- Impressive DTM presentation with all the factory drivers
- Audi factory drivers involved in customer sport programs
- Indy 500 legend Arie Luyendyk takes to the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS
- Team interview with Rahel Frey
Audi showcased itself in the glorious sunshine in Wiesbaden at the DTM presentation on Sunday. In addition to the factory’s involvement in the DTM, the Audi privateer teams also made some big announcements: Some top-class drivers and a first-rate program have been put together ahead of the start of the season.
Quite a show: Three weeks before the season gets underway, the Audi DTM drivers put on a great show at the DTM presentation in Wiesbaden. Thousands of enthusiastic visitors at the Kurhaus in Wiesbaden were treated to thrilling demonstrations of the A4 DTM, spectacular pit stops, autograph sessions and party music. Beforehand, the Audi drivers tried out their respective racecars for this year in test drives on the Lausitzring racetrack.
Packed schedule: On leaving Wiesbaden, Martin Tomczyk headed straight for his next appearance for Audi. From 2:00 P.M. on Monday, the DTM star will be signing autographs in Hall 15 of the Miba 2011 trade fair in Ingolstadt.
Audi sports car driver Romain Dumas last weekend took part in the Paris Marathon. His time was twelve minutes quicker than the year before. He finished in 2254th position among 4000 competitors in 3h 14m.
Flying Dutchman on board: The United Autosports team has signed another first-class professional for the 24 Hours of Spa, namely two-time Indy 500 winner Arie Luyendyk. Other team members are the former Grand Prix drivers Johnny Herbert, Stefan Johansson, Mark Blundell, and Eddie Cheever. The Anglo-American team is entering the endurance race with three Audi R8 LMS.
Attractive supplementary program: This year, Dindo Capello and Marco Bonanomi are more than just factory drivers in the R18. The two of them are looking forward to a customer sport program in their native Italy, where Audi Sport Italia has put together two powerful teams for its two Audi R8 LMS: Capello will be racing with Alessandro Cicognani, while Bonanomi is pairing up with Andrea Sonvico.
Big GT3 plans for the Belgian Audi Club: The Belgians, who have won twice with the R8 LMS, are now going international. In addition to defending its title in the Belcar series, the club has now also set its sights on the Blancpain Endurance Series and the FIA GT3 Championship, together with the W Racing Team.
DTM star and the R8 LMS: Audi factory driver in the DTM, Filipe Albuquerque, will once again be taking to the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS for a number of races this year. Albuquerque of Portugal will support the W Racing Team in the Blancpain Endurance Series, together with Bert Longin and Stéphane Ortelli.
Guest appearance: Audi racing driver Marcel Fässler will also be lining up at the opening of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza this coming weekend. Fässler of Switzerland will be in the cockpit of an Audi R8 LMS with Andrea Piccini.
Great start to the season: Bert Longin and Xavier Maassen came second in the first race of the Belcar Endurance Championship. Driving for the W Racing Team in an Audi R8 LMS, the Belgian-Dutch duo came in just 26 seconds behind the winning Porsche after 113 laps of the Zolder circuit. Straight onto the rostrum: Frenchmen Stéphane Ortelli and David Hallyday of the W Racing Team celebrated a great start to the 2011 French GT Championship. At the first racing weekend in Lédenon, they came fourth in the first race and third in the second race in their Audi R8 LMS.
An interview with ... Rahel Frey
You tried out your new car - the Glamour Audi A4 DTM - properly for the first time at the beginning of the week. What did you think?
My first impressions are positive. I really feel comfortable in the Audi A4 DTM. It could have been even better, of course, but it wasn^Òt an actual race and was just our first test. Fortunately, I got to familiarize myself with the vehicle both in wet and dry conditions. The carbon brakes are really quite impressive, I've never experienced anything like them before.
Have you gotten used to how the Audi Sport Team Phoenix operates yet?
I felt very at ease within the team right from the start - it's like one big family. Team director Ernst Moser makes sure there is a good ambience. I also get on very well with my engineer Laurent Fedacou - we simply suit each other. And I have now had the chance to get to know the mechanics too. So a really good working relationship is already beginning to take shape.
Your week got underway with the DTM test and finished with the DTM presentation: How was the Wiesbaden experience for you?
It was basically one big festival with fast and sensational cars, excellent pit stops, the presentation on stage, music, shows, and vintage cars. And it was all in the heart of a beautiful city. I think there was something there to make everyone happy. And I have never given so many autographs in such a short space of time.
Coming up next week
April 17 Monza (I), Round 1 of the Blancpain Endurance Series
April 17 Vallelunga (I), Round 1 of the Italian GT Championship
April 17 Valencia (E), Round 1 of the Spanish GT Championship