Saturday, October 25, 2014

VLN: Audi TT RS domination in SP3T class at season finale


By Johan Laubscher

The VLN Endurance Series hosted its tenth and final round of the 2014 season at the Nürburgring Nordschleife this weekend. A total of eleven Audis took part in the finale.

Twin Busch Motorsport was the only Audi R8 LMS ultra entrant this weekend with their #44 entry. The Busch brothers, Marc and Dennis, unfortunately did not take part in the race today following accident damage in qualifying.

Rotek Racing was out in force with two cars. They entered an Audi RS 4 (B7) and also ran the G-Drive Racing entry. Roman Rusinov piloted the #259 Audi TT RS, run by Rotek Racing on behalf of G-Drive Racing, to sixty-ninth overall and first in the SP4T class (only one SP4T entry this weekend)

The SP3T class saw the participation of five Audi Sport customer racing 2.0 litre TT RS cars. LMS Engineering entered two of these entries and three were fielded by Raeder Motorsport, one for Raeder Motorsport and two for their customers Møller Bil Motorsport and race&event. 


SP3T saw an Audi 1-2-3-4-5-6, as the Audi TT RS teams filled up the first five positions. LMS Engineering took the class victory with their #303 TT RS. They finished ahead of the #331 Raeder Motorsport TT RS, the #334 Møller Bil Motorsport TT RS, their LMS Engineering teammates in the #302 TT RS and the #317 race&event TT RS. The #333 TTS took sixth place in class.

Various other Audi races cars, including Audi TT, TTS and TT RS cars, were also fielded by privateer teams.

Photo credit: JS Photography



GT Cup: Class podium for United Autosports Audi R8 LMS ultra at Oulton Park


By Johan Laubscher

The GT Cup Championship held its season finale at Oulton Park this weekend. United Autosports headed to the final meeting with two cars in the GTO (GT3) class.

The Anglo-American team has run a McLaren MP4-12C GT3 all season long for Jim Geddie, who was in the running for the GT Cup title this weekend. United Autosports also added their Audi R8 LMS ultra to the GT Cup grid this weekend. Businessman Phil Burgan was behind the wheel of the #27 Audi GT3 machine.


Burgan was able to qualifying sixth in class, twelfth overall. He completed the first of two races with a class podium, third in class and sixth overall. A huge crash occurred going into the first corner of the second race and unfortunately Phil Burgan was involved in the incident and retired from the race, he has fortunately been reported as unharmed.

Jim Geddie performed very well in the McLaren this weekend. He finished first and second in the two races respectively and claimed the GT Cup drivers’ title in the process for himself and United Autosports.

The weekend’s results can be seen HERE.


Photo credit: United Autosports

Italian GT: Thomas Schöffler, Marco Mapelli headed to Italian Gran Turismo Monza decider alone on top of the points standings


Audi Sport Italia Press Release

  • #6 R8 LMS ultra duo puts in gritty, solid drive in next-to-last round  
  • Jinxed Dindo Capello, Emanuele Zonzini seek Top3 finish tomorrow
Monza, Italy – Today, Audi standard-bearers Marco Mapelli and Thomas Schoeffler had only eyes for a 458 Italia in the next-to-last Italian Gran Turismo round. It was neither the #9 Ferrari (Alessandro Balzan-Nicola Benucci) that led early on nor the #36 Ferrari that ultimately took Alex Frassineti and Stefano Costantini to the chequered flag as winners. Rather, they had chalked up as their target the #27 Ferrari, whose drivers Raffaele Gianmaria and Lorenzo Case before Monza were sharing the series lead level on points with them at 111 points each. Mapelli laid down a solid backstop for Audi success today grabbing a front row spot seat next to Balzan, but ahead of archrival Giammaria. At the ultra-quick historic venue the Monza-based Italian drove flawlessly to keep at bay the Scuderia Baldini star until the mandatory pit-stop, leaving the steering to Schoeffler as race runnerup. The Singen-based young gun resumed the race fourth--due to a 15-second time penalty triggered by  their successful outings at Imola a fortnight ago--but importantly ahead of Giammaria team mate Case'. Lap by lap Schoeffler pulled away from the Ferrari, which on the final lap was also overtaken by Tomas Enge's Camaro, as Schoeffler secured the fourth position.


