Saturday, November 23, 2013

FIA GT: Storming 1-2-3 Audi in Baku World Challenge qualifying

By Tarek Ramchani

Baku is hosting the season finale of the FIA GT Series this weekend. The Audi squad is represented by six R8 LMS ultra cars and secured a storming pole position and an all Audi front row today in qualifying.

A very fast Baku temporary street course played host to two very battled qualifying sessions this afternoon. All three Audi teams performed very well with the R8 LMS ultra the fastest in both sessions.

In Q1 it was Markus Winkelhock driving the #5 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra who was the fastest. The German driver set the fastest time with an impressive 1:43.062. The Nürburgring based team doing a successful return to FIA GT Series after missing the last two rounds. The #11 Audi of Stéphane Ortelli was sixth fastest. The Pro-Am entry from Team Novadriver ended in a very strong thenth overall with their #14 Audi R8 LMS ultra driven by Cesar Campanico.

Later in Q2 it was an all René Rast show. The factory Audi GT driver was flying on track with his #12 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra. The German ace set the fastest time of the day with an amazing 1:42.551 enough to secure the overall pole position. Second in Q2 was another Audi WRT car, the #11 R8 LMS ultra driven by a very quick Laurens Vanthoor. Another Audi within the top 10 was the #13 R8 LMS ultra of Edward Sandstrom.

René Rast with team-mate Niki Mayr-Melnhof will start from pole position tomorrow in the 1-hour Qualifying Race with the #12 Audi R8 LMS ultra from the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. The #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Phoenix Racing shared by Markus Winkelhock and Enzo Ide will start from second place. Pro-Cup points leaders Laurens Vanthoor and Stéphane Ortelli will start from third postion with the #11 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi R8 LMS ultra.

Both the Qualifying and main Championship races will be held tomorrow. We wish the best of luck to all three Audi customer teams at the Baku World Challenge.

Photo credit: Endurance-Info