World Endurance Championship visits Audi's largest market

That's China, by the way -- and Audi is ready to attack Shanghai.

World Endurance Championship visits Audi's largest market
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen
#2 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Benoit Tréluyer
#1 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen

The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is wound up to a high pitch. Within the space of three weeks, sports car fans have been thrilled by the lead in the manufacturers’ championship changing twice. Following two one-two victories in succession, Audi had taken the top spot in the standings at the season'’s midpoint. Although the brand had to relinquish its lead in the race in Japan, it remains in striking distance of the leader of the standings.

Now, the World Championship decision is coming to a head, as the sixth of eight WEC races is on the agenda at Shanghai on November 2.

The brand with the four rings is separated by merely eight points from leader of the standings Toyota in the manufacturers’ classification, while the brand’s advantage over the third-placed brand, Porsche, is 66 points. A total of 132 points are yet to be awarded until the finale. The WEC round in China has special significance for Audi for several reasons. The track is regarded as very challenging, the team achieved victory there last year, and the ‘Middle Kingdom’ has evolved into the largest sales market for AUDI AG. In China, the company delivered 415,704 automobiles between January and September,– 16 percent more than a year ago. Audi operates production sites in the cities of Changchun and Foshan.

Unique track

Its extreme configuration makes this race track unique. The Shanghai International Circuit features the longest corners in the motorsport world in the form of helical bends. In addition, the sequence of several long straights, interrupted by very narrow turns, results in a downright ‘stop-and-go’ rhythm that provides good overtaking opportunities.

A year ago, the brand with the four rings scored its first victory in Mainland China: Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) decided an extremely thrilling 6-hour race in the WEC in their favor with an advantage of 15.374 seconds. In addition, the brand, in 2013, recorded an early win of the drivers’ world championship by Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) there. This year, the FIA WEC is more thrilling than ever before because an early decision of the title is mathematically impossible in China in the manufacturers’ championship and highly improbable in the drivers’ championship.

Audi R8 LMS Cup

The Chinese racing fans can look forward not only to seeing the two WEC sports cars from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. On the first weekend in November, the Audi R8 LMS Cup will be held there as well. In 2012, the series was Audi’s first one-make cup in Asia. Thrilling close battles between the 570-hp GT race cars are guaranteed in rounds 9 and 10 of the season, as the decisive stage in the contest for the title has begun in the Cup too.

In Germany, fans can watch the final stage of the WEC race live on Sunday, November 2, from 8.30 to 10.00 on the TV channel Eurosport. Audi will be providing reports about all practice and qualifying sessions and the race on Facebook (AudiSport), Twitter (@Audi__Sport), and a news ticker at www.audi-motorsport.info and on the Audi Sport App.

Said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “"The Chinese market is one of the most important ones for us on an international scale. Therefore, we’re committed to our claim of making a successful appearance there in motorsport as well. A year ago, we managed to decide the round at Shanghai in our favor with a very good showing and a strong team performance, although the track doesn’t suit our race car concept particularly well. This year, we’re again going to leave no stone unturned to achieve a good result.”"

Chris Reinke (Head of LMP): “"The WEC race at Shanghai has a special significance for us. China as a market has long become something like a second home for Audi. As we’re always received with open arms, we’re traveling there with great enthusiasm. Even though the prerequisites are anything but easy, we’re set on battling for the top spot like last year.”"

Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “"Although Shanghai wasn’t easy for us in the past season, we won. In the second half of the race in changing track conditions and with clever tire management we were able to turn the tide in our favor. That was a sensational success and gives us tremendous motivation this year.”"

Audi drivers are Lucas di Grassi, Lois Duval and Tom Kristensen in the number 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, and Marcel Fässler, André Lottererand Benoît Tréluyer in the number 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro, who said: "“At Shanghai in 2013, we made a strong showing. The pace was right. Now we’d like to continue that, even though we know that this is no mean feat because the track doesn’t suit our current car. In the battle for the title, the crucial stage is coming up now. Of course we’re going to give everything to come home with trophies.”" He was the fastest driver there last year.

Audi Sport

shares
comments
ESM heading for Shanghai as 2015 schedule still undecided
Previous article

ESM heading for Shanghai as 2015 schedule still undecided

Next article

Another journey of discovery – with the Porsche 919 Hybrid to Shanghai

Another journey of discovery – with the Porsche 919 Hybrid to Shanghai
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021