By Johan Laubscher
1. The Weekend
Focussing on the weekend of 15 - 16 June 2013
2. The Events
- Le Mans test sessions
- SA Production Cars
- Spanish GT / GT Open
- British GT
- Italian GT
- Super GT
- DMV TCC
- STT / AvD 100 Meilen
- Audi endurance experience
- Pageant of Power
Round four of the DTM was hosted at the Lausitzring. The weekend got off to a good start for the Audi teams as Jamie Green topped free practice and lead home six Audis within the top ten. Qualifying was slightly different as only four Audis made it into the top ten, but Green was again the top Audi, placing in third. The race saw Green maintaining third behind the leading Mercedes-Benz whilst some of the Audis pitted early for tires. Mike Rockenfeller had a brilliant strategy and managed to leapfrog his way to second and challenged for the win. Ultimately Rocky finished second, collecting valuable points. A total of four Audis finished within the top ten. This result has elevated Rocky in the points, as he is now tied for the championship lead on 59 points. Jamie Green continued his good form and finished in fifth and behind him Mattias Ekström was very lively and almost took seventh from Spengler at the line.
2.2. Le Mans test sessions
As was the case last year, the ACO hosted a few test sessions at Le Mans on the days following the Test Day. The sessions were held on the shorter permanent Bugatti circuit at Le Mans. Audi Sport Team Joest took part in the two-thirty minute test sessions at the beginning of this week, with all three of their Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars. The race is set for next weekend, and the Le Mans week kicked of on Sunday 16 June, with the first day of scrutineering. The Audi Sport Team Joest squad will be heading through scrutineering on Monday afternoon, starting with the #1 car at 15:50 local time.
Motorsport.com / Eric Gilbert
2.3. SA Production Cars
The South African Bridgestone Production Cars Championship headed to Durban this week, hosting round five at the temporary Durban street circuit. It is the second year in succession that this race meeting has been hosted, as part of the Top Gear Festival South Africa. The regular four Audi S4 race cars took part, entered by VMP Motorsport and Terry Moss Racing. Free practice showed well for the Audis and the day ended with a S4 1-2-3 in the overall times. Qualifying was cancelled on Saturday morning due to a massive crash suffered by Richard Pinard in a Subaru. Pinard was subsequently admitted to hospital where he underwent reconstructive surgery on his leg. It was reported that his surgery was a success and everyone is grateful to hear that he is now on his road to recovery. The first race starting order was dictated by the overall free practice times, ensuring the Audi 1-2-3. The race itself, on the narrow and difficult to pass on street track, saw the 1-2-3 being maintained and Michael Stephen won ahead of Melvill Priest and Gennaro Bonafede. The second race was held on Sunday, again with the Audi 1-2-3 on the starting order. The race saw them running in formation until Melvill Priest retired, thus making it an Audi 1-2 with Michael Stephen winning ahead of Gennaro Bonafede and Tschops Sipuka in fourth.
2.4. Spanish GT / GT Open
The second round for the Spanish IBER GT Championship at Jerez once again coincided with a round of the International GT Open, this being round four. Team Novadriver entered the event with their two-car Audi R8 LMS ultra team. They competed well during the red-flag affected first race. In the end they finished fifth overall with the #81, second in the GTS and Spanish GT category, whilst their teammates finished in eleventh overall. Race two saw the #80 Audi finishing third overall and second amongst the GTS competitors, but they did take the win within the Spanish GT category. Their teammates in the #81 had a hard race and finished in thirteenth.
2.5. British GT
Following two endurance race meetings the British GT Championship arrived at Snetterton for two more traditional sprint races. Only two Audis competed this weekend, one Audi R8 LMS ultra each from M-Sport (2013 spec) and United Autosports (2012 spec). They performed well with M-Sport taking pole position for race one and United Autosports qualifying fourth for race two. The first race saw M-Sport taking another podium by finishing in second, followed by the UA Audi recovering up to fifth. United Autosports battled at the front during race two and finished in third, ahead of the M-Sport Audi which had moved up to tenth by the flag.
