Nurburgring: Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx preview

Veloqx Audi Bids To Return To Winning Form Having "only" managed second and fifth places in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx is doubly determined to make a quick return to winning ways in the second round of the Le Mans...

Veloqx Audi Bids To Return To Winning Form

Having "only" managed second and fifth places in the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx is doubly determined to make a quick return to winning ways in the second round of the Le Mans Endurance Series at the Nurburgring on Saturday (3 Jul). After posting a first and third result in the Sebring 12 Hours (20 Mar), first and second fastest times in the Le Mans Pre-Test (25 Apr), first and second places in the Monza LMES opener (9 May), first and second fastest times in official Le Mans qualifying and leading the opening 15 hours in the Le Mans race (12-13 Jun), the British Audi team aims to quickly re-establish itself on the top step of the podium in Germany.

Jamie Davies and Johnny Herbert headed the "sister" R8 of Pierre Kaffer and Allan McNish by just 0.663secs in a fantastic Veloqx Audi 1-2 in the LMES 1,000km Monza race. Davies set the fastest race lap time at Le Mans while Herbert, who turned 40 recently (25 Jun), claimed has maiden Le Mans "pole" after also setting the Monza race "pole".

Kaffer, who drove for over 11 hours on his Le Mans debut, looks to impress on "home" soil in Germany while McNish is now fully recovered after being briefly concussed in his Le Mans accident and is intent on a better showing than on his last Audi outing at the Nurburgring four years ago.

Scrutineering & technical checks for Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx is at 1500-1550 on Thursday. Practice around the 3.2-mile Nurburgring circuit is staged on Friday (0830-0930 & 1225-1310) with qualifying for grid positions at 1520-1605 and also on Saturday at 1135-1220. Saturday's 195-lap race is scheduled to start at 1600.

Audi R8 - #8

Pierre Kaffer (D). Age 27. Born: Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Ger. Lives: Burgbrohl, Ger:

"I first visited the Nurburgring as a child, when I was about five-years-old. I had my first race there in 1990, a kart event, and have gone on to win many races there in every type of car I've ever raced. My most impressive success was my first victory in Formula 3 four years ago. I like the circuit a lot and obviously this race will be very important to me personally because I only live 20km away from the circuit and many friends and personal sponsors will be present - so for me it is a very big event. Already the year is a dream having won at Sebring, finished second at Monza and fifth at Le Mans in my first year with Audi and in sports-prototype racing."

Allan McNish (GB). Age: 34. Born: Dumfries, Scotland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

"I was advised to rest after my Le Mans accident but received a 'clean bill of health' from a doctor on Monday and I 'm now feeling 100% fit and looking forward to getting behind the wheel. My first race at the Nurburgring was in 1988 (GM/Lotus EuroSeries) while my last race was two years ago (Grand Prix of Europe, 23 June 2002) but I actually raced an Audi R8 there in 2000, the year I won the American Le Mans Series title. My co-driver then was Rinaldo Capello, one of our strongest rivals in Saturday's race, and he started from pole-position. I took over from 'Dindo' but aquaplaned off the flooded track so I'm hoping for much better luck on this occasion."

Audi R8 - #88

Jamie Davies (GB). Age 30. Born / Lives: Yeovil, England:

"This is only the R8's second race in Germany since its debut in 2000 when Frank [Biela] and Pirro achieved third place at the Nurburgring (ALMS, 9 July 2000) so it would very special to claim Audi's maiden sports-prototype in Germany which in turn would give the title aspirations of Johnny and myself a major boost following our Monza victory. I raced in Formula 3000 at the Nurburgring on four occasions between 1997-00 posting three top-eight placings."

Johnny Herbert (GB). Age 40. Born: Brentwood, England. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

"My first experience of the Nurburgring was when I finished fifth in the Grand Prix of Europe in 1995 (1 Oct). I had a couple of sevenths (1996 & '97) and then scored my third and last Formula One Grand Prix victory at the Nurburgring (Grand Prix of Europe, 26 Sep 1999) which was very special. I was driving a Stewart and it's Jackie's one and only Grand Prix victory as a constructor while his last GP win, as a driver, was on Nurburgring's Nordschleife (5 August 1973). I last raced there four years ago (Grand Prix of Europe, 21 May 2000) which was also special because it was my 150th Grand Prix. The circuit, which is flowing but not particularly technical, has changed slightly since I last raced there but that won't pose a problem."

Sam Li, Team Principal:

"After both Veloqx cars had totally dominated the Le Mans race week before 4pm on Sunday 13 June, the whole team did a good job of managing unfortunate circumstances throughout the race. There is now a definite feeling of unfinished business for the Veloqx crew and drivers. The team is totally focused once more and desperate to send the cars out on to the famous German circuit to demonstrate what they are capable of."

-audiuk-

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Series ELMS