Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (18-20/05/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing on the weekend of 18 - 20 May 2013

2. The Events

  •           Nürburgring 24 Hours
  •           DTM
  •           Superstars
  •           SCCA World Challenge
  •           ELMS
  •           Superstars GT Sprint
  •           French GT-Tour
  •           VSCRC
  •           SVRA
  •           RCN
  •           French Rallycross
  •           Midas Clubmans
  •           Canadian Super Production
  •           SCCA Chicago Regional 
  •           Sonoma Historics 

2.1. Nürburgring 24 Hours

The Nürburgring 24 Hours was held over the long weekend (Whitsun) in Germany. A total of seventeen Audi cars took part, eight of which were Audi R8 LMS ultra entries. A large field of SP9 (GT3) cars took part and the Audis showed good pace. Frank Stippler was able to put in a tremendous qualifying lap to take pole in the #4 Phoenix R8 LMS ultra. The race got underway with a dry track and a very fast pace. The Audis lead initially and remained within the lead battle. As the race approached midnight the weather worsened and the race was red flagged for safety. The cars were brought back to the pits to wait for the restart, whilst the 24 Hours carried on counting down. The race was restarted at 08:00 and a nine hour race to the flag begun in continuing wet conditions which did dry out eventually. The #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra remained near the front and ultimately it was the top placed Audi finishing in fifth overall. The Audi TT RS cars won the SP4T and SP3T classes. Three Audis finished within the top ten overall, all three from Phoenix Racing.

2.2. DTM

The second round of the DTM took place in Britain this weekend, hosted at Brands Hatch (Indy configuration). The Audi teams arrived wanting to put the Hockenheim round behind them. They showed good pace in practice. Mike Rockenfeller was on point all weekend and set the fastest Audi time in qualifying, taking second overall. Martin Tomczyk's BMW, the original pole sitter, was found to be underweight and Rocky was promoted to pole. He took full advantage of the pole position and dominated the race with a flag to flag victory performance, also taking the lead in the championship points standings. Three Audis finished within the top ten.

2.3. Superstars

Italian Superstars headed to the Czech Republic this weekend, for round two at Brno. Audi Sport Italia arrived with their two Audi RS 5 quattro cars. The Audis suffered at Monza, round one, but the team was confident that Brno would better suit the four wheel drive cars. Gianni Morbidelli topped the first wet free practice session and qualified fifth, but unfortunately he retired from race one. His teammate Ferdinando Geri finished within the top ten. Race two saw Morbidelli perform very well, taking second place. 

2.4. SCCA World Challenge

The SCCA Pirelli World Challenge headed to a new venue, the Circuit of the Americas. GMG Racing arrived with five Audi R8 LMS cars and JCR Motorsports entered their Audi R8 GRAND-AM. The Six Audis performed well this weekend. James Sofronas, in the #14 Audi R8 LMS, arrived as the championship leader and maintained that lead. He qualified second and achieved third in race one, followed by another sensational race victory in race two, taking three wins in the first five races of the season. Four Audis finished within the top ten during race one and five during the second race. 

2.5. ELMS

The European Le Mans Series held round two at Imola in Italy. The MOMO Megatron DF1 Audi R8 LMS took part in the event. They qualified third in class, but unfortunately they retired from the race. 

2.6. Superstars GT Sprint

The Superstars GT Sprint also took place at Brno this weekend, alongside the Superstars Series. MTM entered their Audi R8 LMS for Johan Kristoffersson and Thomas Schöffler. The car was seen with a new red and black livery. The team showed good pace and qualified well within the top ten, highlighted with a fourth for race one. Their highest finish was seventh in race two.

2.7. French GT Tour

The French GT-Tour held its second round at Imola, a support event for the ELMS. Four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars took part in what turned out to be a very difficult weekend for the Audi teams. The highest Audi finisher this weekend was the Sainteloc entry who finished ninth during race one, this was the only Audi top ten finish this weekend.   

