Monday, January 6, 2014

TUSC: Three-day Roar Before the Rolex 24 concluded successfully for the Audi teams at Daytona

By Johan Laubscher

The annual Roar Before the Rolex 24 was held this weekend. The three-day test took place three weeks before the big race later in January. The Audi Sport customer racing squad were well represented in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.

Five Audi R8 LMS cars took part, fielded by four different teams. GMG Racing, Fall-Line Motorsports and Paul Miller Racing each entered one Audi R8 LMS. They were joined by the two-car team from Flying Lizard Motorsports.

A total of eight practice sessions were spread across three days, with two sessions taking place on Friday and Sunday, and four on Saturday.

The Audi teams showed good pace during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test days, including topping the time sheets during a number of the different sessions. By the end of Saturday Audi race cars had been fastest in GTD during sessions one and two, with the #45 Audi R8 LMS from Flying Lizard Motorsports, and fastest in the fourth session, with the #48 Paul Miller Racing R8 LMS. Two further sessions were held on Sunday.

The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS again topped the time sheets during the seventh session, the first held on Sunday. The #45 Audi R8 LMS, driven by Nelson Canache Jr, Tim Pappas, Spencer Pumpelly and Markus Winkelhock, was the fastest GTD entry during the penultimate session and then placed sixth by the end of the eighth and final session on Sunday.

Their teammates in the #35 Flying Lizard Motorsports, Filipe Albuquerque, Seth Neimann, Alessandro Latif and Dion von Moltke, were ninth during the first session on Sunday and eighth during the second. GMG Racing and their #32 Audi R8 LMS of Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler, James Sofronas and Alex Welch placed twelfth and twenty-first.

Paul Miller Racing concluded the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test days with thirteenth and fourth on Sunday. Their #48 Audi R8 LMS was driven by Matthew Bell, Christopher Haase, Bryce Miller and René Rast. Fall-Line Motorsport and their #46 Audi R8 LMS, with drivers Charles Espenlaub, Oliver Jarvis, Charlie Putman and James Walker, placed twenty-second and eleventh.

The overall combined results, for sessions one through eight, revealed that three of the Audi R8 LMS cars made it into the top ten. The #45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Audi R8 LMS set the fastest GTD time of the weekend, a 1:47.981 lap time. Paul Miller Racing had the eighth fastest time and GMG Racing were ninth fastest. They were followed by the #35 Flying Lizard Motorsports R8 LMS in thirteenth and Fall-Line Motorsports in sixteenth.

Sunday Results:
Practice session 7: HERE
Practice session 8: HERE
Combined results for practice sessions 1-8: HERE

The teams will now continue their preparation in order to return to Daytona for the big race in three weeks time, January 23-26.

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