Thursday, September 19, 2013

BES: Audi wants to defend Blancpain Endurance Series titles at the Nürburgring

By Tarek Ramchani

The Nürburgring will host this weekend the season finale of the Blancpain Endurance Series. The fifth round of the season will be a special 1000km raceon the Grand Prix Circuit. Audi will try to defend their 2011 and 2012 titles with five Audi R8 LMS ultra.

Fighting for both driver's and team's titles the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will have three Audi R8 LMS ultra. All three cars are listed within the upper Pro-Cup class and have modified driver's line-ups.

#1 Audi R8 LMS ultra : Laurens Vanthoor / Stéphane Ortelli / Edward Sandström
#2 Audi R8 LMS ultra : Rahel Frey / Niki Mayr-Melnhof / Francesco Castellacci
#13 Audi R8 LMS ultra : Frank Stippler / Christopher Mies / René Rast

Frank Stippler and Christopher Mies who finished third at the Spa 24 Hours with André Lotterer are second overall in the Pro-Cup class. The two German drivers are just two points behind series points leaders from Kessel Racing Ferrari. Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is second in the team standing behind the leading Marc VDS Racing Team BMW.

The second Audi effort will come from the locals of Phoenix Racing. The Nürburgring team will have a pair of Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. Unlike Team WRT, Phoenix kept their driver's line-ups unchanged.

#6 Audi R8 LMS ultra : Harold Primat / Christopher Haase / Oliver Jarvis
#16 Audi R8 LMS ultra : Anthony Kumpen / Enzo Ide / Markus Winkelhock

Phoenix Racing wants to shine at their home soil after some ups and downs all season long. The fourth place last time out at the Spa 24 Hours boosted Phoenix ranking in the team's standing. Phoenix is now sixth overall.

As was the case at the Spa 24 Hours, Sainteloc Racing from France will not take part to the Blancpain Endurance Series finale. In the first three rounds the Saint-Etienne based team fielded three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars.

51 cars will enter the Nürburgring race. The five Audi R8 LMS ultra will have to fight hard against a healtty and quality field in Pro-Cup. No less than 19 cars are listed in the upper class with strong rivals from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ferrari, McLaren and more.

Photo credit: Blancpain Endurance Series