Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (14-15/07/2012)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 14 - 15 July 2012

2. The Events

-          DTM Munich
-          Superstars
-          Australian GT
-          ADAC GT Masters
-          French GT
-          GT Asia
-          Brian Redman Challenge
-          Britcar
-          Kerrick Sports Sedans
-          IMG Heat Lightning at NJMP

2.1. DTM Munich

The second annual DTM Munich show event was held this weekend. The Munich stadium was once again converted into a race circuit for the DTM field. Saturday saw a relay style event followed by a knockout event on Sunday. Mercedes drivers took control of the relay races on Saturday, but Sunday was to be Audi’s day. A soaking wet stadium arena witnessed an exciting day of racing which came down to a climatic final. Audi vs Mercedes with Ekström vs Green. The two drivers we very even during the final but a brilliant pitstop from the ABT team rocketed Ekki into the lead and onwards to victory. The king of the stadium in 2012 was Mattias Ekström.

2.2. Superstars

Round six of the International Superstars series was hosted at Spa for a weekend with typical Spa weather. An entirely wet weekend was perfect for the Audi RS5 teams who had been held back by recent performance restrictions and penalties. The weekend turned into a demonstration of quattro as the Audis dominated the proceedings. A 1-2 in race one followed by another victory in race two. Gianni Morbidelli took victory during both races in his Audi Sport Italia RS5.

2.3. Australian GT

The fourth round of the Australian GT Series headed to Sydney Motorsport Park. Only two Audi R8 LMS cars were at the event as 2011 champion Mark Eddy was once again  not present at the event. The cars of Rod Salmon and Peter Conroy Motorsport performed consistently during the weekend. Both finished outside the top ten in race one and claimed two top ten finishes in race two.

2.4. ADAC GT Masters

Round four of the German ADAC GT Series brought an end to the Audi win drought in the series. Despite the wet conditions Mamerow Racing took a brilliant victory in race one of the weekend with drivers Chris Mamerow and Rene Rast. They continued to top off a great weekend with a podium finish in race two. The two cars from Prosperia UHC Speed had a hard race weekend finishing outside the top ten in both races.

2.5. French GT

The fourth round of the French GT Series was held at Magny-Cours. As per usual five Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars were entered by Team Audi France, Saintéloc and JWS Racing. JWS Racing displayed a new livery resembling the French Flag for the national day. Despite qualifying well the Team Audi France entry continued to have bad luck by retiring in race one but they did bounce back with fourth in race two. The weekend in terms of the Audi teams belonged to Saintéloc. The #4 R8 LMS ultra of Gregory Guilvert and Paul Lamic took victory in race one after amazing passing moves during the closing stages of the race. The #4 paring ended a great weekend by finishing second in race two as well.

2.6. GT Asia

This weekend was the first time that more than one Audi was entered in a GT Asia event. It was round three of the GT Asia series at Fuji Speedway, the the first event in Japan. The regular factory entry from Audi R8 LMS Cup was entered along with one car from Hitotsuyama Racing. Both cars did well during the weekend. The cars finished in the top ten during both races highlighted by a podium finish for the Audi R8 LMS Cup car in race two.

2.7. Brian Redman Challenge

The annual Brian Redman Challenge is a historic racing event which is hosted at Road America each July. Two Audi R8 cars were at the event entered by Rogers Motorsport and GMT Racing. Doug Smith and Andy Wallace dominated the category this weekend in Audi R8 #405 (number 9) of Rogers Motorsport as they took class pole and victory.

2.8. Britcar

This weekend was the first time an Audi vehicle entered the 2012 Britcar series in the UK. The car was entered by the latest Audi R8 LMS team. The new team is Wessex Vehicles and the car now owned by Nigel Mustill is the ex-United Autosports Audi R8 LMS that was seen racing in the 2012 British GT Series. The car is confirmed for the GT Cup Championship and was entered into the endurance race at Brands Hatch as part of the Britcar series this weekend.

2.9. Kerrick Sports Sedans

The third round of the Australian based Kerrick Sports Sedans series was also held at Sydney Motorsport Park. The Audi A4 with its Chevrolet engine driven by Darren Hossack had a good race day. The A4 finished in second place during races two and three on the day.

 2.10. IMG Heat Lightning at NJMP

The new Limitless Racing team entered their Audi R8 GRAND-AM in an event at New Jersey Motorsport Park. The event was organised by Independent Motorsports Group and was called the IMG Heat Lightning at NJMP. The race day consisted of various class of cars competing in time trails and sprint races. The Limitless Racing team treated the event as a test session and achieved personal best lap times and double podium place finishes. 

IMG Racing website

2.11. Other Audi news

As reported last week the 2012 Monterey RM Auction will see a 2001 Audi R8 (#501) and a 2001 Bentley EXP Speed 8 (Audi R8 3.6 V8 engine), both of which are currently owned by the same owner. Audi R8 #501 has competed as a factory car in 2001 ALMS and ELMS before being sold to the Japanese Team Goh. The auction will be held on 17-18 August 2012. The RM Auctions website has been updated with more information and photos of both these cars.

3. Next Weekend’s events (21-22/07/2012)

-          VLN
-          Brazil GT
-          STT
-          GT Open
-          GT Cup

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