ETCC: Audi Motorsport newsletter 2004-03-20

ALMS: Audi R8 writes sports car history again Newly formed Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx has won its first ever race with the Audi R8. Frank Biela, sports car rookie Pierre Kaffer and Allan McNish won the 12 Hour race at Sebring (Florida), the ...

Audi R8 writes sports car history again

Newly formed Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx has won its first ever race with the Audi R8. Frank Biela, sports car rookie Pierre Kaffer and Allan McNish won the 12 Hour race at Sebring (Florida), the opening round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). JJ Lehto, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner in the ADT Team Champion Racing Audi R8 and the British trio Jamie Davies/Johnny Herbert/Guy Smith in the second Veloqx Audi completed the historic 1-2-3 victory for Audi. The Audi R8 is the first sports car in the history of the endurance classic that achieved five Sebring victories in a row.

The three R8 sportscars of the Audi customer teams were in a class of there own in qualifying and battled fiercly during the first hours of the race. The decisive moment for Team Veloqx came during the fourth hour when the Champion R8 collided with a lapped GT car, consequently losing nine laps due to the repairs. The second Veloqx R8 stayed in touch with the ultimate victorious sister car before a seal on the left drive-shaft cost 39 minutes and the chance of victory for Davies/Herbert/Smith. Despite the setbacks, both Audi teams were able to fight their way back to second and third completing complete Audi domination of the rostrum. "Sebring is one of the very tough endurance races," explained Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "By winning this race five times in a row you can say, with a good conscience, that this is no coincidence."

Audi sets fastet time in DTM test

The Audi A4 DTM made a strong impression on its first public test with its competitors. At the end of a four-day DTM test session at Estoril (Portugal), Audi works driver Tom Kristensen headed the field in Audi Sport Infineon Team Joest^Òs A4 DTM setting a fastest lap of 1m 34.394s. Mattias Ekström (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) recorded the third fastest time. "As the cars were running without any problems, both teams were able to successfully complete their test programme with all six drivers," explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "The cars of all three manufacturers were very close together. Only at the season opening Hockenheim race will we definetily know where we stand. But generally we are very content with the results of this test and our new A4 DTM." The race cars will be shown in their final livery for the first time at the DTM series´ presentation in Hamburg on March 29/30.

Audi driver Galati finishes third at Sebring

Audi driver Michael Galati gave Audi its first podium result of the 2004 motorsport season in the opening round of the American SPEED GT World Challenge. Prior to the Sebring 12 Hour race, Galati moved from seventh to second at the start thanks to the quattro four-wheel drive on his Audi RS 6 Competition. After his team-mate Randy Pobst, who initially had taken the lead, dropped far back on the opening lap due to a power-steering problem, Galati even briefly moved into the lead. After 45 race-minutes, the Audi driver eventually finished third.

News from the Audi brand group

Season opener at Monza with four SEAT cars

A total of four SEAT Toledo Cupra cars will race in the opening round of the FIA Touring Car Championship (ETCC) at Monza next Sunday. The SEAT factory team runs cars for Jordi Gené, Frank Diefenbacher and newly-signed Rickard Rydell during the entire season. SEAT Sport Italia has entered another Cupra for Gianni Morbidelli for their "home race" at Monza.

Two Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT in the ALMS

The newly formed Kohn-Barbour Racing Team has ordered a pair of Murciélago R-GT cars from Lamborghini and plans to run them in the GTS class of this year^Òs American Le Mans Series (ALMS). French team DAMS has entered another R-GT in the FIA GT Championship. Lamborghini are currently developing and testing the race version of the Super Sports Car. It has not yet been decided when the car will have its race debut.

Coming up next week

Round 1 of the FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) at Monza ...


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About this article
Series ALMS , DTM , PWC
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Tom Kristensen , Allan McNish , Guy Smith , Frank Biela , Jamie Davies , Randy Pobst , Mattias Ekström , Michael Galati , Marco Werner , Frank Diefenbacher , Pierre Kaffer , Rickard Rydell , Gianni Morbidelli , Jordi Gene , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Team Abt , DAMS