Monday, October 29, 2012

Team Audi France won GT Tour season finale

By Tarek Ramchani

The Paul Ricard track in southern France hosted the finale of the FFSA GT Tour Series. No less than seven Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars were there, and they did really well this weekend.

Team Audi France, the official national dealer team had a mixed 2012 season in the French series. They were always fast with their #32 Audi R8 LMS ultra shared by Stéphane Ortelli and David Hallyday, yet they had a lot of bad luck in many rounds. At Paul Ricard the team added a second car, the #31 for Audi DTM works driver, Adrien Tambay and rookie Karim Doguet. The team achieved a storming pole position for Race 1, but was only able to finish in fifth place after a chaotic start and a long period behind the safety car.

Things turned out to be a lot better during Race 2 on Sunday. Both Ortelli and Hallyday fought very hard on track, including a fair battle against the sister WRT car of the Belgian Audi Club driven by Laurens Vanthoor. After the mandatory pit stops the #32 Audi was able to improve and pass some of its rivals. In the closing stages the two leading Ferraris made mistakes at the same time, thus allowing Hallyday to take race lead and he later crossed the finish line victorious. The other Audis finished in sixth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth.

2012 was a hard year for Audi in the French GT series, however the finale was a very positive weekend. Team Audi France ended the year off very well after chasing race wins all season long. Credits also go to both Sainteloc Racing and JWS Racing, two privateer efforts who did well this year.

Photo credit: Patrick Hecq / W Racing Team