Ingolstadt/Nürburg, May 18, 2013 The quickest Audi customers have completed their preparations for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring with a very good qualifying result on the first three rows of the grid. The team of Ernst Moser is particularly happy: In the Eifel, the squad with the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Frank Stippler is at the very front, whereas Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM starts from the top spot of the grid at Brands Hatch in the DTM.
Frank Stippler started the Nürburgring 24 Hours in 2013 where he finished the past race: in first place. In the final qualifying session, last years winner achieved the best time in the single timed laps of the top 40 teams. The local hero from Bad Münstereifel in the Audi R8 LMS ultra #4 of Phoenix Racing posted a time of 8m 17.212s.
Team G-Drive Racing by Phoenix provided the third-best Audi in the field. Le Mans winner Marcel Fässler completed the lap around the Nordschleife including the Grand Prix circuit in 8m 20.320s. Another R8 team the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT qualified for one of the top ten grid positions. The Swede Edward Sandström drove the tenth-best time of 8m 22.055s. The other Audi customer teams achieved positions 18 (G-Drive Racing by Phoenix #3), 24 (Audi race experience #14), 27 (Audi R8 LMS ultra #16) and 29 (Audi race experience #15). The race will start on Sunday at 17:00.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): Its nice to see that Audis customer sport concept that has been put into practice this year is working out well at the Nürburgring. With the support from Audi Sport customer racing, the teams have prepared in a way that put four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars on the first five rows of the grid. My congratulations go to Frank Stippler and his team Phoenix who achieved the best time.
Romolo Liebchen (Head of Audi Sport customer racing): Our customers were running superbly. They continued what we started with a factory-backed commitment. That makes us proud because it shows that our product is competitive in the customers hands as well. Qualifying, however, was just an initial, small step into the race and therefore shouldnt be overestimated.
Frank Stippler (Audi R8 LMS ultra #4/Phoenix Racing): Catching a clear lap on the Nordschleife is really something special. With my 38 years, Ive never experienced this on this track before neither in racing nor in tourist driving. It was a great qualifying session and Im pleased to accept this position but its nearly meaningless for a 24-hour race.