Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (29-30/06/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing on the weekend of 29 - 30 June 2013

2. The Events

  •          Grand Am
  •          Blancpain Endurance Series
  •          Portuguese GT / International Supercars
  •          GT Asia
  •          Swedish GT
  •          V de V
  •          SVRA
  •          RCN
  •          French Rallycross
  •          Pikes Peak
  •          Belgian Historic Cup
  •          Italian Hillclimb
  •          Austrian Hillclimb

2.1. Grand-Am

The Six Hours of the Glen was held this weekend. This event was round seven of the Rolex Grand-Am Series, but it was also round two of the North American Endurance Championship. The latter series consists of the endurance Grand-Am events, namely: the Daytona 24 Hours, the Six Hours of the Glen and the three hour race at Indianapolis. For the first time since round two of the Grand-Am series Audi cars again took part. Two cars were entered this weekend. Fall-Line Motorsports debuted their R8 GRAND-AM in the series for the first time, whilst the second car was entered by Audi Sport customer racing. The #24 Audi Sport entry will be entered for the remaining two endurance events. Their drivers: Felipe Albuquerque, Eduardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke, are leading the standings following their victory at the Daytona 24 Hours. The two Audis showed well during the weekend with the #24 car qualifying in fourth and the Fall-Line entry in twelfth. It was an up and down race for the two Audis. The Fall-Line Motorsports Audi R8 GRAND-AM lead the race for five laps during the pit stop sequences, but they eventually dropped back and finished fourteenth. The #24 Audi Sport customer racing entry also fell back during the event and ultimately finished within the top ten, placing in ninth. 

2.2. Blancpain Endurance Series

Round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series headed to France this weekend, hosted at Paul Ricard. The usual eight Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were joined by a ninth car. The cars included: three from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, two from Phoenix Racing, three from Sainteloc and the ninth car from Team Speed Car. The weekend started slowly for the Audi teams, with no Audis finishing within the top ten during practice. Qualifying saw a difficult set of results for the Audi runners, as the highest Audi was only in eighth place. The race itself continued the difficult weekend as the Audis battled outside of the top ten for the majority of the race. By the end the highest Audi was only in ninth place, the #1 WRT car. Three Audis placed within the top twenty. 

2.3. Portuguese GT / International Supercars Series

The Supercars Portugal Series (Portuguese GT Championship) held its third round at Boavista in Portugal. This event was held together with round two of the Supercars International Series. Team Novadriver, who are contesting the Portuguese series, was entered with their two-car Audi R8 LMS ultra team. Both cars qualified within the top four and the race finished with another Team Novadriver victory, as the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra won with their teammates finishing in third. 

2.4. GT Asia

The GT Asia series hosted round two in Japan this weekend, at the Okayama circuit. Four Audi cars were entered: three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars (2013 spec) from Absolute Racing, and one Audi R8 LMS from Hitotsuyama Racing. The cars qualified well and a top three was achieved in race one when the #888 R8 LMS ultra of Francis Hideki Onda and Alex Yoong finished in third. The second race saw the trio of Absolute Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra cars occupying the fourth, fifth and sixth positions. 

2.5. Swedish GT

JB Motorsport arrived at Göteborg, round three of the Swedish GT Championship, after having won the two opening rounds of the season. Jan Brunstedt was once again behind the wheel of his R8 LMS this weekend and qualified in third position. The race was wet and difficult, but despite this Jan Brunstedt came home to take his third victory of the season, remaining unbeaten so far in 2013. 

2.6. V de V

The French V de V series headed to Dijon this weekend for round four of the series, a three hour endurance event. AB Sport Auto and their #46 Audi R8 LMS took part. They qualified in eighth place overall, second place in class. Unfortunately they retired from the race on lap two.  

2.7. SVRA

Mid-Ohio hosted The Mechanics Bank Vintage Grand Prix, an SVRA historic racing event. There was only one Audi on the entry list, the Audi R8 (#606) owned and driven by Travis Engen. The car is prepared and run by GMT Racing in North America. 

2.8. RCN

Round four of the German RCN series was held at the Nürburgring. A total of five Audi cars were entered in this event.

2.9. French Rallycross

The Rallycross de Sarthe - Lavaré was held this weekend, the fourth round of the French Rallycross Championship, after round three was cancelled two weeks ago. Once again two Audis took part. The Racing Team Jagu Audi A1 (Super 1600) driven by Yvonnick Jagu and the Audi A3 (Division 4) driven by Jimmy Terpereau.

