Audi heads for grand WEC finale in Brazil

Battle for manufacturers title and runner-ups spot for the drivers.

Ingolstadt - Brazil is hosting the finale of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) for the first time. On November 30, WEC round eight will be held at São Paulo, marking the first time the manufacturers’ championship title outcome is determined in the last race of the season, Audi having become the World Champions early in 2012 and 2013, the first two WEC years. For Tom Kristensen (DK), the race marks the end of his career in professional racing.

For Audi, it is the season finale and for Tom Kristensen the finale in his career as a race driver. The nine-time Le Mans winner will be contesting his last event as a professional race driver at São Paulo but continuing his association with Audi as a representative and partner of Audi Sport. Together with his team-mate Lucas di Grassi (BR), the 47-year-old endurance racing specialist will be battling for a top spot in the World Championship until the end.

The thrilling battle

 

The Dane and the Brazilian, with a score of 102 points, still have a mathematical chance of clinching the runner-up’s position, while their team-mates Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), with 117 points, are currently ranked in second place of the standings. With a driver team from each, Toyota and Porsche, are still both in the race for the runner-up’s spot as well, ensuring the battle will be particularly thrilling.

The manufacturers’ classification has not been decided yet either. At least theoretically, there is still a chance of clinching the title there as Audi is trailing the leader of the standings by 40 points and 44 points are yet to be awarded in Brazil.

Although the brand with the four rings has been the only manufacturer to return without points from one of the seven rounds of the season held to date, the team managed to postpone the title decision to the finale. The past two years saw Audi taking the title in the manufacturers’ world championship early – in the third from last race of the season in 2013 and, amazingly, after just four of eight rounds in 2012.

In the current season, the new Champions will only be determined on November 30. The setting for the decision will be provided by the tradition-steeped Autódromo José Carlos Pace on the outskirts of the Brazilian metropolis – a track that many race drivers greatly enjoy. Its elevation changes during the course of a lap and its challenging cornering sections characterize the facility as a classic driver track. These characteristics clearly distinguish it from many more modern circuits. The fresh tarmac that will affect grip and tire wear makes for a new aspect this year.

The Brazilian market

But the race is not only an important one for Audi for sporting reasons. In October, the company increased its deliveries on the Brazilian market by 84.5 percent compared to the year before. Aggregated, this means that demand for Audi models has doubled to 10,866 within the space of just one year. From 2015 on, Audi will again be represented in this market with a production site located in São José dos Pinhais.

For racing pro Lucas di Grassi, round eight is his home round. The Audi driver was born in São Paulo 30 years ago and two years ago competed there for the first time in the WEC for Audi Sport Team Joest. In the finale, he will be wearing a special racing suit prominently featuring the local automotive supplier and Audi Sport partner Aethra and the aerodynamic splitter on the hood of the number 1 R18 e-tron quattro sporting the Brazilian national colors will be adorned with Aethra’s company logo as well.

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About this article
Series WEC
Event Sao Paulo
Track Interlagos
Drivers Andre Lotterer , Tom Kristensen , Marcel Fassler , Benoit Tréluyer , Lucas di Grassi
Teams Audi Sport Team Joest
Article type Preview
Tags audi