Audi WEC and DTM works drivers will be busy in 2013, starting with the Audi R8s lineup for Grand-Am's Daytona 24H. Audi R18 E-tron will contest the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Strong line-up at Daytona 24 Hours
Factory drivers from the WEC and the DTM are playing a role in AUDI AG’s customer sport program as well. In the 24-hour race at Daytona (Florida) on January 26/27, Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis and Edoardo Mortara will be driving an Audi R8 GRAND-AM of the Alex Job Racing team. The cockpits of two other R8 cars will be occupied by high-caliber racers as well. Marc Basseng, René Rast and Frank Stippler will be driving for APR Motorsport, Frank Biela, Christopher Haase and GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock for Rum Bum Racing. In addition, each squad will be joined by an American driver.
Intensified commitment in the United States GRAND-AM Series
It looks like this may be the last opportunity to compete with an LMP1 car at Sebring.
With the 24-hour race at Daytona and an intensified commitment in the GRAND-AM Series, Audi is ringing in its return to US racing. In the United States, the brand with the four rings is recording stronger growth than the US market as a whole, particularly in the prestigious large-premium-car segment. The racing activities in the United States are intended to support this trend over the long run.
Therefore, an entry of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the 12-hour race at Sebring (Florida), which Audi has won on ten occasions, on March 16 is in planning as well. "It looks like this may be the last opportunity to compete with an LMP1 car at Sebring," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We’d really like to use this chance and say goodbye to the fans with a nice showing after our fantastic success story in recent years."
This may not have to be a final farewell, though. In 2014, the GRAND-AM Series and the American Le Mans Series will merge to form a new North American Sports Car Championship that might be of interest to Audi. Furthermore, the US fans will have another opportunity in 2013 to watch the Audi R18 e-tron in action as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will visit Austin (Texas) on September 22.
Evolution version of the Audi R8 LMS ultra
Customer teams supported by Audi Sport customer racing will be competing in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring (Germany) and at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) in 2013. The increasingly diverse customer sport program of AUDI AG will be complemented by the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China that was successfully launched in 2012.
"We’ve got a very attractive offering for our customers with the updated versions of the R8 GRAND-AM and the R8 LMS ultra plus the Cup in China," says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. "We’re expecting to deliver the 100th customer car during the course of 2013."