Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thunderhill 25 Hours: Two GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS on the provisional entry list

By Johan Laubscher

The last big daylong endurance race of the year has always been the 25 Hours of Thunderhill in North America. Audi R8 LMS entries will be debuting at the event this year.

Last year there was a single Audi on the 25 Hours of Thunderhill grid, the 034 Motorsport Audi TT RS (VLN SP4T). After much build-up the car did not disappoint and was battling for the overall lead during the race. Unfortunately a rare gearbox problem sidelined the Audi last year, whilst it was leading overall.

Looking ahead at the 2013 edition: the provisional entry list with the current registered entrants was released this week. A total of two Audi cars are included thus far. The two cars are Audi R8 LMS vehicles, both entered by GMG Racing in the ES class.

GMG Racing has been campaigning Audi R8 LMS cars in the Pirelli World Challenge during 2012 and 2013. They are currently involved in the GT title fight, as team co-owner and star driver, James Sofronas, is battling for the driver’s title.  

So far three GT3 cars have been entered for Thunderhill, the two Audis and one Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG from Black Swan Racing, also from the Pirelli World Challenge.

Currently no driver line-ups have been included. However, John Watson made an interesting comment during the Blancpain Endurance Series Nürburgring 1000 race broadcast. He mentioned that Bernd Schneider will be taking part in the 25 hour race in North America, behind the wheel of a SLS. This has not yet been confirmed, but it is great news that big names will potentially be taking part and also the addition of GT3 race cars.

Current GT3 entries in the ES class:

#8 Audi R8 LMS - GMG Racing
#14 Audi R8 LMS - GMG Racing
#54 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 - Black Swan Racing

The provisional entry list can be seen HERE.

The 2013 25 Hours of Thunderhill is scheduled to take place from 7-8 December.

Update: Rotek Racing have mentioned on their Facebook page that they will be at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill this year. Rotek Racing has been campaigning an Audi TT RS (VLN SP4T) car in the German VLN Endurance Championship this year, the very same car that was used by 034 Motorsport at the 2012 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Their Audi TT RS entry is expected to appear on the provisional entry list very soon, thus taking the current Audi count up to three cars.

Photo credit:
Roger Mecking 
Audi Sport Communication / Media