Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (17-18/11/2012)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 17 - 18 November 2012

2. The Events

  •           Macau GT Cup
  •           GT Asia
  •           Fuji Sprint Cup
  •           Brazilian GT
  •           Grand-Am Daytona Test
  •           Hamburg 24 Hours

2.1. Macau GT Cup

It was the annual Macau Grand Prix weekend. Three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were entered for the Macau GT Cup. Two entries from the Audi R8 LMS Cup team, which included defending champion Mr Macau, Edoardo Mortara and the second for Jeffrey Lee who was fighting for the GT Asia championship title. The third car was entered by Team Hong Kong Racing for Phillip Ma. From the start Mortara picked up where he had left off last year. He finished second during the first qualifying session due to traffic but he dominated the second session and stormed to pole position. The other two Audis placed in tenth and seventeenth  The race itself saw Mortara getting passed by the Ferrari on the start. He chased the Ferrari and made a brilliant out braking pass to take the lead. Mortara took control at the front and raced toward victory. This marked his fourth successive Macau victory (F3 2009, 2010 and Macau GT 2011, 2012). Phillip Ma finished in thirteenth followed by a recovering Jeffrey Lee in twentieth.

2.2. GT Asia

Macau also hosted the finale of the GT Asia championship. The GT Asia race was run within the Macau GT Cup race. As mentioned above Mortara won the event overall, but there was a championship battle going on behind him. Coming into the event Jeffrey Lee was lying third in the GT Asia points. Jeffrey Lee and Marchy Lee had shared the “dragon” R8 LMS ultra during the season, however Marchy missed one round to compete in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, thus Jeffrey was the highest placed of the pairing in the championship points and he drove the car at Macau. Jeffrey was aiming to improve in the points and performed well by qualifying in the top ten. However during the race he dropped to twenty-fourth but recovered well to finish in twentieth, not an easy task to accomplish on this track. Phillip Ma also competed in his R8 LMS ultra, rounding out the total of three Audis at the event.

2.3. Fuji Sprint Cup

The Fuji Sprint Cup is an annual event held at Fuji after the Japanese Super GT season has come to a close. The event featured six races, two each for the Formula Nippon and each of the Super GT categories. Thus the GT300 and GT500 field of the Super GT are split and the races run separately. Each car crew has two drivers and each driver runs in one of the two 100km races individually. The title is awarded to the car crew with the highest aggregated points from the two 100km races. All four of the regular Super GT Audi entries were present. Qualifying was difficult for the teams as their were no top ten places for either races. The highest finisher during the first race was the GAINER R8 LMS ultra which finished in seventh. The second race again saw the GAINER car as the highest placed Audi in sixth.

2.4. Brazilian GT

The sixth round of the Brazilian GT Championship was held at Campo Grande. The Ebrahim Motors team were present with their Audi R8 LMS ultra. This was only the second event for the team’s newly upgraded ultra and they aimed to continue development. The team qualified well within the top five for both races. Race one saw the Ebrahim pairing finish in fourth. The team was holding second place during race two until a spin in the closing minutes dropped them to sixth place. 

2.5. Grand-Am Daytona Test

Grand-Am held their second winter test this week. It was the first test at Daytona ahead of the 2013 season. Audi of America once again entered one Audi R8 GRAND-AM. The silver #52 machine was driven by five time Le Mans winner and Audi racing legend, Frank Biela. The car performed very well by topping the time sheets on the first day and was second fastest on the second day.

2.6. Hamburg 24 Hours

Slotcar racing is a very popular among the Audi Sport and Speedpool (Audi Sport media associate) staff. The Hamburg 24 Hours was hosted this weekend. Teams battle it out for 24 hours with various cars which includes the Audi R8 LMS. Some of the big names at the 2012 event was multiple previous winner, Frank Biela and also Ralf J├╝ttner. As always it was an exciting event for all the participants.

2.7. Other Audi News

More images of the Facelifted R8 LMS ultra have emerged this week. We covered the story last week where this R8 was spotted at Misano as part of the press launch of the new Facelifted R8 road cars. Official press photos of the facelifted race car (which only has new front and rear lights) were released by Audi. Once again this has fuelled speculation of the possible facelift for the race cars in 2013. At this stage nothing is official regarding this car, but you can see the press photos HERE

VMP Motorsport in South Africa continued their second week of testing, preparing for the 2013 season. The Ferodo Audi S4 of Gennaro Bonafede was again on track at Zwartkops this week. After the tests both of the team’s S4s will be stripped down and optimised for next year.

The Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 NGTC race car from the BTCC was at Silverstone this weekend for a special promotion event. The car was seen alongside a new artwork of the car made by

WIX RACING UK on twitter

3. Next Weekend’s events (24-25/11/2012)

  •           Rome 6 Hours
  •           VdeV
  •           Britcar

All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up