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Story Highlights

  • WRT to tackle endurance race in Malaysia
  • Mattias Ekström confirmed for Race of Champions
  • Prominent guests visit Audi at the Nürburgring

Two Audi R8 LMS cars at the Sepang 12 Hours

Ingolstadt, August 7, 2011 - In September the Audi R8 LMS will start into its fourth major marathon this season and contest a 12-hour race in Asia.

Endurance race in Asia: After winning the Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia in February, clinching class victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in June and overall victory at the Spa 24 Hours in July the Audi R8 LMS will be contesting another major marathon. From September 15 to 17 the WRT team that was victorious at Spa will compete in Malaysia with two of the GT3 customer sport cars. The driver teams for the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER) at Sepang: Frank Biela/Marcel Fässler/Marco Werner and Seiji Ara/Darryl O’Young/Alex Yoong.

Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt

Photo by: xpb.cc

Return of the champion: After taking a break last year due to a calendar conflict Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström is looking forward to contesting the Race of Champions again on December 3 and 4, 2011. The three-time RoC winner beat Michael Schumacher at the finale in 2009. Last year, today’s Audi factory driver Filipe Albuquerque won the race. The competition will again be held at the Esprit-Arena in Düsseldorf this year.

Your Name for Germany: The German Sports Aid foundation has selected this motto for a campaign that appeals to the public to support its athletes and to participate in their success that way. The new campaign visual that shows a de-familiarized image of a DTM race car was created at the Nürburgring. The Audi factory drivers Miguel Molina and Martin Tomczyk also support the project in the picture.

Prominent guests visit Audi: German federal soccer league and national player Inka Grings visited Martin Tomczyk at the Nürburgring on race Sunday. Before the pop group Blue rendered its trackside performance at the ARD Chartshow the four members of the band, Lee Ryan, Simon Webbe, Duncan James and Antony Costa, paid a visit to Audi factory driver Oliver Jarvis and his Audi pit crew. Fencing world champion Britta Heidemann also dropped in on Audi and enjoyed a ride in the Audi A4 DTM race taxi.

The duck goes on the air: After the Tigerenten-Club (Tiger Duck Club) traveled to the DTM at the Lausitzring to shoot footage, the time and date for the program to be aired has now been set. On October 29 the young fans can watch the tiger duck’s adventures on ARD starting at 7:35 a.m. Another program for the youngest fans has also been in the making since the Nürburgring: The multimedia portal clixmix for elementary school age children accompanied Mike Rockenfeller to take a peek behind the scenes. The program can be watched online in September.

Summer mood: On the fringes of the DTM at the Nürburgring two invitations made for a nice summer atmosphere at Audi. Audi Sport Team Phoenix, whose home base is just two kilometers away from the track in Meuspath, hosted a Mediterranean style summer party on Thursday. A day later quattro GmbH was the center of attention in the paddock with its traditional Rhineland Night.

Support of young talent: Audi supports three teams in the Formula Student Germany. Young university students can gather initial practical experience in designing their own race cars. Le Mans winner Marcel Fässler visited the two teams of TU München (Formula Student combustion and Formula Student electric) and the team of TU Eindhoven (Fomula Student electric) on the weekend when they made their showing at Hockenheim and gave an autograph session.

Hands-on assistance: Race driver Christer Jöns personally lent a helping hand to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline at the DTM weekend at the Nürburgring. Normally contesting the ADAC GT Masters and the Nürburgring 24 Hours as a driver of the Audi R8 LMS for the Kempten-based team, he took the wheel of a race taxi in the Eifel. The racer from Ingelheim, Germany, spent the time between the taxi runs by helping the Abt mechanics in transporting tires, washing rims and other activities.

The Audi R8 LMS celebrated two podium positions in the Swedish GT Championship: Jan Brunstedt and Andreas Simonsson (Brunstedt Motorsport) finished the fourth round of the season at Anderstorp as the runners-up in front of their brand colleagues Erik Behrens/Daniel Roos (Alfab Racing).

Class victory in Thuringia: Audi factory driver Timo Bernhard was successful in his motorsport leisure time yet again. The 2010 Le Mans winner posted three fastest times at the Wartburg Rally, a round of the German rally series. In the end he finished fourth overall as class winner in the Porsche GT3 together with his co-driver Klaus Wicha.

A brief interview with ... Mattias Ekström

You’ve won two races with Audi within the space of one week. Which one of them was more strenuous?

The Spa 24 Hours a week ago was no doubt the more strenuous one. I was really bushed afterward. But I’ve got to say my joy of having won was greater at the DTM at the Nürburgring.

Your form curve was excellent. What was the crucial factor in clinching victory at the Nürburgring?

The foundation for this victory was laid by the fact that my Audi A4 DTM had a set-up that was good for me throughout the weekend. The qualifying laps were optimal. It was definitely important for us to have been on the front of the grid. After that, the start, strategy and the pit stops all worked out perfectly. There was not just one single factor but the fact that everything fit together. I think we broke our duck today. Everyone in Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline is more relaxed now as a result of this victory. Now I’m hoping that my guys can take a bit of a vacation and wind down. It’s been a strenuous time for them too.

After so many race kilometers within seven days: Will you relax a bit now during the summer break?

I’ll be traveling very privately together with my girlfriend Heidi, little Mats and the two Jack Russell terriers. Our destination remains our secret. I’ll do nothing for a whole week and then start doing some sports again so that I’ll be well prepared again for the last four races.

Coming up next week

August 14 Spielberg (A), ADAC GT Masters, round 5

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About this article
Series DTM , Endurance
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Frank Biela , Seiji Ara , Alex Yoong , Marcel Fassler , Martin Tomczyk , Mattias Ekström , Timo Bernhard , Marco Werner , Mike Rockenfeller , Oliver Jarvis , Klaus Wicha , Filipe Albuquerque , Miguel Molina , Christer Jöns , Jan Brunstedt , Daniel Roos , Erik Behrens
Teams Team Abt , Phoenix Racing
Tags audi, ekstrom, wrt