The German-Italian couple will therefore go to Sunday decider leading their rivals by three points, albeit they're level on points if two results are discarded as the sporting regulations mandate. Should they finish level on points, the crown will be tilted toward the Audi pair, who have posted two victories against one. Gameplans will be made easier tomorrow for Schoeffler, who starts from row three, whilst Casé and Benucci Ferraris will be forced to seek a rally from row five. It may well be the case that the Audi duo with more chances to climb the podium steps tomorrow will be Dindo Capello and Emanuele Zonzini. The 3-time Le Mans winner will start from row two after having posted the fastest GT3 lap ever for an R8 LMS ultra at Monza, in a session that saw pole sitting Mirko Bortolotti's Lambo sign off the best GT3 lap ever. Today the #5 Audi wound up in P8: Zonzini on lap six was drawn into a tussle by a rival and he and Capello were forced to limp to the finish with a stricken car.


Race one: 
1. Frassineti-Costantini (Ferrari)
27 laps, 50:39.267s
2. Pezzucchi (Porsche)
3. Balzan-Benucci (Ferrari)
4. MAPELLI-SCHÖFFLER (AUDI)
5. Sini-Enge (Chevrolet)

Standings:
AFTER 13 ROUNDS:
1. MAPELLI-SCHÖFFLER 119 points
3. Giammaria-Case' 116 pts.
4. Benucci 110 pts.
5. Balzan 95 pts.
6. Ferrara 82 pts.


Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia

Friday, October 24, 2014

PHOTOS: Triple 24 Hour race winners in stunning photo shoot: Le Mans + Nürburgring + Spa


By Johan Laubscher

Audi Sport has had a tremendous year in endurance racing with a Triple Crown stretching all the way from France, Germany and Belgium. A beautiful set of photos was released today featuring this achievement.

Audi Sport Team Joest won the Le Mans 24 Hours in June with the #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro piloted by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer.

Later in June it was the turn of Phoenix Racing to win the Nürburgring 24 Hours with their #4 Audi R8 LMS ultra, which was driven by Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock.

July saw a third 24 Hour race victory for the Four Rings, as Belgian Audi Club Team WRT took the honours at the Spa 24 Hours. The race winning #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra was driven by Laurens Vanthoor, Markus Winkelhock and Rene Rast.

Audi Communications - Motorsport (PR) released seven stunning photos earlier today. These photos feature the three 24 Hour race winning cars from 2014.

It is truly a stunning set of photographs. We have included all seven photos below: 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

VLN: G-Drive Racing and Roman Rusinov Audi TT RS entered for finale


By Johan Laubscher

The tenth and final round of the VLN Endurance Series will be held this upcoming weekend. G-Drive Racing and Roman Rusinov will be back with an Audi TT RS.

The G-Drive Racing entry will be run by Rotek Racing, who’s TT RS has been seen in the VLN during 2013 and at round nine of 2014. The car will be running in the SP4T class.

Roman Rusinov will be piloting the #259 Audi TT RS during the finale on Saturday.


The car’s new G-Drive Racing livery was designed by berzerkdesign.de and applied earlier this week.

It is great to see the G-Drive Racing colours on an Audi race car once again. 



Photo credit: berzerkdesign.de and G-Drive Racing



Blancpain Sprint Series: Seven Audi R8 LMS ultra entries for Baku World Challenge season finale


By Johan Laubscher

The finale of both the Blancpain Sprint Series and overall Blancpain GT Series will be heading to the streets of Azerbaijan for the Baku World Challenge from 1-2 November.

A total of seven Audi R8 LMS ultra entries are listed on the entry list, with the six regular entrants being joined by an one-off entry from Prosperia C.ABT Racing.

