• Recognition for teams from around the world in Neckarsulm
• Audi advertising with racing visual receives award
• Popular Audi factory drivers make various appearances
At a grand season finale, Audi honored the brand’s most successful racers and teams of the 2011 season at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm on Friday.
Audi Sport finale in Neckarsulm: The Members of Audi’s Board of Management Michael Dick (Technical Development) and Peter Schwarzenbauer (Marketing and Sales) together with Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich honored the best Audi drivers of the 2011 season.
Alongside the Le Mans winners, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer, and Audi Sport Team Joest Team Director Ralf Jüttner, Martin Tomczyk, the 2011 DTM Champion, with Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Team Director Ernst Moser appeared on stage. The best drivers and team directors from the Audi Sport customer racing programs received recognition as well. The individuals honored in this group were Greg Franchi, the winner of the Spa 24 Hours with Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider and winner of the Blancpain Endurance Series, their WRT Team Director Vincent Vosse, Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi, the Italian GT Champion, with Audi Sport Italia Team Director Emilio Radaelli, Shinya Inose from Nova Engineering, the Super Taikyu Series winning team in Japan and the Portuguese drivers César Campaniço/João Figueiredo, who won the Taça Cup in Portugal and the Spanish GTS Championship.
Award-winning advertising: Audi received an award for its motorsport advertising at the Auto Trophy 2011. With "light speed" as the key word, the company advertised the Audi ultra lightweight technology of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car. Over 96,000 people participated in the car magazine’s readers’ voting. Lothar Korn, Head of Marketing Communications at Audi, accepted the award at the Meilenwerk Düsseldorf on Tuesday.
Popular lecturer: Leena Gade, the race engineer of the Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI, instructed a group of students in the United Kingdom this weekend. At the invitation of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) the Briton taught a course for the MIA School of Race Engineering in Huntingdon near Cambridge.
The fantastic four: Filipe Albuquerque will be defending his title at the Race of Champions on December 3 and 4. Together with the three-time Race of Champions winner Mattias Ekström, Tom Kristensen and Timo Scheider four Audi factory drivers will be competing at the event. The most powerful race car in Düsseldorf will be the Audi R8 LMS that delivers an output of approximately 386 kW (525 HP).
Promotion of the Race of Champions: Timo Scheider gave a sampling of his skills at the Motorsport Arena at the Essen Motorshow on Sunday. At the wheel of a KTM X-Bow on the indoor course, Audi’s two-time DTM Champion promoted the Race of Champions that will be held in Düsseldorf next weekend. On Monday, Scheider will also be present at the drawing of the driver pairings in Düsseldorf.
Appearance at soccer stadium: On Thursday, Timo Scheider will appear at a soccer stadium. In Gelsenkirchen, the Audi driver will promote the Race of Champions during the halftime break of the Europe League match of FC Schalke 04 vs. Steaua Bukarest. Formula One racer Timo Glock, his team-mate on SAT.1 Team Germany 2, will visit the soccer match as well. Both racers are exclusively competing in the Nations Cup of the Race of Champions on Saturday. When the single events of the other drivers are held on Sunday Scheider will be active as co-commentator for SAT.1 TV.
Audi drivers as popular conversation partners: After Martin Tomczyk joined the opening guests of the Essen Motor Show on Friday Rahel Frey was among the most popular conversation partners for media and fans on Saturday and Timo Scheider on Sunday at the booths of the DTM’s umbrella organization, ITR, and the series’ exclusive tire partner Hankook. Next weekend, Edoardo Mortara will be a guest at both trade fair booths on Saturday and Sunday.
In support of a good cause: Today, the first day of Advent, Audi factory driver Timo Scheider is attending the Charity Sports Night in Cologne. The evening program for 350 guests at the Dorint near the Koelnmesse has raised funds for various charities including the "Anstoß mit Herz" ("Kick-off with Heart") campaign of 1. FC Köln, the "Tapfere Kinder" ("Brave Children") initiative by Reiner Calmund and "Giving back" organized together with Carglass. Scheider is also one of several celebrities who are selling raffle tickets at the evening event.
Q3 experience complete with race driver: On Tuesday the Audi Q3 experience will visit Frankfurt. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with the two-time DTM Champion Timo Scheider on the circuit of the "Konstabler Wache."
Big reunion: Many big names with a past marked by the Audi logo got together at the popular "Hello How Are You" class meeting at the Essen Motor Show. Three former Heads of Audi Sport, Jürgen Stockmar, Walter Treser and Dieter Basche, were in attendance while the group of former drivers was represented by ex DTM Champion Hans-Joachim Stuck and Harald Demuth, the two-time German Rally Champion in the Audi quattro.
Podium at home round: Dindo Capello proved his rallying skills and managed the leap onto the podium in third place at the Monza Rally Show. The three-time Le Mans winner, who has decided this rally in his favor as many as five times together with his co-driver Luigi Pirollo, finished the event with a gap of 47.7 seconds to winner Sébastien Loeb.
A BRIEF INTERVIEW WITH ... RAHEL FREY
Looking back, how do you assess your debut season in the DTM?
"There were many new things for me, both on and off the track. Great sport, a lot of PR work, an incredible number of fans - that was fantastic! I think I was a bit surprised by the dimensions of all this. I received a lot of support from all sides at Audi and in Audi Sport Team Phoenix. That was huge fun. I’m already looking forward to my next opportunity of sitting in a DTM car."
What were the major learning effects for you, compared with Formula 3 in which you raced before?
"The battles on track, qualifying, the race, the meetings with your own engineer and with Audi - naturally, all this takes place at a much more sophisticated and professional level. The number staff members involved is much higher. I really enjoyed that. You keep being challenged anew. The development throughout the season has shown that you can do an increasingly better job of implementing such information from race to race."
You received another another sign of confidence by being allowed to test...
"At the end of November I had the chance to test for two days in Spain. This shows that everyone at Audi Sport is backing me and has faith in me. That gives me additional motivation for next year."
What will you change about your preparations for the 2012 season compared with last year?
"I want to become a bit cooler yet and continue my development curve in the 2012 season. I want to improve in qualifying, particularly on the first laps after the start I’ve got to put up a stronger fight against the competition. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and my team boss, Ernst Moser, are giving me really outstanding support. I’m happy to have already experienced a notable development this year. I’m hoping for this to continue."