Sunday, February 24, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (23-24/02/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 23 - 24 February 2013

2. The Events

  •           SA Production Cars
  •           Race Retro 

2.1. SA Production Cars

The South African Bridgestone Production Cars Championship got underway this weekend. Four Audi S4s were entered, the same team and driver combinations as in 2012. Terry Moss Racing returned with reigning champion Michael Stephen and his teammate Tschops Sipuka. VMP Motorsport were back with Melvill Priest and Gennaro Bonafede. The weekend took place with very warm conditions. Michael Stephen put his S4 on pole and then maintained that by setting the fastest lap in SuperPole as well. The first race saw a flag to flag victory for Stephen with the other Audis in the lower half of the field. The reverse grid for race 2 ensured a front row start for Stephen’s teammate, Tschops Sipuka. Sipuka made good use of the standing start and rocketed into the lead and went onto victory, with Stephen rounding out the podium in third. Two Audis were on the front row for race 3, Sipuka and Priest. The two battled hard during the race. Both were eventually being passed by Johan Fourie (ex-Audi driver and two time Audi champion) in his BMW and Michael Stephen. Fourie and Stephen lead the way for the rest of the race. Ultimately Stephen finished in second place, ensuring that he was the overall victor for the day and the current championship points leader. Priest made it another double Audi podium by finishing third. The youngster, Bonafede, had a very difficult day as his S4 suffered a number of problems.

2.2. Race Retro

The 2013 International Historic Motorsport Show, also known as Race Retro, took place in Britain this weekend. A number of rally cars took part in a special live rally stage at the event. A few Audi quattro cars were amongst the entries.

Phil Laughton Photography FB page

2.3. Other Audi News

Audi Sport will have a special display at the Sebring 12 Hours. As it is the last LMP1 Sebring it will be a very special event. A collection of legendary Audi LMP1 race cars will take part in demo runs at Sebring. The cars will include the Audi R8, Audi R10 TDI, Audi R15 TDI and the Audi R18 TDI.  

The annual Audi winter camp has been completed. At the beginning of each year Audi Sport hosts this fitness camp for all their factory drivers. This year all nineteen official Audi Sport drivers were present along with many of the top team organisers (Joest, ABT, Phoenix, Rosberg)

Team Novadriver have been teasing conceptual livery designs via their Facebook page this week. Two similar liveries have been shown, one red and the other yellow. The team have also mentioned that they will be the first customer team to receive the new 2013 R8 LMS ultra upgrade packages to update their 2012 ultra cars.

The French JWS Racing team have announced a name change. The team will now be known as BR Racing. They have mentioned that they will be running one 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra in the French GT Tour this year. They will also take part in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the Spa 24 Hours. The BR Racing team will again be receiving technical support from Saintéloc.

GMG Racing took part in a promotional video with Simraceway which was published this week. The GMG Audi R8 LMS of James Sofronas was used in the Simraceway Real vs Virtual series. In this video series they look at the real car, in this case the real GMG R8 LMS, and then the virtual car on Simraceway.

The Nigerian Racing Eagle team have not announced their plans for the 2013 season as of yet. The R8 LMS team revealed a racing simulator mod this week, a version of an existing GT3 mod, which features an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the Racing Eagle livery. The mod is for the race simulator/pc game called rFactor.

DragonSpeed, the only American Audi R8 LMS ultra team, have already taken part in the 2013 Dubai 24 Hours and the Bathurst 12 Hour. It was confirmed this week that they will now be preparing for the Spa 24 Hours, which takes place later in the year.

The Limitless Racing team were at Road Atlanta this weekend. They were testing their Audi R8 GRAND-AM race car ahead of upcoming SCCA events which will take place at the circuit.

Kyle Connery FB page

3. Next Weekend’s events (2-3/03/2013)

  •           Australian GT
  •           Grand Am
  •           Jamwest Raceway Jamaica

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