Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (5-6/01/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

2013 is less than a week old and the motorsport season has already gotten underway. The first weekend of the new year saw no less than five Audi R8 GRAN-AM cars competing at two different events in North America. Motorsport on the very first weekend is a great way to kick off the year. We will be continuing with the Audi Motorsport Weekend Round Up which will, as it did during 2012, provide coverage of all the weekends, including all the factory, customer and private Audi Motorsport participation news from around the world.

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 5 - 6 January 2013

2. The Events

  •           Roar Before the Rolex 24
  •           SCCA U.S Majors Tour
  •           Jänner Rally 

2.1. Roar Before the Rolex 24

The 2013 Daytona 24 Hours is set for the end of January. The Roar Before the Rolex 24, the official Daytona 24 Hours test days, was held this weekend. Four Audi R8 GRAND-AM cars will compete in the race. Two cars from APR and one each from Alex Job Racing and Rum Bum Racing. All the teams were present at the tests and the cars showed great pace. Day one was a wet day and ended with the #52 APR car being the highest placed Audi in seventh. Day two provided some dry running for the teams and the Audis continued to show good form by placing in the top ten during the day. The final day of testing on Sunday finished with the Audis again penetrating well into the top ten. 

2.2. SCCA U.S Majors Tour

The SCCA U.S. Majors Tour held its opening round at Sebring this weekend. Limitless Racing are continuing their SCCA participation this year by participating in the Majors as well as other SCCA events, aiming to compete at the 2013 SCCA National Runoffs later in the season. Dr Jason Lee, car owner and driver, did very well this weekend. He showed good pace and carried it over to qualifying by claiming second place in class for race one, followed by class pole for race two. During race one Dr Lee set the second fastest lap time on his way to fifth place in class. Race two saw the team loose a few positions during the beginning stages but a late yellow flag looked to close the gaps until the race finished under yellow resulting in sixth place in class. 

2.3. Jänner Rally

The Jänner Rally kicked off the European Rally Championship. The event was held in Austria and features a variety of surface including asphalt, snow and icy conditions. Among the entries in the lower classes were a few Audi cars, including two Audi Coupes and a quattro rally car.

2.4. Other Audi News

The big event this month is the Daytona 24 Hours. No less than four Audi R8 GRAND-AM cars will compete, entered by three different teams. The final driver line-ups for the teams were announced during the week running up to the test days. APR #52 will be driven by Marc Basseng, Rene Rast, Frank Stippler and Ian Baas. APR #51 will be driven by Matt Bell, Alex Figge, John Farano and Dave Lacey. Alex Job Racing #24 by Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke. And finally Rum Bum Racing #13 by Frank Biela, Christopher Haase, Markus Winkelhock and Matt Plumb.

During the week the Portuguese Audi customer team, Team Nova Driver, posted a new photo on their Facebook page. The photo shows a CAD side profile of the new 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Presumably the same CAD program used to produce the press release photo which showed the rear angle of the car when it was announced at the Audi Sport Finale in December. The new photo allows more insight into the 2013 version of the Audi R8 LMS ultra. More can be read about the update HERE

The Don Istook TT RS Facebook page announced that Don Istook and his team manager are going to Britain for a number of visits. They will also attend the Autosport International Show in Birmingham. There they will evaluate an Audi R8 LMS for a potential customer. The R8 LMS in question is the car used by GT3 Racing during 2012 which competed in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The car is also an ex-WRT car from 2010. 

3. Next Weekend’s events (12-13/01/2013)

  •           Dubai 24 Hours

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