Tuesday, April 8, 2014

N24: G-Drive Racing starts the season with excellent 6th at the Nürburgring

G-Drive Racing Press Release

The 6 Hours race served mainly as a real-life test and to qualify all drivers ahead of the 24 Hours in June

G-Drive Racing had an excellent start of the 2014 season, as the Audi R8 LMS ultra driven by Roman Rusinov, Stéphane Ortelli, Nico Müller and Edward Sandström finished 6th today in the 6 Hours Qualification race at the Nürburgring. This race served as general preparation for the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring, the landmark endurance marathon to be raced later in the year, on 21-22 June, but also had a very specific purpose: to allow Ortelli and Müller to qualify for the longer race. As known, drivers competing on the 24 Hours need to have a minimum of race experience on the 23-km legendary track of the Nordschleife in order to be allowed to compete in the 24 Hours. Of the four G-Drive Racing, Ortelli and Müller were seeking the ‘green’ card. The expert Monegasque, despiter his long career, had never driven before in the 24 Hours while the young Swiss has raced mainly single-seaters so far. After solving some tire problems encountered on Saturday’s free practice and qualifying 1, the Audi took an excellent third position in the final qualifying. Nico Müller and Stéphane Ortelli were logically the two first drivers in the sequence, performing each one the required double stint, followed then by Roman Rusinov, who raced the 24 Hours last year, and Edward Sandström. While the race was dominated by the BMWs, thanks to their higher top speed, the G-Drive Audi was always among the front-runners, completing a trouble-free race in P6, ahead of all other R8s LMS ultra.

This Nürburgring race has been as well an excellent rehearsal for the entire team ahead of the start of the team’s main programme, the Blancpain Sprint Series, which will kick-off at Nogaro, France on Easter’s weekend (20-21 April). Roman Rusinov and Stéphane Ortelli will be at the wheel of the car for the entire Sprint Series season.


Roman Rusinov:

“We are extremely satisfied with what achieved this weekend. The result is good, although that was not the main objective today. We have been the top Audi on track throughout the race and the work done by the entire team will be very useful. It’s always impressive to race on the Nordschleife, but it was a completely dry race, something relatively unusual on this track. We had a very consistent pace and I enjoyed very much.”

Vincent Vosse, Team Principal:

“We achieved our goals: to have Ortelli and Müller qualify for the 24 Hours race and have a very positive test in real race conditions. I am very happy of the work of the entire team and of being the top Audi in the rankings. The BMWs proved extremely strong here, so I think the race has provided also very interesting info for improving the Balance of Performance”.

Thierry Tassin, Sporting Director:

“We had some issues with the tires on Saturday, as they were losing pressure and even breaking, but we managed to solve that and on Sunday everything went OK. We worked well and most of all, the entire team learned a lot of useful things ahead of the real race in June.”

6 Hrs Nürburgring Qualifying Race
Nürburgring, 6 April 2014
Race result:

1. Martin-Alzen-Wittmann (BMW Z4) 40 laps
2. Klingmann-Baumann-Hürtgen (BMW Z4) + 44s367
3. Werner-Luhr-J.Müller-Sims (BMW Z4) + 1m05s177
4. Leinders-Palttala-Catsburg-Altdorf (BMW Z4) + 2m22s934
5. Al-Faisal-Rösler-Menzel-Bleekemolen (Mercedes SLS) + 4m27s260
6. N.Müller-Ortelli-Rusinov-Sandström (Audi R8 LMS ultra) + 1 lap

Photo credit: Brecht Decancq Photography