By Johan Laubscher
1. The Weekend
Focussing on the weekend of 10 - 11 August 2013
2. The Events
ADAC GT Masters, Grand-Am, British GT, Super Taikyu, Lahti Historic Rally, Historic Racing Zandvoort, Zwartkops Festival, Finnish Time Attack, Austrian Hillclimb
2.1. ADAC GT Masters
The ADAC GT Masters back-to-back weekend was in Austria at the Red Bull Ring for round five, following the Nürburgring last weekend. All six regular Audi R8 LMS ultra entries were entered from Prosperia C.ABT Racing, MS Racing and YACO Racing. Only one Audi placed within the top ten during qualifying for the two races, both times being the #27 Audi R8 LMS ultra in eighth place. Race one concluded with two Prosperia cars inside the top ten, the #27 finishing sixth ahead of the #28 in seventh. It became a Déjà vu weekend for the #27 of Rast and Mies as they qualified eighth for both races and finished sixth in both races as well. They were again the highest placed Audi during race two followed by the #26 Audi in tenth.
Road America hosted round nine of the Grand-Am Rolex Series this weekend. Fall-Line Motorsports was the only Audi entry at the event, with their #46 Audi R8 GRAND-Am driven by Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman. The team took part in the opening three practice sessions, but ultimately they made the decision to withdraw the Audi from the Road America weekend. The reason behind the decision was that the team has not had sufficient time to test and develop their new Audi R8 GRAND-AM. They have completed two races with the Audi, but hardly any testing. They will now focus on testing with the Audi and getting up to speed to challenge effectively in the Grand-Am Rolex Series. The team’s official press release regarding the withdrawal can be seen HERE.
2.3. British GT
The British GT headed to Brands Hatch this weekend with three Audis on the grid. United Autosports entered their Audi R8 LMS ultra along with the Audi R8 LMS entry from Blendini Motorsport. The third Audi entry had a familiar driver line-up, but was represented by a new team. M-Sport had previously run the #10 Audi R8 LMS ultra driven by Rembert Berg and Warren Hughes. The M-Sport team will now be focussing their efforts on the test and development program for the new Bentley Continental GT3, thus WRT has been selected to run the Berg / Hughes #5 R8 LMS ultra for the remainder of the season. None of the Audis qualified within the top ten, the highest R8 LMS ultra was the United Autosports car in twelfth. By the end of the two hour race the best ranked Audi was the #25 United Autosports R8 LMS ultra in sixth place. Both the WRT and Blendini Audis dropped back due to problems. WRT managed to recover to fourteenth place.
2.4. Super Taikyu
Round four of the Japanese Super Taikyu Endurance Series was at Fuji Speedway. It was a seven hour endurance race. Team Nova Engineering and their 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra were again entered, following their debut at round three last time out at Motegi. During qualifying they achieved seventh place overall. The race itself was long and testing, and even included heavy rain during the final few hours, a race of survival. Team Nova dropped back during the first hour and they were classified thirty-ninth by the end of the first hour. They then began a very good recovery drive which saw them moving up through the field. By the fourth hour the Audi was back inside of the overall top ten and continued to perform well. Ultimately the Nova Engineering team completed the seven hours in sixth place within the GT3 class.
2.5. Lahti Historic Rally
Volkswagen Motorsport works WRC driver, Jari-Matti Latvala, was back behind the wheel of an Audi quattro rally car this weekend. He was first seen in this quattro a few weeks ago when he competed in the Rally Estonia Historic. This weekend he was at the Lahti Historic Rally in Finland. A total of three Audi quattro cars were entered in the event. Latvala proved to be the class of the field and won the event, taking his third Lahti Historic Rally victory, his first in an Audi.
2.6. Historic Racing Zandvoort
The National Oldtimer Festival was held at Zandvoort this weekend. The Nothelle Audi 80 race car was among the entrants in the weekend’s historic racing.
