea Piccini. DTM driver Filipe Albuquerque with Bert Longin and Stéphane Ortelli will compete in the "sister car".
Skiers at the DTM: Among the guests at the driver presentation at Zandvoort were two local Ski World Championship entrants. Maarten Meiners and Joery van Rooij each took the wheel of an Audi A5 Cabriolet on the way through the grid formation.
A thousand miles and four rings: The "Audi Tradition" participated in the Mille Miglia with five DKW cars from Thursday to Saturday. Among the entrants of the 1000-mile race were Audi "factory" driver Dindo Capello in the DKW Monza and the former Audi rally racer Harald Demuth im DKW F91.
Back on the calendar: On Sunday the revamped Red Bull Ring at Spielberg will be reopened with a large celebration. After an eight-year break the DTM will return to the Austrian circuit on June 5. Before the round, Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk will promote the third race of the season at a PR event in Graz on May 28.
Three full weeks: Allan McNish is busy beating the big PR drum before Le Mans. An extract from his calendar: personal sponsors dinner on May 15; visit by Palmersports with meetings on motorsport and traffic safety on May 16; lunch with French motorsport editors on May 17; photo session with the Audi RS 3 on May 18; speech and lunch with a personal sponsor followed by attendance of a carting event of a sponsor whose winners will be invited to Le Mans on May 20; invitation of the BRDC in Monaco on May 26; various PR events in the UK on May 31 and June 1; meeting with Sport Scotland on June 2; travel to Le Mans on June 6.
A brief interview with ... Edoardo Mortara
You finished as the best rookie at Zandvoort - did you expect that?
Honestly speaking, I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be scoring three points right in my second DTM race. Okay, things were going really well for me here in the Formula 3 Euro Series and position seven on the grid was no doubt a good starting base. But everyone knows how competitive the series is. That’s why points are great.
How do you assess the weekend?
The result strengthened our self-confidence. And I believe that we haven’t achieved the maximum yet. In qualifying we were deprived of another trial. I was in fourth place in Q3 and already had new tires fitted when I had to take the car to the weigh-in. So there was no more time for another trial. At the beginning of the race I made a small mistake in the duel with Timo Scheider. I left the racing line and lost time. Today a place in the top four would have been possible.
Will you be able to continue this success in Austria?
I don’t know what will be awaiting me there. But our performance at Zandvoort was really good. Now it’s important to not just celebrate our points finish but to continue to work hard.
Coming up next week
May 21 Ingolstadt (D), Audi 24 Hours
May 22 Navarra (E), Blancpain Endurance Series, round 2
May 22 Winton (AUS), Australian GT Championship, round 2
May 22 Alastaro (FIN), NEZ GT Championship, round 1