Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (30/06-01/07/2012)

By Johan Laubscher

It was a quieter weekend with fewer events but the racing was still spectacular. The weekend had many highlights for the Audi brand in motorsport around the world including wins in many of the series accompanied with some disappointments in others and exciting demonstration runs as well.

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 30 June - 1 July 2012

2. The Events

-          Blancpain Endurance Series
-          DTM
-          DTM demonstration
-          Goodwood FoS
-          Grand Am
-          Grand Am Continental Tire Challenge
-          Superstars
-          Czech (MMČR)
-          VdeV

2.1. Blancpain Endurance Series

Round three of the Blancpain Endurance series was hosted at Paul Ricard in France for the third three hour endurance event. As per usual seven Audi R8 LMS cars were entered from WRT, Saintéloc, GT3 Racing and Brunstedt Motorsport. The Audis were fast all weekend and it was successful for WRT. Despite losing the #2 car early in the race the WRT and car #1 came home victorious. The other Audis also did well, especially in the Gentleman trophy with a second and third place for Brunstedt Motorsport and Saintéloc respectively. The next round is the legendary Spa 24 Hours at the end of July.

2.2. DTM

The Norisring, famously known as Germany’s Monaco played host to the fifth round of the DTM season. The race and qualifying is notorious for being extremely close. Qualifying and the race did not go to plan for the Audi teams. Qualifying only saw two Audis in the top ten followed by a race which had many incidents. In the end the highest placed Audi was Mike Rockenfeller in sixth place, the only Audi in the top ten.

2.3. DTM demonstration

As has become tradition many demonstration laps are held at the Norisring DTM event which often includes the current Audi Le Mans winning car. 2012 was no different as Audi had the 2012 Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the the 2012 Nürburgring 24 Hours winning  Audi R8 LMS on hand for demonstration laps. The R18 was driven by Marcel Fässler and the Audi R8 LMS ultra was driven by Markus Winkelhock during the demonstration.

2.4. Goodwood FOS

The 2012 Goodwood Fesival of Speed was another stellar event. Many Audis were present at the event inclusing an Audi Sport quattro S1 and an Audi R18 e-tron quattro wearing the 2012 Le Mans winning livery driven by Andre Lotterer.

2.5. Grand Am

Round eight of the 2012 Rolex Grand Am series was held at Watkins Glen for the annual six hour race. It was an exciting weekend for APR Motorsport as they entered a second Audi R8 GRAND AM (#52) for the event driven by German factory drivers Frank Stippler and Marc Basseng. Both cars were fast during the weekend. The #51 had problems during the last practice session and missed qualifying but their German teammates made up for the misfortune by taking second place on the grid. The race with another unlucky one for the APR team who have not had lady luck on their side. After many issues the #52 ultimately finished twelfth in class with the #51 finishing further back.

2.6. Grand Am Continental Tire Challenge

The APR Motorsport Audi S4 was on track again for the seventh round of the Grand Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. The car was on track during the practice sessions but again did not compete in the race. We hope to see the car out on track during the races very soon.

2.7. Superstars

Round six of the Italian Superstars series proved to be very difficult for the Audi RS5 teams. Plagued by the performance penalties the teams pushed for results. The teams did place well during the qualifying sessions but the races were difficult. The highest Audi finish during the races was fifth place for Johan Kristofferson in race one followed by many retirements in race two for the Audis. After this difficult weekend Johan has lost his championship lead dropping to third place in the international standings but he does still lead the Italian standings.

2.8. Czech (MMČR)

Round three of the Czech MMČR series was held in Poland at the Poznan circuit. It was the first appearance of the Bohemia Racing Team (BRT) in the 2012 season. The team regularly runs 2005 Audi A4 DTM R12 and 2006 Audi A4 DTM R12 plus specification cars in the series. This Polish event was the debut for the team’s 2007 Audi A4 DTM R13 specification car. BRT last used this same R13 during the 2009 DTM season when it was driven by Tomas Kostka. Kostka was the driver this weekend in Poland and despite the additional pit stop penalties he dominated the weekend by taking both Division 4 sprint race victories.

2.9. V de V

The fourth round of the French V de V series was a three hour event at Dijon. One Audi was on the grid from regular entrant AB Sport Auto. The team qualified well placing first in class and fifth overall. Unfortunately the team dropped back during the race and finished twenty-fifth.

2.10. Other Audi news

Multiple Moto GP world champion Valentino Rossi drove an Audi R8 LMS from the Audi Race Experience team at the 2012 World Ducati Week. The silver and read Audi R8 LMS had the famous number 46 on its side.

The latest Audi R8 LMS team is Twin Busch Motorsport from Germany. The team has acquired one of the ex-ABT Sportsline Audi R8 LMS cars from the 2011 ADAC GT Series season. The team are preparing to debut in the VLN series.

Due to the fires surrounding the Pikes peak area the Hillclimb has been postponed to later in the summer. Our thoughts and prays go out to everyone who has been effected by the fires.

The new Audi R8 e-tron was used to set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. With Markus Winkelhock behind the wheel the R8 e-tron set a new production electric vehicle lap record of 8m09,099s. 

3. Next Weekend’s events (07-08/07/2012)

-          FIA GT1
-          FIA GT3
-          VLN
-          Italian GT
-          Portuguese GT
-          BRCC
-          Swedish GT
-          STCC
-          Midas Clubmans
-          DMV TCC

It was a quiet weekend but the racing was still exciting with many victories around the world. Next weekend will be another action packed weekend for the Audi brand in motorsport around the world.

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