Audi Motorsport press release
- Audi Sport Team Phoenix with two vehicles at Eifel marathon
- A total of five teams with seven Audi R8 LMS ultra cars on the grid
- Audi R8 LMS has been best GT3 car three times in succession
Ingolstadt, March 30, 2012 - Audi has selected a new strategy for the 2012 24-hour race at the Nürburgring (May 19/20). After three consecutive class victories the factory line-up this year is concentrated on Audi Sport Team Phoenix that will be putting two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars with seven seasoned endurance racers on the grid. In addition, four customer teams are relying on Audi’s updated GT3 sports car at Germany’s major endurance race.
Exclusive appearance at the home race: For the first time, Audi Sport Team Phoenix will be representing Audi’s colors at the 24-hour race in the Eifel as the only factory team. Ernst Moser’s squad based in Meuspath in the immediate vicinity of the Nürburgring is fielding two new Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. One of the vehicles will be driven by the Germans Marc Basseng, Christopher Haase, Frank Stippler and Markus Winkelhock. The second GT3 sports car will be shared by the Le Mans winner and Audi factory driver Marcel Fässler (CH), and the two Germans Christopher Mies and René Rast plus Frank Stippler, who has been nominated for both cars.
"2012 is marked by numerous conflicting events for Audi Sport," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "They include the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, which coincides with the DTM round at Brands Hatch in Great Britain. We were looking for the best way to simultaneously contest both events and believe that we’ve found it. Due to its successful history at this race and the fact that it’s at home at the Nürburgring Audi Sport Team Phoenix was a logical choice for us. In combination with the customer teams, Audi is again showing a strong presence at the Nürburgring 24 Hours this year."
Beyond the factory commitment, the Audi R8 LMS ultra is proving its attractiveness as a customer sport race car in fierce competition yet again. Four teams are placing their trust in a total of five of the race cars from Audi Sport customer racing: Mamerow Racing, Raeder Motorsport, Team WRT and Audi race experience.
As long-standing Nordschleife experts, Mamerow Racing and Raeder Motorsport are bringing valuable experience to the track. Peter Mamerow’s team has clinched numerous class and overall victories at the Nürburgring endurance race. The successes achieved by the team of Martin and Nicolas Raeder last year included class victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours and a VLN overall victory with the Audi TT RS. This year, both teams are relying on the powerful GT3 sports car with the four rings for the first time. The car’s final performance rating by the regulations is still pending.
Team WRT is a newcomer to the Nürburgring, but the team of Vincent Vosse has been intimately familiar with the Audi R8 LMS for two years. Last year, it won the Spa 24 Hours and the Blancpain Endurance Series with it. In the Belgian team, Oliver Jarvis (GB) is sharing the cockpit with Andrea Piccini (I), Edward Sandström (S) and Allan Simonsen (DK).
Audi race experience is competing at the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the second time and fielding two R8 LMS ultra cars. For the first time, the team will be putting a separate line-up on the grid. One vehicle will be driven by the four international professional racers Warren Luff (AUS)/Alex Yoong (MAL)/Florian Gruber (D)/Luca Cappellari (I). In the second car, three customers of Audi race experience will be taking turns at the wheel with the three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner.
"With Audi Sport Team Phoenix as the spearheading squad and the four customer teams Audi should be very well set for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring this year," says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. "I’m convinced that our customers, as well, will have perfect chances of being in contention for victory with the R8 LMS ultra. At Audi Customer Sport, we will do everything to provide optimum support to the customers."