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will again be entering their four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars, three in Pro and one in Silver Cup. Phoenix Racing will have their regular two-car line-up for the finale, fresh from winning the Pro-Am Trophy drivers’ title with Marc Basseng and Alessandro Latif at the previous round.

Prosperia C.ABT Racing are entering one Audi R8 LMS ultra. The car will be driven by Christopher Mies and the newly crowned ADAC GT Masters champion, young South African Kelvin van der Linde.

Audi entries for the Baku World Challenge:

Pro:
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Rene Rast and Enzo Ide
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - #9 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi
Phoenix Racing - #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Niki Mayr-Melnhof and Markus Winkelhock
Prosperia C.ABT Racing - #777 Audi R8 LMS ultra – Christopher Mies and Kelvin van der Linde

Pro-Am Trophy:
Phoenix Racing - #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Marc Basseng and Alessandro Latif

Silver Cup:
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - #4 Audi R8 LMS ultra - Mateusz Lisowski and Vincent Abril

Entry list:


Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blancpain Sprint Series: PRO-AM title for Phoenix duo Basseng/Latif


Phoenix Racing Press Release

Marc Basseng (D) and Alessandro Latif (GB) are early winners of the PRO-AM classification in the Blancpain Sprint Series (BSS). Midfield finishing positions in the penultimate race at Zolder were sufficient to clinch this victory. The second Audi R8 LMS ultra fielded by the team based in Meuspath at the Nürburgring for drivers Niki Mayr-Melnhof (A) and Markus Winkelhock (D) also scored no points for the overall classification.



The squad around Team Boss Ernst Moser had already produced an impressive feat before the sixth round of the Blancpain Sprint Series at Zolder. Because following an unfortunate collision while testing at the Nürburgring the previous Friday, the #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra had to be completely rebuilt in just three days. “The rebuild went outstandingly well, the car ran without the smallest technical problem at Zolder,” praised GT Team Manager Bernhard Demmer. As a result, Basseng and Latif were able to concentrate on set-up work from the very beginning. The 18-year old in particular faced a tricky task since the extremely demanding former Grand Prix track was completely new to him. However, young talent Latif and his experienced team mate Basseng brought the white-blue R8 in both Saturday’s qualification race as well as the one-hour main race on Sunday safely to the chequered flag and with a pair of 15th positions achieved the main target – winning the PRO-AM classification ahead of the final round.


On Friday, Markus Winkelhock missed free practice at Zolder due to the presentation of the new Audi TT Cup, in which he will act as driver coach, but quickly got to grip with the car and track on Saturday. A small mistake in the third segment of qualifying saw the #6 Audi ultimately take eleventh on the grid and the sixth row instead of a possible third row start. Following a good start to the qualifying race, things initially ran well for the white-red R8. The Phoenix crew once again produced two perfect pit stops for the #6 Audi and the sister car. However, in the direct fight for position some time was lost and could not be regained, which meant that Mayr-Melnhof/Winkelhock, who was also handed a 30 second penalty, was only classified in 16th position. In the main race, Niki Mayr-Melnhof was lapping quickly, however, in the second half of the race Markus Winkelhock was increasingly slowed by problems, which ultimately led to his retirement.

After the unsatisfactory results at Zolder, Phoenix Racing now prepares meticulously for the seventh round and a suitably happy conclusion to the season finale on 1/2 November in Baku in Azerbaijan.


Photo credit: Phoenix Racing


GT Cup: United Autosports head to Oulton Park for final GT Cup round with two cars


United Autosports Press Release

  •     United Autosports head to Oulton Park for final round of GT Cup
  •     Jim Geddie aims to take championship win in McLaren MP4-12C GT3
  •     Phil Burgan joins the team for final round in Audi R8 LMS ultra
United Autosports make their way to Oulton Park, Cheshire for the final round of the GT Cup championship this weekend (25th October)

Jim Geddie leads the championship by 28 points from second-place David Walley and aims to take the crown in his McLaren MP4-12C GT3. Jim has so far this season scored five outright wins and 16 outright podiums from 18 races.

