Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (14-15/09/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing on the weekend of 14 - 15 September 2013

2. The Events

  •           DTM
  •           Audi Slotcar Cup
  •           VLN
  •           GT Asia
  •           ADAC GT Masters
  •           Portuguese GT
  •           Italian GT
  •           BTCC
  •           Norwegian GT
  •           Australian Rally
  •           FIA Hillclimb

2.1. DTM

The DTM was at Oschersleben this weekend, round eight of the season. Six Audi RS 5 DTM cars made it into the top ten during the Saturday morning free practice session. The strong pace continued into qualifying, as again six Audi cars made it into the top ten, with Jamie Green and Mike Rockenfeller making it into the top four shootout. Rocky took fourth place and Jamie Green took second. BMW’s Bruno Spengler, who had originally taken pole position, was later dropped five places due to a technical infringement, thus promoting Green to pole position and Rocky to third. Green dropped to second by the first corner, slotting in behind Farfus's BMW. Rocky also dropped to fourth behind a fast starting Spengler. An early pitstop and fast laptimes saw Rocky progressing to second place, right behind Farfus. The lead battle continued for the rest of the race, with Rocky ultimately finishing in second, ahead of Jamie Green in third. It turned out to be a terrific race for Audi, as all eight of the Audi RS 5 DTM cars finished within the top ten. Mike Rockenfeller remains the clear leader in the championship title chase.

Audi top ten Oschersleben race results: 
P2 Mike Rockenfeller; P3 Jamie Green; P4 Filipe Albuquerque; P5 Timo Scheider; P7 Mattias Ekström; P8 Miguel Molina; P9 Adrien Tambay; P10 Edoardo Mortara. 

2.2. Audi Slot Car Cup

Slot car racing is a very popular sport amongst many of the Audi Sport personnel. A special slot car tournament was held at the DTM round at Oschersleben this weekend: The Audi Slotcar Cup 2013. A special and long slot car track was set up in the Audi hospitality centre. Many Audi Sport personnel, race drivers and guests took part in the event. Their weapons of choice were 1:24 Audi RS5 DTM slot cars, all liveried to match the real 2013 Audi Sport DTM contenders. 

2.3. VLN

The German VLN Endurance Championship held its sixth meeting of the season at the Nürburgring. It was an unlucky race for the R8 LMS ultra competitors, but it was certainly a good day for the Audi TT RS entrants. Only two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were entered this weekend, a single entry each from Twin Busch Motorsport and Phoenix Racing. The Audi TT RS teams stole the show for Audi during the four hour VLN race. LMS Engineering made it a victorious comeback and debut for their #1 Audi TT RS. They achieved class pole position, class victory and they finished in a very impressive sixth overall. It was also an Audi 1-2-3-4-5-6 in SP3T, as the #334 Møller Bil Motorsport TT RS finished second ahead of the Raeder Motorsport #331 TT RS in third and the #290 TT RS in fourth. Audi TTS race cars also finished fifth and sixth in SP3T. The TT RS clean sweep was completed by the Rotek Racing #249 taking victory in SP4T. Both Audi R8 LMS ultra entries faced problems during the race. The #15 Phoenix Audi finished twenty-fifth overall and the Twin Busch Motorsport #44 Audi unfortunately retired after running as high as second.

2.4. GT Asia

GT Asia resumed in Malaysia this weekend, where the fourth meeting of the season was hosted at Sepang. Absolute Racing fielded a total of five Audi cars this weekend, three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the GT3 class, and two older Audi R8 LMS variants in the GTM class. Qualifying was highlighted by two front row starting positions: the #888 grabbed second on the grid for race one and the #7 did the same for race two. Pole in the GTM class went to the #77 for race one. The first race was held on Saturday and saw the Audis battling near the front. By the end of the race the three GT3 Audis placed in positions six through eight, with the #7 of Marchy and Jeffrey Lee finishing sixth ahead of the #98 and the #888. The #77 Tiger Racing R8 LMS of Yeung and van Dam finished second in the GTM class. Race two was held on Sunday and saw podium results for the Audi team. The #7 J-Fly Audi R8 LMS ultra of Marchy and Jeffrey Lee finished in second place. They were followed by the #888 Audi in sixth and the #98 in eighth. The #77 Tiger Racing R8 LMS of Yeung and van Dam went one better, as they took victory in the GTM class, finishing tenth overall. The #78 finished fourth in GTM.

2.5. ADAC GT Masters

The ADAC GT Masters was in Slovakia this weekend, hosting round seven at the Slovakia Ring. All six regular Audi R8 LMS ultra entries were entered from Prosperia C.ABT Racing, MS Racing and YACO Racing. The highest Audi in the first qualifying session was the #27 in fifth leading three Audis inside of the top ten. The second qualifying session turned into a 1-2-3 for the Prosperia C ABT team as their cars finished in the order of #28, #26 and #27. During race one the #28 Audi from Prosperia C.ABT Racing made it onto the podium by taking second position. All three of the team’s Audis were inside of the top ten, as the #28 finished second, the #27 fifth and the #26 in eighth. The second race saw one Audi on the podium, as the #27 finished in second place, ahead of their teammates in fifth and sixth. Four Audis finished within the top ten, as the #100 MS Racing Audi completed the set in ninth.

