Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (10-11/05/2014) - Final Edition

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing on the weekend of 10 - 11 May 2014

This is the 107th consecutive Audi Motorsport Blog Weekend Round up since its introduction in 2012, but it is also the final edition of this weekly update.*

2. The Events

  •           ADAC GT Masters
  •           Italian GT
  •           BRCC
  •           Britcar
  •           Thailand Super Series
  •           Super GT Test Days
  •           Targa Tasmania
  •           Swedish Rallycross
  •           RCN
  •           Norwegian GT

2.1. ADAC GT Masters

Round three of the ADAC GT Masters was hosted at Zandvoort in the Netherlands this weekend. The regular five Audi R8 LMS ultra entries took part, entered by Prosperia C.ABT Racing, kfzteile24 APR Motorsport and YACO Racing. 

The #10 Prosperia C.ABT Racing duo of Rene Rast and Kelvin van der Linde, the current championship leaders, were the highest placed Audi in both qualifying sessions, achieving fourth on the grid for race one and pole position for race two.

Race one was held on Saturday and concluded with a double podium for Prosperia C.ABT Racing. All three of the team’s cars placed within the top five, with the #12 Audi R8 LMS ultra in second, the #10 Audi in third and the #11 in fifth. kfzteile24 APR Motorsport finished sixth and YACO Racing in thirteenth.

The second race was held on Sunday and concluded with the Prosperia C.ABT Racing team placing all three of their cars inside of the top four with another double podium. Rast and van der Linde lead the way in second place, ahead of cars #11 and #12. YACO Racing unfortunately retired and kfzteile24 APR Motorsport did not start the race.

Round three of the ADAC GT Masters will be returning to Germany at the Lausitzring, 23-25 May.

2.2. Italian GT

Misano hosted the opening round of the 2014 Italian GT Championship. Audi Sport Italia returned to the series with a two-car Audi R8 LMS ultra entry.

The Audi Italia dealer team fielded two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars for the driver duos of Dindo Capello alongside Emanuele Zonzini (#5) and Thomas Schöffler with Marco Mapelli (#6).

Qualifying saw the #6 Audi Sport Italia taking pole position for race one, followed by sixth on the grid for race two. The #5 Audi qualified sixth and tenth for the two races.

Audi Sport Italia celebrated victory in the first race of the 2014 season, as Dindo Capello and Emanuele Zonzini piloted the #5 R8 LMS ultra to first place. Their teammates finished eighth.

The second race of the weekend saw another victory for Audi Sport Italia. Thomas Schöffler with Marco Mapelli won race two with their #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra, making it a clean sweep for the Audi Italia dealer team. Their teammates unfortunately retired in the #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra.

Round two of the Italian GT Championship will be heading to Monza, 30 May - 1 June.

2.3. BRCC

The Belgian Racing Car Championship (BRCC) held its second round for 2014 in France this weekend, at the Dijon circuit. W Racing Team (WRT) joined the regular season Audi entrants, PK Carsport. 

PK Carsport finished second at the season opener at Zolder last time out. They were back on the grid this weekend, fielding their #1 Audi R8 LMS for Anthony Kumpen, Bert Longin and Frank Beliën.

W Racing Team fielded one of their Audi R8 LMS ultra cars at the French BRCC event for Harry Teneketzian and Grégoire Chaix, who also competed with WRT at the opening round of the French V de V Endurance Series at Catalunya in March.

PK Carsport was entered in the GT Pro class for older GT3 machinery and WRT was entered in the GT Pro Evo class for newer cars.

The weekend started well for the Audi Sport customer acing squad, as WRT took pole position. PK Carsport qualified sixth overall, behind five GT Pro Evo cars, the fastest GT Pro qualifier. 

The three-hour race was held on Sunday and WRT came home to take second overall, finishing a mere 1.267 seconds behind the race winners. PK Carsport unfortunately dropped back and retired following an accident.

Round three of the BRCC will be heading to Zandvoort, 4-6 July.

2.4. Britcar

The Britcar Endurance Championship held its second round at Donington. Simpson Motorsport and their newly upgraded Audi R8 LMS ultra was out on track for the first time this year. 

Simpson Motorsport acquired and raced an ex-WRT Audi R8 LMS in Britcar last year. During the winter they upgraded the car with Audi R8 LMS ultra parts which they bought from M-Sport, who fielded an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the bulk of the 2013 British GT Championship last year. 

The #21 Audi was entered in Class 2 and driven by Peter Cook and Frank Pelle. Their Audi itself, is an older Audi R8 LMS which has been upgraded with a mixture of 2012 and 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra parts. The car is running Audi R8 LMS ultra bodywork and front splitter, along with a 2012 rear-wing, a 2013 aggressive pre-homologation rear diffuser, 2013 exhaust layout, non-carbonfibre R8 LMS doors and double front dive-planes similar to those seen on the older 2011 specification Audi R8 LMS cars.

Simpson Motorsport qualified tenth overall, taking third spot on the grid in Class 2.

The first of two ninety minute endurance races was held on Saturday. Simpson Motorsport moved forward to finish fifth overall, maintaining their third place in class to take a Class 2 podium finish. 

The second race was held on Sunday and saw three Class 2 cars running at the front towards the end of the race. Simpson Motorsport came home to take second overall and in class, a good weekend for the team.

Spa-Francorchamps will be hosting round three of the Britcar Endurance Championship, with two two-hour endurance races, 6-8 June.

2.5. Thailand Super Seires

The Thailand Super Series held its opening round at Sepang in Malaysia this weekend. It was the scene for the debut of an Audi in this Thailand based racing series. 

