By Johan Laubscher
1. The Weekend
Focussing this week on the weekend of 28 - 29 July 2012
2. The Events
- Spa 24 Hours
- Grand Am
- Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
- Japan Super GT
- Norwegian GT Racing
- Legends of Motorsport
- Canadian Super Production
2.1. Spa 24 Hours
The annual Spa 24 Hours played host to round four of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Ten Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars lined up on the gird for the classic Belgian endurance race. Four factory supported cars were representing Audi Sport from Phoenix Racing and WRT. The Audis started from lower grid places due to the cancelation of final qualifying. During the race the Audis soldiered steadily to the front. Early drama came for the #6 Audi of Lotterer as he was involved in a crash which cost them nearly half an hour. The #6 crew completed the recovery drive of the race by coming from outside the top sixty to finish sixth overall. The race was one of changeable weather and many hours of safety cars. By the morning Phoenix and WRT had established themselves at the front of the field running 1,2,3. The #2 WRT Audi had a very big crash through Eau Rouge which ended the possibility of an Audi R8 LMS ultra podium sweep. The race at the front was very close. The #16 Phoenix Audi versus the #1 WRT Audi battled very hard during Sunday. At the end the race played out in favour of the Audi Sport Team Phoenix squad with WRT coming home in second. The privateer Audis, six in total, also did well in their respective classes.
2.2. Grand Am
The inaugural running of the Indianapolis Grand Am event took place this weekend. Once again only one of the Audi R8 GRAND-AM teams were present at the event. APR Motorsport were fast during the event and qualified in the top five. The team’s bad luck this season continued during the race. The team lost many places after an on track incident but the team worked very hard, fixed the car and got it to the finish. The team finished eighteenth in class.
2.3. Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Round seven of the Continental Tire Sports Cars Challenge also took place at Indianapolis. The APR Audi S4 was at the event and did take part in the race. The #41 Audi S4 which competes in the GS class finished thirtieth overall.
2.4. Japan Super GT
The Japanese Super GT had its fourth round at Sugo for a 300km race. The series continues to be very competitive and the highest placed Audi was the R8 LMS ultra from the GAINER DIXCEL team that placed in the top six. The other three Audis finished outside the top ten.
2.5. Norwegian GT Racing
Three Audis took part in the third round of the Norwegian GT Racing series. The three cars included an Audi Sport quattro, Audi 80 and an Audi A5 TDI. The cars did well during the event. An interesting fact is it that Tom Kristensen test drove this Audi A5 TDI earlier during this year at a Shell diesel promotional event in Scandinavia.
2.6. Legends of Motorsport
Travis Engen and his GMT Racing run Audi R8 LMP (#606) were racing in Canada last weekend. The event was the annual Legends of Motorsport Mont-Tremblant Historic Automobile Races. The Audi R8, as ever, was competitive and finished second in its class during the weekend’s races.
The fifth round of the RCN series took place at the Nüburgring this weekend. Three Audis took part in the event, an Audi S2, a Coupe and a TTS.
2.8. Canadian Super Production
Round four of the Canadian Super Production series was held at St-Eustache. The Ingolstadt Competition team was present with their two red Audis. The Audi A5 did not take part in the races but the team’s ex-Stasis Audi A4 did take part.
2.9. Other Audi news
The Audi Sport DTM teams were at Magny-Cours last week and completed a few days of testing with the Audi A5 DTM cars. The tests were successful as the teams are preparing for the busy second half of the season.
Sad news emerged from South Africa this week as Johan Fourie Racing closed its doors. The team entered the Production car series in 2006 and claimed the 2008 and 2009 titles. After a difficult 2012 season the team has closed and Johan Fourie is taking a sabbatical from motorsport. The team’s Audi S4 has reportedly already been sold to another team. The new team, who have not been disclosed to the public yet, will compete in the South African Bridgestone Production Cars later this year.
The Nigerian Audi R8 LMS Team, Racing Eagle had their Audi R8 LMS on display at the African Village Olympic Exhibition in the Royal Kesington Gardens, London. The car was on display during the Nigerian day of the African exhibition.
The Istook Audi TT RS that competes in the SCCA World Challenge has undergone extensive aerodynamic modifications. The team has been hard at work to modify the TT RS to get it ready for the next round at Mid-Ohio.
3. Next Weekend’s events (4-5/08/2012)
- SA Production Cars
- Czech series
- British GT
- Dutch Supercar
- Italian GT
- SCCA World Challenge
All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up