British Audi Team's Sebring Preparations On Track Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx successfully completed its first test with its brace of Audi R8 sports prototypes. The British team completed over 1,500 trouble-free miles during a three-day ...
British Audi Team's Sebring Preparations On Track
Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx successfully completed its first test with its brace of Audi R8 sports prototypes. The British team completed over 1,500 trouble-free miles during a three-day (18/20/23 Feb) acclimatization trial at Road Atlanta in Georgia.
Frank Biela (D), Jamie Davies (GB), Johnny Herbert (GB), Pierre Kaffer (D), Allan McNish (GB) and Guy Smith (GB) all set competitive lap times around the undulating 2.54-mile track. All six drivers each posted a lap time that would have earned a front row grid position in the 2003 Petit Le Mans.
Triple Le Mans 24 Hours race winner and reigning American Le Mans Series champion Frank Biela spent the opening day at the test before returning to Germany. Sportscar "rookie" Kaffer had never previously been to Road Atlanta and was having his maiden run in the British team's 2002-spec R8. Audi's 2000 ALMS champion Allan McNish shared the driving duties of #28 with Kaffer on Friday and Monday, the Scotsman reacquainting himself with the R8 after three years in Formula One.
2003 Le Mans 24 Hours race winner Smith drove on all three days in Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx's second, recently acquired Audi R8 along with Davies, who had previously only completed a handful of laps in the circuit's present configuration. Former Le Mans 24 Hours race winner Herbert, a regular in ALMS since 2001, experienced the British team's Audi on Friday and Monday. McNish ultimately set the fastest time during the test, a 1min 11.26secs, on Monday morning.
Audi R8 - #18
Frank Biela (D). (Drove Wednesday only):
"It was really nice to get behind the wheel of an R8 again and immediately the car felt good and I was able to set competitive times. The team worked well and I believe everything will be fine with my new team - success is not guaranteed but if we all work hard, we should be in the reckoning."
Pierre Kaffer (D). (Drove Wednesday/Friday/Monday):
"Driving an Audi R8 is a big difference from what I have been used to - like the gear change being on the steering wheel, the carbon fibre brakes, and the engine power but it's a beautiful car and I cannot wait for the Sebring race. I was very happy with the way the test went for me and I had some experience of driving the car in damp conditions on Monday. "
Allan McNish (GB). (Drove Friday/Monday):
"I initially concentrated on getting used to driving a sportscar again compared to the characteristics of a F1 car - like right foot braking, changing up and down the gears and the extra weight. The biggest difference from the Audi R8 I drove four years ago is the FSI [petrol direct injection] engine which felt tremendous - very smooth and 'drivable'."
Audi R8 - #28
Jamie Davies (GB). (Drove Wednesday/Friday/Monday):
"It's an awesome machine and completely lives up to its tremendous reputation. I immediately felt comfortable in the car and it's relatively easy to drive - it gives you a lot of confidence. Every last detail of the sportscar is superbly engineered and you can feel the quality when you're behind the wheel."
Johnny Herbert (GB). (Drove Friday/Monday):
Monday which was run in cool, overcast and showery weather conditions. I broke in to the 1min 11secs which was pleasing but the more rewarding aspect was the consistency of pace throughout the race run by all three drivers, in changeable conditions. Both cars are evenly matched - we started the race simulation nose to tail and finished together."
Guy Smith (GB). (Drove Wednesday/Friday/Monday):
"I had a good feeling in the car immediately. The Audi R8 is a very different car to drive than the Bentley that I have been used to in recent years and it requires a different driving style. It's a relatively easy car to drive which now features subtle aerodynamic changes compared to the R8 I drove in 2001. The team has made a massive leap forward."