The team will also be running their Audi R8 LMS ultra with businessman Phil Burgan behind the wheel. Phil is the founder and CEO of Maria Mallaband Care Group Ltd, one of the biggest care home providers in the UK. Phil is a former racing driver, racing in the UK Ferrari Championship in 1996 before going on to compete in the European Ferrari Challenge from 1997 to 1999. He also competed in the Trofeo Masterati in 2006 before retiring from racing and setting up the Phil Burgan Race Academy that supports a new generation of British racers.


The weekend begins on Saturday 25th October with free practice at 08.55 followed by qualifying at 11.10, race one at 13.20 and race two at 16.10.

Richard Dean, Team Owner and Managing Director, United Autosports:

“We are really looking forward to going to Oulton Park. Hopefully we can clinch the championship with Jim in the McLaren. It has been a great year in the championship so we are aiming to finish on a high. It will be great to have Phil Burgan with us in the Audi. Hopefully he can have a good weekend at Oulton too.”

Photo credit: United Autosports

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blancpain Sprint Series: Saturday win and Sunday podium finish for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT at home in Zolder


Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Press Release
 
“The Main Race shouldn’t be on Sundays!”: the same sentence has been heard quite a few times in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT stand at the end of a weekend in Zolder that left some frustration. After winning the Qualifying Race on Saturday, local hero Laurens Vanthoor and César Ramos couldn’t do better than 3rd on Sunday. Saturday’s win had come after a lively battle with team mates Rast-Ide, who took 4th and were ousted of the Main Race in the second corner. Stéphane Ortelli and Stéphane Richelmi (who suffered fever throughout the weekend) finished in the points on Sunday, while MateuzLisowski-Vincent Abril made a further significant step towards winning the Silver Cup, after taking a second and a first in the special class for the under-25.
 

With only the final Baku round left, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is still in the race for the Blancpain Sprint Series Teams’ title, although the gap from the top is now 10 points, while the squad’s driver pairs are now mathematically out of contention in the Drivers’ standings.

Team Principal Vincent Vosse’s mood at the end of the race summarized well everybody’s feelings: “We would have hoped a better outcome in the Main Race, that’s for sure”, he admits, “especially here at Zolder for our home race, but for whatever reason, the Sunday race is proving difficult for us. We have won Race 1 four times and Race 2 only once this season… Here, Ramos-Vanthoor haven’t done any mistake, although the start could have been better, but at the end the Mercedes and one Lambo are in front... For the rest, Ide-Rast were quite unlucky throughout the weekend, while our young guns Abril-Lisowski are getting very close to the class title, and Ortelli-Richelmi concluded well a difficult weekend.”

Qualifying went pretty well for the Team WRT boys, as Laurens Vanthoor did not miss the opportunity to take the pole at home (for the third time this season), stopping the watch in 1.28.580, with Rast taking an excellent 3rd, Lisowski 10th and Ortelli 17th.

The Qualifying Race, under a glorious sunshine, kept some surprises, as Vanthoor did not take the best of kick-off, contrarily to Rast, who took the lead in the canal curves. The two Audis were in control of the race when in lap 9, they had a slight contact in the Jacky Ickx chicane, as Vanthoor attempted to pass his team mate who had exited a little bit wider from the previous corner. Vanthoor succeeded, while Rast’s car went off-track, avoiding the gravel trap but losing three positions. First and fourth were their final positions, after César Ramos increased the lead of car #1 and Enzo Ide brought his safely home. The stewards that investigated the incident after the race concluded in split responsibility and the expected internal discussion within the team was cut short, by Vanthoor recognizing he had misjudged the situation: “I must apologize to the team”, said the young Belgian, “that wasn’t the way it should have been. René had made a small mistake in the previous corner and I got really close to him in the run up to the Jacky Ickx chicane. I showed myself pretty early and I thought he had seen me. It was not planning to do something crazy under braking, I braked just a little bit later. When I was alongside, he turned in on me. It was probably my mistake, for I was the car behind.” René Rast, on his side, admitted: “That’s racing” and Sporting Director Pierre Dieudonné had the obvious conclusion: “En-famille fighting happens often in motorsports and that proves that a racing driver is always a racing driver when it puts the helmet on! But you don’t want to see this very often, of course. Here we were lucky not to have our cars out of the race”.