2.6. Portuguese GT

The Portuguese GT Championship, also known as the Supercars Portugal Series, held its fifth and final round at Braga this weekend. Team Novadriver had already been crowned as the Portuguese GT champions, as Cesar Campanico, Carlos Vieira and Mikko Eskelinen were crowned champions at Portimão last time out. They showed good form during practice, placing both of their cars within the top three in all three of the sessions. However, following practice the team noticed that their telemetry was reading abnormally high fluent temperatures. The team then decided to withdraw their cars from the event in order to investigate the abnormality and to prevent permanent damage to their car's engines. The team's press release regarding the matter can be seen HERE.

2.7. Italian GT

The Italian GT headed to round six at Vallelunga. Audi Sport Italia was entered with both of their Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. They qualified in sixth and seventh for race one, followed by fourth and seventh for race two. The first race saw the #5 Audi battling for the lead and ultimately finishing second, their teammates finished fifth. Both Audis were again inside of the top five during race two, as the #5 Audi finished third ahead of their teammates in fifth.

2.8. BTCC

The British Touring Car Championship held round eight at Rockingham. Both of Rob Austin Racing’s Audi a4 NGTC cars showed good pace this weekend. Rob Austin qualified third for race one followed by his teammate, Will Bratt, qualifying in tenth. Race one saw Rob dropping to ninth on the first lap, along with a crash further back involving Will Bratt. Bratt unfortunately retired and was out for race one and two. Austin was able to storm back to third by the finish. Austin stormed to the front during race two and  successfully defended his lead to take his first ever BTCC race win, the first Audi BTCC victory since 1997. The third and final race of the day saw Austin finishing ninth after the reverse grid and Bratt unfortunately retiring once again.

2.9. Norwegian GT

The Norwegian NBF GT Racing Championship held round five at Våler. This series sees a number of Audi race cars competing, including: 2007 Audi A4 DTM R13, Audi A5 TDI, Audi 80 and Audi RS 4.

2.10. Australian Rally

An Audi Sport quattro S1 E2 replica took part in the Australian Rally this weekend. The car was driven by Dave Thompson and Adrian Morisby. It was entered in the Classic Rally Challenge class.

2.11. FIA Hillclimb

The Buzetski Dani Hillclimb was held in Croatia this weekend. The modified ABT-Audi TT-R from SVC Náchod Motorsport was entered at the event. The TT-R was driven by Vláďa Vitver. This event formed part of the FIA European Hillclimb Championship.

2.12. Other Audi News

Tudor Watches has been announced as the new series sponsor for the newly formed United SportsCar Racing series, now known as the Tudor United SportsCar Championship. An Audi R8 GRAND-AM, featured in a Tudor USCC livery, was on display at the Tudor Watches US launch part on Thursday, part of the New York Fashion Week.

The 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours was the twelfth victory for Audi at the legendary endurance race. A brilliant new short documentary has been released by Michelin. A fifteen minute documentary video was released on the MICHELIN Passion Youtube Channel. The video includes exceptional behind the scenes footage from Audi and Michelin. In-depth coverage featuring the build-up to Le Mans, including testing at Paul Ricard, the Six hours of Spa and Le Mans itself. Interviews with Audi drivers, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and Michelin personnel are also included. The video can be watched HERE

An Audi R18 e-tron quattro was on display at IAA 2013. The car was seen in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours race winning livery of the #2 car. It was seen alongside the Le Mans 24 Hours trophy.

The Audi Sport quattro concept was revealed in the metal at IAA 2013 this week. Prior to its reveal at the show it had only been seen in the pre-event press photos.

The Audi Chinese Taipei Team / J-Fly Racing Audi R8 LMS was on display at the W Hotel in Taiwan this weekend.

The FIA World Endurance fleet began arriving in North America this weekend. The majority of the field and cars have been unloaded at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA), including the Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars. Round five of the FIA WEC will be taking place at COTA next weekend, the Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas. 

Circuit of The Americas FB page

Melbourne Performance Centre was out testing at Phillip Island on Wednesday. Three cars were being testing, including two Audi R8 LMS cars with two new owners. The first Audi R8 LMS was that of Robert Marshall. This is the ex-Mark Eddy 2009 R8 LMS, which is now in a MPC livery. The second Audi R8 LMS tested was that of new owner, Steve McLaughlen.

Melbourne Performance Centre FB page

3. Next Weekend’s events (21-22/09/2013)

  •           FIA WEC
  •           SCCA National Runoffs
  •           Blancpain Endurance Series
  •           Britcar
  •           HSR
  •           RCN
  •           Super GT Test (16-17 Sep)
  •           Swedish GT
  •           Super Taikyu
  •           French Rallycross
  •           NSW
  •           Aus Sports Sedans

All photos are hosted at their respective website which are listed within the Weekend Round Up