2.8. VSCRC

Melbourne Performance Centre entered two cars in the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships. It was round two of the series held at Sandown. Rod Salmon competed in the #66 R8 LMS ultra and Audi newcomer, Ockert Fourie, competed in his #79 R8 LMS. Salmon qualified on pole and finished well during the races. He did not win any races, but he was classified as the overall winner for the day on aggregate. 

2.9. SVRA

The SVRA hosted the Spring Vintage Fesitval at Road America this weekend. Two Audis were entered for the event: Audi R8 LMP (#606) driven by Travis Engen and an Audi S4 Competition driven by Mike Fisher. 

2.10. RCN

The third round of the RCN was scheduled to take place on Friday, before the proceedings of the Nürburgring 24 Hours weekend got underway. However, very difficult weather conditions and fog resulted in the RCN event being cancelled and the entire day's proceedings being adjusted due to the weather. Rahel Frey was entered to take part in the RCN event, in one of the Audi race experience (TKL) Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. 

2.11. French Rallycross

The French Rallycross Championship got underway with the “Rallycross des Ducs”. Two Audi cars took part, the Jagu Audi A1 and the ex-Jagu Audi A3. Jimmy Terpereau performed very well in his Audi A3 and won the Division 4 Group A final. 

2.12. Midas Clubmans

Round four of the Midas Clubmans was held at Killarney, Cape Town, SA. Two Audi A4s (ex national class A) took part. Nieyaaz Modack won the first race in his ex-JFR Audi A4 and Andre Johnson finished third overall for the day in his ex-Sipuka A4. An Audi R8 spaceframe racer and a TT also competed in the Sports and GT classes on the day. 

2.13. Canadian Super Production

The Canadian Super Production Challenge held round two at St-Eustache. Three Audis were present at the event, an Audi TT, an Audi A5 and an ex-Stasis SCCA World Challenge TC Audi A4.

2.14. SCCA Chicago Regional 

Continental Racing took part in a SCCA Regional at the Autobahn Country Club. Joel Weinberger won his class in an 
ex-Stasis SCCA World Challenge TC Audi A4. 

Continental Racing FB page


2.15. Sonoma Historics

The 2013 Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival was held this weekend. A very special Audi race car made an appearance at the event, as was the case last year. The Audi 200 Trans Am owned by Eurospec was entered in the event. The car is chassis #TA4 and was driven by Steve Zlotkin.

Eurospec website


2.16. Other Audi News

A total of thirty Audi cars were used as official vehicles at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, all supplied by quattro GmbH. The fleet of Audi cars were highlighted by Audi R8, RS 4 Avant and RS 6 Avant cars.

Audi Sport Communication / Media  

The APR Motorsport Audi R8 GRAND-AM was on display at SOWO 2013.

Another new Audi R8 LMS entry has come to light in Australia. Melbourne Performance Centre is now fielding a white/bright green liveried Audi R8 LMS for Ockert Fourie, who has purchased the vehicle. He is a graduate of the Australian Audi race experience program. The car is a 2011-spec Audi R8 LMS.

The Racing Team Jagu Audi A1 has been completed. The team has built an Audi A1 rallycross car for the French Rallycross Championship. The car will be driven by Yvonnick Jagu. More can be read HERE

The fifth GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS entered the third round of the SCCA World Challenge this weekend. The fifth car has a new driver for the GMG Audi R8 LMS squad, in the form of Mike Hedlund.

The official Audi Sport App has been updated and is a must-get app for any Audi motorsport fan. The App is available for Apple and Android smartphones / devices. The App can be downloaded for Apple HERE, and for Android HERE

Audi Sport Communication / Media  

3. Next Weekend’s events (25-26/05/2013)

  •           Australian GT
  •           British GT
  •           Italian GT
  •           MSS
  •           IMG Racing
  •           Portuguese GT
  •           Super Taikya
  •           CMRC

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