B-Quik Racing debuted their newly acquired Audi R8 LMS this weekend. The #26 entry was driven by Henk Kiks in the Class 2 - GTM class for older FIA GT3 specification race cars. 

He qualified sixteenth overall and finished the first race by placing tenth in the GTM class, nineteenth overall. The second and final TSS race of the weekend was held on Sunday and unfortunately Kiks retired from the race.

Round two will be held at Bira, 5-6 July.

2.6. Super GT Test Days

The Japanese Super GT hosted another set of official test days this weekend. This time Sportsland Sugo was the scene for the official testing, the second official test this year. 

Audi Team Hitotsuyama was present with their GT300 classed #21 Audi R8 LMS ultra. The car was driven by their regular duo of Richard Lyons and Tomonobu Fujii.

The Japanese Audi Sport customer racing squad showed good pace during the four test sessions. They placed sixth in GT300 during the Saturday morning session and fourth during the afternoon. 

They rounded out a good weekend with fifth and eighth positions during the morning and afternoon sessions on Sunday. 

Round three of the Super GT will be heading to Autopolis, 31 May - 1 June.

2.7. Targa Tasmania

The final round of the 2013-2014 Australian Targa Championship was the Targa Tasmania, the premiere event of the series.

A number of Audi cars took part, including four Audi TT RS cars and one Audi R8 V10.

2.8. Swedish Rallycross

The Swedish Rallycross Championship, Swedish RallyX series, got underway at Knutstorp this weekend. It was the debut event for the new Larsson Jernberg Racing Audi A1.

The new Swedish built Audi A1 was driven by Robin Larsson. He was very competitive this weekend and progressed all the way to the final heat in which he finished second in the Supercar category.

2.9. RCN

The German RCN held its second round at the Nürburgring this weekend. A total of five Audi race cars took part, including: Audi S3, A3, TT and TTS cars.

2.10. Norwegian GT

The Norwegian GT Championship got underway at Vålerbanen this weekend. A number of Audi race cars took part, including the ex-Møller Bil Motorsport Audi TT driven by Olav Rygge. This is the Audi TT that the Norwegian team used in the VLN before switching to their new SP3T class Audi TT RS in 2013.

2.11. Other Audi News

The traditional Audi Family Day for Audi employees and their families took place in Ingolstadt. Many of the factory Audi drivers were at the event, including the 2013 DTM winning Audi RS 5 DTM and the 2013 Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro, along with an Audi R8 LMS ultra. 

Audi Communications - Motorsport

Timo Scheider and an Audi RS 5 DTM was on show at ZDF Fernsehgarten in Mainz. He was behind the wheel of the Redbull race-taxi.

Audi Communications - Motorsport

The GT Asia entry list has revealed five Audi Sport customer racing entries. Absolute Racing will once again be fielding three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the GT3 class. Two Audi R8 LMS cars will be taking part in the GTM class, one entered by Tiger Racing Team (Absolute Racing) and IMS. 

The opening round of the series will be taking place at the Korea International Circuit next weekend, 17-18 May.

Absolute Racing FB page

JB Motorsport completed their leg of testing outside of Sweden this week. They were at Zandvoort on Wednesday and at Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday.

The Swedish Audi Sport customer racing team was running their #4 Audi R8 LMS at the two European circuits.

JB Motorsport will be announcing their 2014 schedule soon, which will see them competing across Europe.

JB Motorsport FB page

Melbourne Performance Centre was out testing at Phillip Island on Monday.

One Audi R8 LMS was among the cars taking part in the test. It was the #79 Audi R8 LMS of South African, Ockert Fourie. He was behind the wheel of his green and white Ockert Fourie Dental R8 LMS, alongside John Magro, who experienced his first laps in an Audi R8 LMS during the testing on Monday.

Ockert Fourie took part in the opening round of the Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships at Phillip Island two weeks ago. The second round of the VSCRC will be held at Sandown Raceway from 17-18 May, followed by round two of the Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island from 24-25 May, where up to four MPC run Audis could take part.

Ockert Fourie on FB

I.R.S. Racing confirmed their Spa 24 Hour intentions on Monday. The Czech team is planning to enter an Audi R8 LMS ultra for the Spa 24 Hours.

The team will be making their GT racing debut at the Spa 24 Hours, which forms part of the Blancpain Endurance Series. They will also be entering two rounds of the Blancpain GT Series later in the year, ahead of a more extensive GT racing program in 2015.

3. Next Weekend’s events (17-18/05/2014)

  •           DTM
  •           BSS
  •           ELMS
  •           VSCRC
  •           VLN
  •           SVRA
  •           EuroV8 Series
  •           Super Car Race
  •           GT Asia
  •           Audi R8 LMS Cup

All photos are hosted at their respective websites, which are listed within the Weekend Round Up

*Editor’s note: This is the 107th consecutive Weekend Round Up for the independent Audi Motorsport Blog since 2012, but it is also the final edition.

This will be my (Johan Laubscher’s) final post and contribution to the Audi Motorsport Blog and its associated social media, which has been run by myself and Tarek Ramchani. 

During my time as a mechanical engineering student I was able to make time for this fun and non-profit online activity, but I have decided that I need to focus my time and effort on my current career. It was not an easy decision, as I have enjoyed my time greatly with the Audi Motorsport Blog. I want to thank Tarek for the chance that I have had to work with him online for nearly four years, during which time we both enjoyed contributing content for fellow Audi and motorsport enthusiasts.

I will still continue to hold onto and pursue my dream of one day working for Audi Sport's communications department (Audi Communications - Motorsport) and Audi Tradition in Germany.