2.6. Italian GT
The Italian GT Championship headed to Austria for round two, hosted at the Red Bull Ring. Audi Sport Italia and their two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars struggled during practice and qualifying, being relegated to the lower half of the top ten for the most part, however the #5 was able to qualify fourth for race two. The first race saw Capello and Sonvico progressing up to third and then inheriting second on the last lap when problems hit another competitor, their teammates finished in fifth. The second race had the top placed Audi involved in a tussle for the podium, and the #5 Audi finished in third. Their teammates finished in sixth.
2.7. Super GT
Sepang in Malaysia hosted the third Japanese Super GT round. Two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars took part, one Audi R8 LMS ultra each from Hitotsuyama Racing (2013 spec) and äpr racing (2012 spec). The Audis again struggled in this round, Hitotsuyama were unable to qualify after suffering clutch problems and äpr qualified twenty-second. During the races the difficult weekend continued, but the Hitotsuyama Racing entry was able to improve to fourteenth and the äpr racing car up to seventeenth.
2.8. DMV TCC
The DMV TCC was at the Hockenheimring this weekend, alongside a number of other German series. For the first time this season an Audi was entered in the DMV TCC, an Audi R8 LMS ultra from Prosperia C.ABT Racing. The car was driven by team co-owner, Slobodan Cvetkovic, who also competed with a Prosperia R8 LMS during 2012. Interesting to note that the Audi R8 LMS ultra was in the full original 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra specification, this with the new diffuser which did not pass homologation. This is the first time that a full original 2013 spec Audi R8 LMS ultra has competed since April, as the new diffuser was disallowed in the final FIA homologation. Cvetkovic finished eighteenth in race one and sixteenth in race two.
2.9. STT / AvD 100 Meilen
The Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy also took place at Hockenheim, and was run together with the AvD 100 Meilen. A number of Audi cars compete in the STT, including: Audi TT RS (SP4T), Audi A4 DTM R11, Audi A3, Audi 80 (ex-ROC) etc. The most notable addition this weekend was the Prosperia C.ABT Racing R8 LMS ultra, which was entered in the DMV TCC and the STT. Christer Jöns shared the R8 LMS ultra with Slobodan Cvetkovic for the STT races, and they topped free practice. Edy Kamm won in his Audi A4 DTM R11, finishing ahead of the Prosperia R8 LMS ultra, which finished second overall and first in its class.
2.10. Audi endurance experience
The Audi endurance experience is an one-make Audi championship hosted by Audi France, utilizing a full grid of Audi A1 race cars. A round of the series was held at Paul Ricard in France this week, on 11-12 June.
2.11. Pageant of Power
The sixth Cholmondeley Pageant of Power was held this weekend, a popular hillclimb event in the UK. A number of Audi cars took part in the event.
Phil Laughton Photography FB page
2.12. Other Audi News
The big news this week was the roll-out of the 2014 Porsche LMP1 challenger. The car has remained unnamed so far, but Porsche has posted a press release accompanied by a set of press photos. The roll-out comes just days before the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Audi has released a brand new Audi Sport Le Mans Television Commercial, featuring the 2013 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at the Lausitzring. The video, titled: “Enduring Passion”, can be watched HERE.
Ebrahim Motors, the only Brazilian Audi Sport customer racing team, will have a modified livery for the next round of the Brazilian GT Championship. The team is receiving support from Audi Brazil this year, and they were seen with a red/silver Audi Top Service livery at the opening round. The livery will now be red/silver with the addition of white and Audi driving experience logos.
The first race car for the new 2014 South African V8 Touring Car Series is nearing completion. The cars are being developed in Australia by PACE Innovations, and closely resemble the new generation of Australian V8 Supercars. So far Ford and Audi cars have been confirmed for the series. The first car will be Ford bodied and will head to South Africa for testing later this year. The first Audi bodied car will head to South Africa soon after the first Ford car. More can be read about this new series, and the Audi CAD model, HERE.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed takes place on 11-14 July 2013. Two Audi drivers have been confirmed in the line-up: Hannu Mikkola and Marc Gene. It is also expected that a number of Audi race cars will also be present, as has been the case in previous years.
3. Next Weekend’s events (22-23/06/2013)
- Le Mans 24 Hours
- Superstars GT Sprint
- Brazilian GT
- Dutch Supercar Challenge
All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up