Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (22-23/09/2012)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 22 - 23 September 2012

2. The Events

  •           FIA GT1
  •           FIA GT3
  •           Blancpain Endurance
  •           Australian GT
  •           Italian GT
  •           BTCC
  •           SA Production Cars
  •           Midas Clubmans
  •           DMV TCC
  •           AvD 100 Meilen
  •           STCC
  •           Czech MMČR
  •           SCCA National Runoffs
  •           RCN
  •           Brazil DTCC
  •           Mexican SuperTurismos
  •           Austrian Hillclimb
  •           ARBÖ Rallye Steiermark

2.1. FIA GT1

The Nürburgring hosted a double header this weekend with the FIA GT1 World Championship / FIA GT3 and the Blancpain Endurance Series. WRT with it regular squad was present in both series. The WRT crew were very fast during all the sessions and qualified well. During the qualifying race the WRT cars were running 1-2 until the pitstops. After the pitstops the #33 dropped down the order as the #32 fought back up to second. Race two was a disappointment for the team, the #32 fell back and finished in sixth while the sister #33 crashed out from the race.

2.2. FIA GT3

The FIA GT3 races again ran alongside the FIA GT1 races at the Nürburgring. After only one Audi was present at the last round there were three Audis this time. Two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars from Team Novadriver and one from Saintéloc. The Saintéloc team achieved two top five finishes and Team Novadriver topped off their weekend with a podium finish in race two.

2.3. Blancpain Endurance Series

The Blancpain Endurance grid included seven Audis at the Nürburgring. The regular six cars were joined by an entry from Phoenix Racing. All the cars were competitive during the weekend with Phoenix claiming second on the grid and JB Motorsport with pole in their class. The race was a case of ups and downs and the best placed Audi was the #1 WRT car in fourth followed by the Saintéloc Audi in fifth.

2.4. Australian GT

The Melbourne Performance Centre headed to Phillip Island with two new cars and drivers in their three-car arsenal this weekend. It was round five of the Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island. Craig Lowndes and John Briggs were the two new drivers. It was a one-off event for Craig and he did not disappoint. He was near the top end during all the sessions and went on to win the first race of the weekend followed by a podium finish in race two

2.5. Italian GT

Audi Sport Italia arrived at Mugello as the Italian GT leaders. The team qualified well with a pole position for race two highlighting the Saturday qualifying sessions. Race one saw a good showing from the cars as both Audi R8 LMS ultras finished on the podium in second and third. Race two saw a second podium as the cars finished in third and fourth.


2.6. BTCC

Both Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 NGTC races were in action this weekend. The BTCC headed to a very wet Rockingham where Rob finished second last year. The RAR car of Rob Austin featured the photos of everyone who had taken part in his sponsorship campaign on the roof of his A4. Rob finished race one in the top ten followed by sixteenth in race two. Race 3 saw another top ten for Rob and fifteenth for Bratt.

2.7. South African Production Cars

The penultimate round of the South African Bridgestone Production Cars headed to Killarney in Cape Town. The event was one of changeable weather conditions and the wet track played into the hands of the Audi S4 cars. Five Audis lined up as the four Audi S4 cars were joined by the Audi A4 of Modack, who was also competing in the Clubmans races on the same day. Qualifying went well for all the Audi teams as Michael Stephan claimed pole position. Race one had many incidents and finished with the Audis locking out positions two through five with Stephen, Priest, Bonafede, Sipuka and Modack. The youngster Bonafede received pole on the reverse grid and the VMP cars ran 1-2 during the race, ultimately it was a 1-2-3 for Audi as Preist took VMP’s first win with the new S4 followed by Stephen and Sipuka. Modack lost an engine during the first Clubmans race which put him out for the rest of the day. The consistent day continued as Stephen and Priest lead the field during race three for another Audi 1-2 and the championship title for Michael. It was an excellent performance from Stephen this weekend as he clinched his second consecutive Class A championship title. It is especially impressive as he was suffering from burns due to a workshop accident earlier in the week. 