The other two Audis R8 of the Belgian squad had a relatively frustrating race. Mateusz Lisowski-Vincent Abril could not repeat the pace had in qualifying and suffered some engine cut-offs, finishing in P17 but still taking a very useful P2 in the Silver Cup. Stéphane Richelmi and Stéphane Ortelli finished further aback after losing time when Richelmi spun and went into the gravel shortly before the pit stop, because of a brake issue. The young Monegasque, in addition, was sick and raced with fever.

On Sunday, for the Main Race, hopes were in the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT camp  were as high as the sunshine, but the start saw the two Lambos out-powering the R8 of Ramos, which got also touched. Things went even worse for Ide as he was pushed out of the track into the barriers in turn 2. The race went on nervously, with two safety-car periods before drivers’ change. Despite an excellent pit stop, Vanthoor remained in P3, with the HTP Mercedes replacing one of the Lambos in P1. Nothing much happened in this second stint: “I was quite fast at the beginning of my stint and did the fastest lap but I could not find an opportunity to pass Bleekemolen. Later, my rear tires started to deteriorate.”

Ortelli-Richelmi took an excellent tenth position, despite Richelmi not feeling much better than the day before. The older of the two Monegasques
summed up:

"Finishing in the points, after having started from P23, is really good. We pitted very late, five seconds before the window closed, and tactically that was the right thing to do. Richelmi has done an excellent job, despite his physical problems, and showed a very strong pace. He took him one weekend to be competitive on a GT car!”

Vincent Abril and Mateusz Lisowski finished right behind car #9, but most importantly took a precious win in the Silver Cup:
“The title is now close, we just need to finish the race in Baku, a track new to both Vincent and me”, explained the Pole,

“Here at Zolder, we signed the best qualifying of the season but in the races we struggled a bit and had some issues. Still, we are satisfied with what achieved.”

The Blancpain Sprint Series’ final round will take place, as last year, in the streets of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on 1st-2nd November.
BlancpainSprint Series - Round 6


Zolder, Belgium
6-7 September2014
Qualifying Race Result:

1. Vanthoor-Ramos (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                       38 laps in 1h01m22.719
2. Catsburg-Kox (Lambo FLII)                                           +15s940
3. Proczyk-Bleekemolen (Lambo FLII)                                +21s715
4. Rast-Ide (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                                     +22s667
5. Soucek-Adam (Aston MartinVantage)                              +23s463
17. Lisowski-Abril (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                          +1m08s532(2. Silver Cup)
23. Richelmi-Ortelli (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                       +2 laps


Main Race Result :

1. Götz-Buhk (Mercedes SLS)                                            35 laps in 1h00m00s027
2. Proczyk-Bleekemolen (Lambo FLII)                                +2s895
3. Ramos-Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                       +4s251
4. Dusseldorp-Afanasiev (Mercedes SLS)                             +17s084
5. Soucek-Adam (aston Martin Vantage)                             +18s140
10. Ortelli-Richelmi (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                       +26s424
11. Lisowski-Abril (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                          +35s001 (1. Silver Cup)

DNF Ide-Rast (Audi R8LMS ultra)                                   0 laps Accident

Provisional Drivers’ standings (Pro Cup) after Round 6 of 7 :

1. Götz (Mercedes SLS)                                                      142 points
2. Buhk (Mercedes SLS)                                                     126
3. Bleekemolen-Proczyk (Lambo FLII)                                  115
4.Ide-Rast (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                                        68
5. Vanthoor-Ramos (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                         67
6.Bueno-Jimenez (BMW Z4)                                                55
7.Baumann-Jäger (BMW Z4)                                               45
8. Ortelli (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                                           37
… Abril-Lisowski (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                             28


Provisional Drivers’ standings (Silver Cup) after Round 6 of 7 :

