Saturday, March 30, 2013

FIA GT: Belgian Audi Club Team WRT on pole at Nogaro

By Tarek Ramchani

The new FIA GT Series starts this weekend in France at Nogaro. Five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars are there and things started very well for the Audi squad. A sensational pole position for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and Rene Rast.

All the five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were with "old" 2012 specifications. The brand new 2013 upgrades are not homologated yet by the FIA. Still the Audi squad did really great in a very close qualifying session. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT put their three cars in the top five. Even better, the outright pole was from a Pro-Am car, the #12 Audi R8 LMS ultra of René Rast and Niki Mayr-Melnhof. Rast the double Porsche Supercup champion was able to beat the quick pair of McLaren MP4-12C cars from Sebastien Loeb Racing. Frank Stippler and Edward Sandstrom ended in fourth with the #13 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Stéphane Oretlli the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series champion and Laurens Vanthoor the new Audi works GT driver were fifth with the #11 R8.

The other two teams did well too. The Portuguese from Team Novadriver landed in a very strong sixth with Cesar Campanico and Carlos Viera driving the #14 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Phoenix Racing entering a single R8 LMS ultra at Nogaro finished in ninth with Belgian duo Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide.

Day 1 at Nogaro was more than positive for Audi. The qualifying race is set for tomorrow with a live stream available on the official series website We wish the best of luck to the three Audi Sport customer racing teams.

Photo credit: FIA GT Series / Team Novadriver

P1 #12 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Rene Rast / Niki Mayr-Melnhof

P4 #13 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Frank Stippler / Edward Sandstrom

P5 #11 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Stéphane Ortelli / Laurens Vanthoor

P6 #14 Team Novadriver - Cesar Campanico / Carlos Viera

P9 #5 Phoenix Racing - Anthony Kumpen / Enzo Ide