Monday, July 1, 2013

BES: Seven Audi R8 LMS ultra for the Spa 24 Hours Test Day

By Johan Laubscher

The next big 24 Hour race is the Spa 24 Hours, which will take place at the end of July. It follows shortly after the Le Mans 24 and the Nürburgring 24, the three big European 24 Hour races which take place in the middle of each year. Audi are the reigning champions at Spa, with Phoenix Racing in 2012 and WRT in 2011.

The annual test day for the Spa 24 Hours returns this year, allowing teams an extra opportunity to prepare for the race. The first Test Day entry list was released late on Sunday, and can be seen via HERE.

Currently there are seven Audi R8 LMS ultra cars listed. Previously it had been announced that four Audi Sport customer racing teams have already committed to the 2013 Spa 24, namely: Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Phoenix Racing, Sainteloc Racing and United Autosports. Thus it comes as no surprise that the bulk of these teams will be at the test day, with the exception of Sainteloc Racing.

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will be at the test day with three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars (2013 spec), Phoenix Racing with two cars (2013 spec) and United Autosports with their one Audi R8 LMS ultra (2012 spec). This accounts for six of the Audis listed for the test day.

The seventh entry comes as somewhat of a surprise, as it is a 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra entered under the team name of “Audi AG” (according to the entry list), and it will be driven by Andre Lotterer. Currently the exact purpose of this car is unknown, but it can be assumed that the car will act as a test to collect data. It would not be the first time that Audi AG / Audi Sport customer racing has entered a “factory” test-car for a test day in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Entries like these have been seen at the season opening official FIA GT3 / Blancpain Endurance Series test days at Paul Ricard in recent years. However, this is speculation, and only time will tell as to the true purpose of this entry at the Test Day. 

The Test Day will take place on Wednesday, the 3rd of July. The race itself will be at the end of the month: 27-28 July 2013.  

The seven Audi entries for the 2013 Spa 24 Hours Test Day:

Pro Cup: 

#1 - Belgian Audi Club Team WRT
- Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Stéphane Ortelli, Laurens Vanthoor, Rene Rast

#2 - Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Nikolaus Mayr-Melnhof, Matt Halliday, Rahel Frey

#6 - Phoenix Racing - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Oliver Jarvis, Christopher Haase, Harold Primat

#13 - Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Edward Sandström, Frank Stippler, Christopher Mies

#16 - Phoenix Racing - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Enzo Ide, Anthony Kumpen, Markus Winkelhock

#160 - “AudiAG” - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013)
Andre Lotterer

Pro-Am Cup:

#125 - United Autosports - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2012)
Will Bratt, Alan Li, Richard Dean