Monza: Audi UK Team Veloqx preview

Veloqx Audi Team Aims for Perfect LMES Start Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx lines-up for the opening round of the Le Mans Endurance Series at Monza on Sunday (9 May) aiming to get its title bid off to a flying start. Allan McNish and Pierre Kaffer...

Veloqx Audi Team Aims for Perfect LMES Start

Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx lines-up for the opening round of the Le Mans Endurance Series at Monza on Sunday (9 May) aiming to get its title bid off to a flying start. Allan McNish and Pierre Kaffer plus Jamie Davies and Johnny Herbert share the Veloqx Audi R8s in the Italian race - the first of four 1,000km races in the inaugural LMES. Fifty-five cars have entered the race - 24 prototypes (18 LM P1 + 6 LM P2) and 31 GT (9 LM GTS + 22 LM GT). The ultra-successful Audi R8 has never previously raced at

Practice around the historic 3.6-mile Monza circuit near Milan is staged on Friday (1130-1215 & 1545-1630) with qualifying for grid positions on Saturday (1115-1200 & 1600-1645). Sunday's 173-lap race is scheduled to start at 1320. The British Audi team heads for Italy on a crest of a wave having finished first and third in the Sebring 12 Hours (20 Mar) and first and second in Le Mans Preliminary Tests recently (25 Apr).

Audi R8 - #8

Pierre Kaffer (D). Age 27. Born: Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Ger. Lives: Burgbrohl, Ger:

"I really like Monza although I have only raced there once, finishing fourth in a Porsche Super Cup race last year. It's a difficult, challenging track to drive quickly around - you have to be neat and precise. Our race at Sebring and then tests at Paul Ricard and at Le Mans have all gone extremely well - I have confidence in the team and they have confidence in me which makes it a very good environment to work in. We need to be fast and strong at Monza and everything suggests that will be the case."

Allan McNish (GB). Age: 34. Born: Dumfries, Scotland. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

"We're not going to win the championship at Monza - but we can lose it there. With only four races making up the championship, it's critical we bag a high score. Ideally, you want a car that has good straight-line speed and also enough downforce for the slow corners but you cannot have both and so a compromise must be achieved. I finished inside the top-six on my Monza debut in a 1990 Formula 3000 race while my most recent experience was in the F1 Grand Prix meeting last September."

Audi R8 - #88

Jamie Davies (GB). Age 30. Born / Lives: Yeovil, England:

"I'll be looking to improve on the third place I recorded on my Audi debut at Sebring in March. We especially looked in good shape in the recent Le Mans test, Guy [Smith], Johnny and I all worked hard to gradually improve the car throughout the day and I feel confident. My last race in a Veloqx Ferrari was at Monza last October - my only race there. It's a very high-speed track and obviously one that carries a lot of tradition. I'm very excited about the LMES - it has the makings of a good championship."

Johnny Herbert (GB). Age 39. Born: Brentwood, England. Lives: Monte Carlo, Monaco:

"We need to score well and hopefully very well at Monza. I scored one of my three Grands Prix victories at Monza, back in 1995, so the Italian track will always hold special memories for me. My Monza debut in 1988 - I finished third, and set a new Formula 3000 lap record. The circuit was especially challenging in those days although the present layout is still interesting and the fans are always passionate about motor racing. We showed at the Le Mans Test that we should be on the pace but the competition is tough."

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Johnny Herbert , Allan McNish , Jamie Davies , Pierre Kaffer