Thursday, June 28, 2012

Audi R16 debut drive for Tom Kristensen and Andre Lotterer at Spa 24

By Tarek Ramchani

The famous Spa 24 Hours endurance race is next set for July. Audi will try to defend its 2011 title by again fielding four works backed Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. Two from WRT and two more cars will come from Audi Sport Team Phoenix with strong drivers lineups which includes a trio of Le Mans winners, Tom Kristensen and Andre Lotterer and Marcel Fassler

It's hard to believe that Tom Kristensen has never raced with the Audi R8 LMS before. With Audi, "Mr. Le Mans" has only raced with LMP1 cars and the DTM in Germany. Tom had a lone participation in the Spa 24 before, with a privateer Honda Accord back in 2000. Kristensen will try to add another major endurance classic to his already impressive results. Andre Lotterer has never raced in the Belgian enduro event and has also never been with the Audi R8 LMS before. However the double Le Mans 24 Hours winner isn't a new comer to GT racing, he has a huge amount of experience from his Japanese years in the demanding Super GT. Kristensen and Lotterer will be joined by another Le Mans winner, Marcel Fassler. The Swiss driver is no stranger to the R8 LMS, Phoenix Racing or the Spa 24 Hours. For years he has raced in the Belgium classic with Ernst Moser's team.

Phoenix Racing is a regular team at Spa for many years now. The Nurburgring based squad won the race overall once with the privateer Corvette C6.R back in 2007. Since 2009 they were racing the R8 LMS, each year showing a great pace yet really unlucky .This year Phoenix Racing will have two Audi R8 LMS ultra. The sister car will be in hands of Andrea Piccini, Rene Rast and Frank Stippler. The team is aiming to win Spa 24 for the first time with Audi after their maiden Audi win in the Nurburgring 24 Hours last May.