2.8. Midas Clubmas

The Cape Town based Midas Clubmans series acted as a support event to the national racing series which attended Killarney this weekend. Modack entered his Audi A4 into the regional Clubmans races and the Bridgestone Production Cars races. Modack did well in the national class and also dominated the regional qualifying. He once again took pole position for race one. However the Modack domination of the 2012 season so far came to an end. He lost an engine during race one which put him out of both the Clubmans races and races two and three of the Production Cars as well.

2.9. DMV TCC

The German DMV TCC was at Monza this weekend with one Audi on the grid. Prosperia UHC Speed entered one Audi R8 LMS driven by Slobodan Cvetkovic.

2.10. AvD 100 Meilen

The Prosperia UHC Speed team also competed in the AvD 100 Meilen races at Monza. The Audi R8 LMS was driven by Slobodan Cvetkovic and Danny Van Dongen and finished second in class.

2.11. STCC

The finale of the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship took place at Solvalla. Regular Audi driver in Italy, Johan Kristoffersson won the Scandinavian championship overall in his KMS Racing Volkswagen. In the Semcon Cup for privateers the only current Audi team in the series, BMS Racing, ended off their first STCC season with their Audi A4 S2000 cars. The team achieved podoum finishes as the Ahlberg brothers finished second and third in the privateer championship standings for 2012.

2.12. Czech MMČR

The Czech MMČR held round six at Brno. One Audi from the Bohemia Racing Team was present. Michalem Matějovský drove the BRT Audi A4 DTM to victory in both of the Division 4 sprint races.

2.13. SCCA National Runoffs

The 2012 SCCA National Runoffs, the premiere event of the SCCA National series, was held at Road America. Two Audis competed on the day, both in the STU class. Reigning STU champion, Joel Weinberger with his Stasis Audi A4 was joined by Don Istook in his Audi TT. Both cars finished the race in the top ten. Weinberger pushed hard and finished in second and Istook finished in seventh.

2.14. RCN

The German RCN series was also at the Nürburgring this weekend. Four Audis lined up on the grid which included an Audi S2, Coupe, TTS and a S3. It was the eighth round of the series.

2.15. Brazil DTCC

The Brazilian Audi Driver Touring Car Cup was at Londrina this weekend. The championship is a one-make championship consisting of Audi A3 race cars.

2.16. Mexican SuperTurismos

The Mexican Super Turimos hosted its final round this weekend. The series includes various Audi and Audi bodied silhouette cars.

2.17. Austrian Hillclimb

For the third consecutive weekend the Marko Racing Team were in action with their Audi A4 STW. This weekend it was the St. Agatha Hillcimb in Austria.

2.18. ARBÖ Rallye Steiermark

The ARBÖ Rallye Steiermark also took place in Austria this weekend. Various Audi cars took part in the event.

2.19. Other Audi news

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT have been included on the entry list for the 2013 Dubai 24 Hours. The Belgian team will enter two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the race. The provisional entry list also includes an Audi R8 LMS ultra from DragonSpeed, a privately built Audi R8 V8 and two Audi TT RS cars from Raeder Motorsport and the Besaplast Racing Team.

Following the recent Brazilian WEC round Audi Sport have announced that two Audi R18 e-tron quattros will contest the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship. For now this brings the career of the Audi R18 ultra to an end, when or if we will see the R18 ultra on track again is not yet known.

3. Next Weekend’s events (29-30/09/2012)

  •           FIA WEC
  •           FIA GT1
  •           Grand Am
  •           Continental Tire Challenge
  •           DTM
  •           ADAC GT Masters
  •           British GT
  •           French GT Tour
  •           VLN
  •           GT Open
  •           Japanese Super GT
  •           VdeV
  •           GT Asia
  •           ADAC Procar
  •           ETC Trophy
  •           IMG Racing
  •           STT

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