2.7. Zwartkops Festival
One of the Zwartkops Extreme Festivals was hosted at Zwartkops in South Africa this weekend. Two Audi cars competed in two different categories. An ex-Terry Moss Racing Audi A4 was seen in the Extreme Supercars and an Audi A3 in Goldwagen SuperHatch.
2.8. Finnish Time Attack
A round of the Finnish Time Attack series was held this weekend. Among the Audis present was the Audi S2 of Antti Oksa. This Audi S2 is a very potent machine. It is the same S2 built and raced by Peter Lindström in the Finish Super Saloons Championship during the early 2000's.
APR Suomi FB page
2.9. Austrian Hillclimb
2.10. Other Audi News
The Audi R18 e-tron quattro was seen in the latest Audi RS 6 TV Commercial this week. An Audi R18 in the real world: taking it shopping, picking up the kids from school, going into the mountains for cycling or fishing and picking up your friends from the airport - all portrayed in the clever new RS 6 TV commercial from Audi - “Perfect Fit”. The video can be seen HERE.
In recent years Audi has always produced a short film documenting that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. The 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours short film was revealed on the official Audi YouTube channel on Friday morning. The video features a short look at the race this year, and it is dedicated to Allan Simonsen who tragically passed away in an early-race crash. The video closes with the words: “For Allan. A friend of Audi Sport”. The video can be seen HERE.
The entry list for the 2013 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (Sepang 12 Hours) has been released, revealing five Audi entries. This will be the first time since 2011 that Audi cars have competed in the MMER. The Audi entries are regular teams which compete in Asia, all run and supported by Absolute Racing. Two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars (J-Fly and Tunewear) from GT Asia will be entered in the GT class, running within the GT3 division. Three older Audi R8 LMS cars will also be running within GT, but within the GTC division. These three cars/teams are from the Audi R8 LMS Cup (Brothers Racing Team x2 and Tiger Racing). The entry list can be seen HERE.
The next Bathurst 12 Hours will take place from 7-9 February 2014. The early bird registration for the race closed on 8 August 2013, and a total of six Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars are included on the provisional entry list. Five of the current Audi entries were all present at the 2013 Bathurst 12 Hours earlier this year, with the new sixth entry coming from Absolute Racing, who will be making their debut at the Mountain. The entry list can be seen HERE.
The Wilton Classic and Supercars event was held at Wilton House near Salisbury last Sunday. Allan McNish was at the event, alongside the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours race winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro. McNish’s presence with the Audi proved to be a very popular attraction at the event.
Another interesting Audi related feature at the Wilton Classic was an artistic representation of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Ian Cook from PopbangColour.com, who is well known for his on-site artwork using objects like remote control cars as paintbrushes, painted a large painting of an Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The photo that the painting is based on, is of the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro which won the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours. Allan McNiah also singed the painting for Cook.
The official Audi Sport Facebook page revealed an impressive statistic on Friday evening. Mattias Ekström is now the highest points scoring Audi driver in the history of the brand’s participation in the DTM. Following the latest DTM round in Moscow last weekend, he now has a total of 653 points. He edges out the previous Audi record holder, non-other than five-time Le Mans winner, Frank Biela, who has a total of 652 points.
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has produced many excellent event videos in the past. This year they have produced a movie featuring the 2013 Spa 24 Hours. They have already screened the movie in-house and they will soon be launching it on YouTube. A number of video trailers previewing the movie have been uploaded to YouTube this week, those videos can be seen HERE.
The Istook’s Motorsports Audi TT RS was on display at the 2013 ACNA - Audi Club North America Lone Star chapter meet. A new Facebook page for Don Istook’s “RS Werkes” company was also launched this week and can be seen HERE.
3. Next Weekend’s events (17-18/08/2013)
DTM, Grand-Am, Britcar, GT Cup, FIA GT Series, Swedish GT, Czech MMCR, Tourenwagen, Brazilian GT, Super GT, Slovakia Cup
All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up