Saturday, January 4, 2014

TUSC: Impressive day 1 for Audi teams at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 tests

By Tarek Ramchani

It was a day of domination for the Audi teams during the opening day of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Both of yesterday's two sessions were lead by Audi race cars. The Audi R8 LMS was clearly the best car in the field within a very healthy and demanding GT Daytona (GTD) class. In the first session four Audi R8 LMS cars made it into the top 10. In the second session three cars were among the top 10.

Flying Lizard Motorsports, who joined the Audi Sport customer racing family at the end of 2013, dominated the two sessions. The #45 Audi R8 LMS, shared by drivers Markus Winkelhock, Tim Pappas, Spencer Pumpelly and Nelson Canache, was the fastest all day long within the GT Daytona (GTD) class. 1:47.981 was the fastest time of the red and grey liveried Audi. Even more impressive was that they were very close to the GT Le Mans (GTE cars) lap times.

The second Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS also performed very well. The #35 car, in the hands of Seth Neiman, Dion von Moltke, Alessandro Latif and Filipe Albuquerque, was sixth fastest in the first session and later finished in thirteenth place during the second session.

At Fall-Line Motorsports they were also impressive and made it into the top 10 twice. Their #46 Audi R8 LMS finished seventh in the first session and fourth in the second one with drivers Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub, James Walker and Oliver Jarvis.

GMG Racing were unlucky in the first session with their #32 Audi R8 LMS. They ended in twenty-second place in the GTD class. Later in the second session the car shared by James Sofronas, Alex Welch, Frank Stippler and Marc Basseng improved a lot and finished in a very strong third place in class.

Paul Miller Racing, with their #48 Audi R8 LMS, finished fourth in the first session and seventeenth in the second one. The car is driven by René Rast, Christopher Haase, Matt Bell and Bryce Miller.

The first session results can be seen here.

The second session results can be seen here.

The Audi teams and their R8 LMS cars will hit the track again today for four sessions at Daytona, followed by two more tomorrow.

Photo credit: IMSA