1. Lisowski-Abril (Audi R8 LMS ultra)                           162 points
2. Colombo-Fumanelli (BMW Z4)                                       138
3. Toril (Mercedes SLS)                                                      99
4. Wolf-Stolz (Mercedes SLS)                                              75

Provisional Teams’ standings (Pro Cup) after Round 6 of 7 :

1. HTP Motorsport                                                          144 points
2. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT                                   134
3. Grasser Racing Team                                                  121
4. BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil                                    72
5. BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert                               50

More info on the Blancpain series, live timing and live commented TV streaming of each race on www.blancpain-gt-series.com

Photo credit: Patrick Hecq Photography / Belgian Audi Club


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Audi in WTCC – A fan’s point of view


By Tarek Ramchani

The Audi brand has a long and very successful heritage in touring car racing. It started in early 1990s with the legendary V8 quattro in the demanding DTM. Later the Four Ring dominated the golden Super Touring era with the A4 quattro STW. In 2004 Audi returned in the DTM with a factory effort, scoring no less than six drivers titles in years that followed.

Currently European touring car racing has three major championships, the DTM of course, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Audi cars compete in two out of these three series. The DTM, as mentioned earlier, with a factory effort and in the BTCC via two privateer efforts from Rob Austin Racing (Audi A4) and Rotek Racing (Audi S3).

As a long-time Audi motorsport and touring car racing fan, here I will talk about my wish to see Audi entering the FIA World Touring Car Championship. And to makes it clear right from the start, my thoughts and views are my own and DO NOT in any way reflect Audi AG or Audi Motorsport policies or views.



There are no doubts that the WTCC is very popular worldwide. The series is celebrating its tenth season of competition this year. It all started in 2005, when the former FIA European Touring Car Championship was promoted to international level and became a true FIA World Championship. From 2005 to 2013 the WTCC used the S2000 formula with many brands taking part in the championship, with works entries from BMW, Alfa Romeo, SEAT, Chevrolet and Honda.

Starting this year, WTCC officials made a radical move switching from the very production based S2000 formula to a new generation of cars called TC1. The cars are faster, look more aerodynamic  and aggressive, which made them a little bit closer to DTM.

Right now there are no Audi efforts in the WTCC and there is no doubt that many of the brand's fans want to see Audi entries. Who doesn't want to see Audi A4s or Audi A3s racing against some of the best teams like Citroen and Honda? The idea of Audi cars competing around the world is cracking no doubts. The excellent TV coverage has made the series very popular since its first year. The WTCC can be an ideal platform, not only for racing successes, but also for marketing targets.



However, with Audi fully committed to both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the DTM with full factory efforts, it’s nearly impossible to see the brand joining WTCC with a works team. The FIA WEC is vital with Le Mans as a pinnacle and so is the DTM, racing against the two historical premium brands rivals of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

An Audi presence in the WTCC could be done in two ways. The first is to have factory blessed teams, as is the case in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, where Mattias Ekstrom’s team EKSRX is fielding two Audi S1 quattros with slight factory support. The other option is to let independent teams field Audi cars by giving them the green light for the homologation processes. FIA rules are clear, any TC1 car needs a manufacture's approval to be homologated and allowed to compete in WTCC. This is the case this year with Chevrolet, where TC1 Cruze cars are built in house by RML, with no support from the American brand.



Let’s be honest, the media and fans do look at the winning brand when it comes to GT3 racing. When Audi customer teams win the Spa 24 Hours, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Blancpain Endurance Series or any other sportscar event around the world, it is seen as an Audi victory. Only a few distinguish the real difference between the various customer teams and the manufacturer, only the brand name matters with less focus on teams’ names. The very same can work in WTCC. Touring car racing is all about production based racing, therefore the brands and models do really matter. Any potential Audi victory in WTCC, even in privateer hands, would be a success for the brand itself.

For all these reasons I really want to see Audi cars racing in WTCC. It won’t be easy to see it happen, however the idea is no doubt a dream for thousands of touring car racing fans and Audi motorsport followers.

