Friday, March 22, 2013

Phoenix Racing to compete in Blancpain Endurance Series and in FIA GT Series

Phoenix Racing Press Release

Phoenix Racing will compete with two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the Blancpain Endurance Series (BES). The current GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock (D) together with the two Belgians Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide will be driving one of the two 560-hp GT3 sports cars whereas the BES title defender Christopher Haase (D), the Briton Oliver Jarvis and the Swiss Harold Primat will take turns at the wheel of the second Phoenix cockpit. In addition, Ernst Moser’s team will participate in the newly formed FIA GT Series. Kumpen/Ide will be driving the Phoenix R8 at the season opener at Nogaro, France, on 01 April.

"Over the past few years the Blancpain Endurance Series has evolved into a fiercely competitive and popular endurance racing series in Europe,” says Phoenix Team Director Ernst Moser. More than 50 GT3 sports cars of all makes will be on the grid at the five rounds, causing plenty of action that RTL will now be reporting about as part of their Formula One coverage as well. “Endurance racing has always been a Phoenix domain and therefore it’s practically a must for us to run in the Blancpain Endurance Series and to take on the enormous competition in this huge field of entrants," affirms Ernst Moser.

During the two official test days at Le Castellet no less than 62 GT3 sports cars made for a lot of on-track traffic. Phoenix Racing, based at the industrial park in Meuspath, was in Southern France as well for testing with the R8 LMS ultra that Audi Sport has again subjected to further development in many details for the 2013 season and that not least thanks to a massive rear diffuser delivers notably improved aerodynamic efficiency.

“All of them are great, tradition-steeped circuits,” says Ernst Moser and adds, “At Spa, Phoenix has clinched an amazing two overall victories and at the finale in front of a home audience it would obviously be a dream to clinch a podium position.”

Phoenix Racing has entered the newly created FIA GT Series with an Audi R8 LMS ultra for Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide. “We want to support SRO, the organiser of this new championship, especially as we find the format with two one-hour races interesting and because RTL will not only cover the Blancpain Series but also report about the new FIA GT Series,” says Ernst Moser. “On top of this come economic considerations because thanks to the largely identical regulations and without clashing dates the cars can be entered in both the BES and the FIA GT. We’re eager to see how this new racing series will develop.”

The calendar of the FIA GT Series features six rounds. After the opening round at Nogaro (F) on 01 April races at Zolder, Belgium (21 April), Zandvoort, the Netherlands (07 July), at the Slovakiaring near Slovakia’s capital Bratislava (13 October) and at Navarra, Spain (13 October) will follow. The venue of the final round (16 or 23 November) is yet to be determined.

Phoenix Racing has been relying on the R8 ever since it made its racing debut in 2009 and has celebrated numerous successes with the customer sport race car from Audi. In 2012 alone the team based in the Eifel region won three classic endurance events: the Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia plus the two 24-hour races at the N├╝rburgring and at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.

Ever since the company was founded in 1999, putting Phoenix Racing GmbH on two supporting pillars has been part of Managing Director Ernst Moser’s business philosophy. The DTM and GT racing form these two key areas in which Phoenix has been consistently pursuing its ambitious aims with highly motivated employees.

“Phoenix is at home in the DTM and in GT racing. This is where we feel comfortable and are able to fight with the competition for victories and titles on an equal footing,” says Ernst Moser. “Our two squads, DTM and GT, by and large work autonomously and are focused on their particular tasks. In the DTM, as Audi Sport Team Phoenix with Mike Rockenfeller and Miguel Molina, we’re going to leave no stone unturned to bring the title back to Audi with the Audi RS 5 DTM. And in the GT3 the new Audi R8 LMS ultra and our seasoned campaigners give us all the prerequisites we need for clinching further successes in 2013.”

Photo credit: Berzerkdesign / Blancpain Endurance Series / Stefano Ciabattoni