Sunday, September 9, 2012

WRT wins the Zolder 24 Hours, a historic win for Audi

By Tarek Ramchani

WRT Belgian Audi Club just won the Zolder 24 Hours. The #32 Audi R8 LMS ultra crossed the finish line victorious after a very hard twice around the clock endurance race.

For Audi as a brand this is a history making win. A fourth 24 hour race win this year after great victories at Le Mans, the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps. The victory is also the third for the Audi R8 LMS ultra this year, an amazing achievement. No other brands has done this before.

The race itself was far from easy for the Belgian Audi squad. The car shared by Laurens Vanthoor, Anthony Kumpen, Edward Sandström and Marco Bonanomi started from pole postion. However the first hours were very difficult for the single R8 LMS ultra in the event. Both BMW with Marc VDS and Porsche with ProSpeed Competition were a lot faster. The Audi dropped some laps behind and were not able to follow the leader’s pace in the early stages of the race. Entering into the night the WRT run car started to set very strong lap times and catch the two leading cars. Later real drama hit the BMW Z4, technical issue forced the Marc VDS run car to retire. By Sunday morning the Audi team was able to put great pressure on the leading Porsche and got back into the leaders lap. Moving into the race lead the #32 Audi R8 LMS held its leadership to the finish line, mainly after a last hour problem hitting the #75 ProSpeed Porsche. Title defended for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT after the 2011 win.

Team WRT won their first 24 hour race this year after two unlucky attempts at both Nürburgring and Spa. For Audi as brand this a magical fourth victory. The Audi R8 LMS ultra once again proved to be a "Master of Endurance".

Photo credit: Fabrice Bergenhuizen /