Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bathurst 12 Hour: Phoenix Racing with Frey/Rast/Vanthoor at 12-hour classic in Australia

Phoenix Racing Press Release

After claiming victory on its Bathurst debut in 2012 and fourth place last year, Phoenix Racing competes in the twelve-hour endurance classic at Bathurst again in 2014.
As a result, the squad around Team Boss Ernst Moser opens the race season for the third time in distant Australia. The potent 560 hp Audi R8 LMS ultra, fielded by the team from Meuspath at the Nürburgring, will be driven in the ‘Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hours’ between February 7-9 by the Swiss woman Rahel Frey, German René Rast and the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor.

“Bathurst impressed us and is always well worth a visit, which is why the entire team is looking forward to the trip down under,” reveals Phoenix Team Boss Ernst Moser. “With our victory and also with our fourth place we collected a lot of experience for this unique race on an extreme race track. We now aim to use this experience to be successful once again.”

Rahel Frey, René Rast and Laurens Vanthoor bring along plenty of experience in the Audi cockpit. René Rast (27) was twice Champion in the Porsche Supercup, held during Formula 1 race weekends, and has already taken many victories with the Audi R8 LMS. Rahel Frey, also 27 years of age, became well acquainted with the GT3 sportscar in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China in 2012. And more recently in November 2013, the 22-year old Laurens Vanthoor was crowned with the FIA GT Series title – also in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. However, the three are newcomers to the 6.213 kilometre ‘Mount Panorama Circuit’, which is situated about 200 kilometres west of Sydney and, because of its 23 corners and inclines of up to 16 per cent, can be justifiably compared with the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

For Phoenix Racing, Champions as Audi Sport Team Phoenix in the prestigious DTM with Martin Tomczyk and Mike Rockenfeller in 2011 and 2013 respectively, the victory in the 12-hours of Bathurst was the start to an impressive winning streak with the Audi GT3 sportscar. In 2012, the team from the Eifel won three of the most important endurance races for GT3 sportscars – the 12h race at Bathurst as well as the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. Christopher Mies (D), Christer Jöns (D) and Darryl O’Young (HK) shared driving duties at the wheel of the Phoenix Audi on the way to victory at Bathurst in 2012, in 2013 Johan Kristofferson (S), Andreas Simonsen (S) and Harold Primat (CH) took fourth place overall, only narrowly missing the podium after being forced to change the starter motor.

Preparations have been in full swing for weeks for Phoenix’s first event of the 2014 season. The container loaded with the red-white Audi R8 LMS ultra with start number three and with the equipment and spare parts has been on the way to Australia by sea since December 8. ‘Mission Bathurst’ begins for the twelve-person team and the drivers on January 30. “The importance of the race has grown constantly over the years,” underlines Ernst Moser. “There is a strong field again this year, so we can expect a tough battle again for the podium and for victory, quite apart from the volatile rainy and foggy weather, which you must always expect on Mount Panorama.”

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