2.10. Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak 2013 has received a lot of media attention this year, thanks to factory teams who are competing, most notably Peugeot. Unfortunately only one private Audi represented the Four Rings at the mountain this year, unlike the five private Audis last year. The car was the #5 Audi quattro (Sport quattro front end) driven by  David Hackl, who also competed at Pikes Peak in 2012.  

2.11. Belgian Historic Cup

The Belgian Historic Cup took part in the "Zolder 50 Years" weekend. The Nothelle / Kamei Audi Coupe was entered in the event. This car has become famous in recent times as Andre Lotterer's father was involved in the original building of the car many years ago, and Andre himself has driven this Coupe at some of the Belgian Historic events. The car was entered with Johan Aerts as the driver of the #81 Audi Coupe at Zolder this weekend, but Andre also made an appearance and drove the car to a class victory.  

Circuit Zolder FB page


2.12. Italian Hillclimb

The Coppa Paolino Teodori Hillclimb event was held this weekend, part of the Campionato Italiano Velocità Montagna (Italian Hillclimb Championship). The event was also part of the FIA Hillclimb Championship. A few Audis were entered in the event, most notably the modified ABT-Audi TT-R from SVC Racing driven by Vláďa Vitver. An Audi A4 STW driven by Cesare Brusa, a regular Italian Hillclimb competitor, was also present. FB page


2.13. Austrian Hillclimb

The Bergrallye Naas b. Weiz was part of the Austrian Hillclimb Championship this weekend. A number of Audi cars took part, including the Marko Racing Audi A4 STW, a modified Audi S2, an Audi 90 sedan and an Audi Sport quattro S1 replica. FB page

2.14. Other Audi News

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and GrafiWrap have launched a design competition. They are allowing fans the opportunity of submitting a livery design for the team’s Audi R8 LMS ultra, which will race at the 2013 Zolder 24 Hours. The winning design will be featured as the livery on the WRT Audi for the Zolder 24 Hours, along with other prizes up for grabs. More details regarding the competition can be seen in this video HERE.

Audi factory driver and two-time Le Mans winner, Andre Lotterer, has purchased an Audi Sport quattro. He has acquired one of these rare and much sought-after classic cars. His is a very nice red example of the Sport quattro.

Audi Sport Customer Racing has released a photoshoot set featuring the 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra. The 39 shot photo set features the 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra and the Audi R8 V10 plus road car. Fourtitude has uploaded all of the photos onto there online gallery which can be viewed HERE

Istook Motorsport are nearing completion of their two Audi TT RS cars. They are preparing to kick of their 2013 season at Lime Rock next weekend, round five of the Pirelli World Challenge. The team's full season was delayed when team boss, Don Istook, underwent bypass heart surgery earlier in the year. He has recovered well and he is listed on the Lime Rock entry list, alongside his teammate Colin Cohen. Istook is listed with the #01 TT RS and Cohen in the #03 TT RS. 

Istook Motorsports TT RS FB page

Audi DTM factory driver, Mattias Ekström, took part in the X-Games Munich this weekend. He was driving one of the Redbull Volkswagen Pole Rallycross machines from Marklund Motorsport. Ekström finished fifth in the race one final heat on Saturday and fourth in race two on Sunday. 

Anton Marklund FB page

The first entry list for the Spa 24 Hours test day was released late on Sunday evening. The test day will take place on Wednesday 3 July 2013. So far seven Audi R8 LMS ultra cars are included on the entry list. The first six come as no surprise, as they correspond with earlier announcements. Three cars from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, two from Phoenix Racing and one from United Autosports. The seventh entry has however come as a surprise. One Audi R8 LMS ultra will be at the test day under the team name of "Audi AG" (as per the entry list details), which has Andre Lotterer listed for the test day. The current entry list can be seen at HERE.

Audi Sport Communication / Media

3. Next Weekend’s events (6-7/07/2013)

  •          Spa 24 Hours Test Day  3/7
  •          FIA GT Series
  •          French GT-Tour
  •          Italian GT
  •          STT
  •          SCCA World Challenge
  •          SCCA US Majors
  •          Audi endurance experience 3-4/7
  •          Supercars Italian Series
  •          Cup & Tourenwagen
  •          Audi R8 LMS Cup
  •          Race Trophy Austria
  •          Canadian Super Production
All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up