Photo credit: WTCC

Time Attack: GMG Racing and James Sofronas Audi R8 LMS ultra at Willow Springs


By Johan Laubscher

The Global Time Attack hosted a GTA Pro Am round at Willow Springs International Raceway this weekend. The Targa Trophy Super Track Series, which was presented by GMG Racing on this occasion, was also taking part alongside the Global Time Attack.

GMG Racing took part in the event with one of their Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. James Sofronas was on hand to pilot his silver and black Audi R8 LMS ultra in which he also took part in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge. The car was entered in the exhibition class.


The #14 Audi R8 LMS ultra was seen in the full 2013 specification with the aggressive 2013 rear diffuser. The car was thus in the full 2013 R8 LMS ultra aerodynamic specification, except for the rear view mirrors, which were of the older curved variety.


Photo credit: Jager Racing on flickr and James Sofronas

DTM: Audi is best manufacturer in the 2014 DTM


Audi Press Release

  •     155,000 spectators experience Audi one-two-three victory in DTM finale
  •     Mattias Ekström celebrates second victory in succession
  •     Audi beats BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the manufacturers’ championship
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 19, 2014 – Audi is the best manufacturer in the 2014 DTM. With a one-two-three victory in the finale at Hockenheim the brand with the four rings in front of 155,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) managed to recover the title in the manufacturers’ championship from BMW.

The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, with an impressive performance in the finale, converted a deficit of 21 points into an advantage of 30 points. In the 2014 season, Audi scored a total of 409 points, BMW 379 and Mercedes-Benz 222. One of the first people to extend their congratulations was soccer world champion Bastian Schweinsteiger, who watched DTM finale in the Audi pits.


The runner-up’s spot and third place in the drivers’ championship were secured by Audi as well. The two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline celebrated his second victory in succession and finished the season as the runner-up. Last year’s champion Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix on clinching second place advanced to third place in the drivers’ standings. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg in third place made for drivers from all three Audi Sport Teams mounting the podium in the season finale.

“Today Audi showed ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’: before the start of the race with the driverless RS 7 and in the DTM finale with a one-two-three victory,” said Dieter Gass. “Our aim this weekend was to win the manufacturers’ championship. And in the end we clearly decided it in Audi’s favor – not least thanks to a brilliant team performance. That drivers from all three Audi Sport Teams mounted the podium today speaks a clear language. On this weekend everyone could see how strong the Audi RS 5 DTM is. 15 in 30 possible podium places this year are an impressive tally. Congratulations also to Mattias (Ekström) and Mike (Rockenfeller) on taking the runner-up’s spot and third place in the drivers’ championship. We’re already looking forward to 2015 when we’re aiming to recover car number 1 as well.”


The race winner Mattias Ekström, just like Mike Rockenfeller, started on the harder standard tires and thus had the right strategy. The two maintained their positions in the top ten throughout, and in the final stage, after switching to the softer option tires, were able to make up one position after another. Favored by a late safety car period, Ekström and Rockenfeller managed to intercept Jamie Green, who had been leading from the starting lap on, on the last two laps.

“My Audi was again fantastic today,” beamed Mattias Ekström following his second victory in the space of just three weeks. “Ever since things have been going better in qualifying, the races have been working out as well. This was a great season finale for Audi, Team Abt Sportsline and also for me in front of a fantastic crowd. You can’t wish for a better farewell before the winter break.”


With Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) and Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) in positions six and nine, a total of five Audi drivers finished in the top ten and thus in the points.

Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) finished the last race of his rookie season in 14th place, following a tough race. Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) retired after collisions but were still classified in positions 19 and 22.


Even before the start of the DTM finale, Audi caused a sensation. A driverless Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept did a fast lap on the DTM race track – without a driver. On track with a driver was the new Audi TT cup that will be fielded in 2015 as part of the DTM. At the wheel was Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of Audi’s Management Board for Technical Development, who after the race joined Chairman of the Management Board Rupert Stadler and the entire Audi DTM squad in celebrating the win of the manufacturer’s championship.