By Johan Laubscher
1. The Weekend
Focussing this week on the weekend of 4 - 5 August 2012
2. The Events
- Italian GT
- SA Production Cars
- SCCA World Challenge
- Czech MMČR
- FIA European Hillclimb
- Italian Hillclimb
- Histo-Cup Austria
The six hour Pokal VLN event played host to round seven of the series. Five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars lined up for the race and they did not disappoint. The Raeder Motorsport team continued their good showing by placing second overall ahead of the Audi Sport Team Phoenix cars in third and sixth. There was also Audi success in the SP4T class, but not by one of the usual TT RS cars. It was a debut win for the Brandl Motorsport team and their privately built Audi TT RS which survived the six hours to take the class victory.
2.2. Italian GT
Audi Sport Italia armed with their two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars arrived in Austria for round four of the Italian GT series held at the Red Bull Ring. The cars were very fast all weekend, placing very well in qualifying with pole position. Race one saw a podium finish for #32 with both cars in the top five. Victory followed in race two on Sunday. The #31 Audi R8 LMS ultra of Capello and Sonvico took the lead on the last lap for a sensational victory. Audi Sport Italia are firmly placed in the battle for the 2012 title.
2.3. Bridgestone Production Cars
Round six of the South African Bridgestone Production Car series was hosted Phakisa in Welkom. The weekend was a tough one for the Audi teams who struggled against the better suited opposition. VMP Motorsport who have been working very hard at Phakisa were the only Audis to penetrate the top five during qualifying. The first race had all three Audi S4 cars finish in the bottom half of the top six. Race two saw the two Terry Moss Racing Audi S4s start on the front row of the reverse grid. The two cars placed first and second with Stephen ahead of Sipuka during the race which brought a highlight to the weekend for the Audi teams. Race three had one Audi on the podium with Stephen in third.
2.4. SCCA Pirelli World Challenge
The penultimate SCCA World Challenge round was at Mid Ohio. As per usual two Audi cars lined up on the grid, but both had something new in store. GMG Racing were debuting another new Audi R8 LMS at the event, driven by James Sofronas. He showed great pace during the entire weekend by qualifying sixth and scoring the best R8 LMS finish to date with fifth in race one. The Don Istook Audi TT RS also did well and boasted a newly updated aerodynamic and exhaust set up.
2.5. Czech MMČR
The Czech MMČR series were at the Most circuit this weekend. The Bohemia Racing Team (BRT) were at the event with two Audi A4 DTM cars. Tomas Kostka was entered in the team’s 2007 Audi A4 DTM (R13) and Michalem Matějovský in the 2006 Audi A4 DTM (R12 plus). The team were the dominant force all weekend and qualified 1-2. Race one on Friday saw the two Audis running well despite the extra pitstop restrictions on the DTM specification cars. the race ended with drama as Kostka in the leading Audi had an incident with the Zonda, damaging both cars tremendously. The resulting red flag meant the results were taken back a lap and Kostka was declared the winner with his teammate in third. BRT were unable to repair the damaged R13 in time for race two on Sunday, thus the team prepared one of their older 2005 Audi A4 DTM (R12) cars. Starting from the back Kostka piloted the R12 to another victory followed by his teammate for a BRT 1-2.
2.6. FIA European Hillclimb
The FIA European Hillclimb series were in France this weekend for the Mont Dore hillclimb. Various Audis were present at the event including the ABT-Audi TT-R of Vláďa Vitver.
2.7. Italian Hillclimb
The Italian Alpe Del Nevegal Hillclimb was held this weekend and a few Audi cars competed at the event which included a Audi Sport quattro S1 replica.
2.8. Histo-Cup Austria
The Austian Histo-Cup series were at the Slokavia Ring. A variety of cars took part including two Audi cars, an interesting Audi A4 B5 and an Audi Coupe.
2.9. Other Audi news
GMG Racing have debuted another Audi R8 LMS in the SCCA Pirelli World Championship at Mid Ohio this weekend. Some very exciting news emerged as this was in fact the team’s third Audi R8 LMS to arrive in America. Earlier in 2012 the team acquired its first Audi R8 LMS which was shortly followed by a second. The second car has debuted in the World Challenge series but the first car which has debuted in another SCCA Endurance series still needs to enter the World Challenge. Along with the debut of the third car it is now possible that all three Audi R8 LMS cars will be racing at the World Challenge finale at Sears Point at the end of August.
The American DragonSpeed team were the first to receive an Audi R8 LMS ultra in North America. The team have been very busy testing the car, preparing for the 2013 season. Last week the car was on show at the prestigious Miami Audi Showroom.
Last week the South African Johan Fourie Racing team closed its doors and it was announced that another team had acquired the JFR Audi S4. The new team that will run the Audi S4 has not yet been disclosed to the public. However, the series organisers have hinted that the Audi S4 will most likely be back on track during 2012 in Class A of the Bridgestone Production Car series. It was also said that the S4 may be seen at the next round during August, hosted at Zwartkops Raceway.
The British GT twitter have mentioned a few exciting things during last weekend. It was mentioned that United Autosports may be back with their Audi R8 LMS ultra later this season in British GT. They also mentioned that there may be as many as two Audi R8 LMS cars on the grid for the 2013 season.
3. Next Weekend’s events (11-12/08/2012)
- Grand Am
- ADAC GT Masters
- Pikes Peak
- Aus Kerrick Sports Sedans
All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up