Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Round Up - Audi Motorsport Blog (20-21/04/2013)

By Johan Laubscher

1. The Weekend

Focussing this week on the weekend of 20 - 21 April 2013

2. The Events

  •           FIA GT Series
  •           SCCA World Challenge
  •           BRCC
  •           BTCC
  •           STT
  •           RCN
  •           V de V
  •           Targa Tasmania
  •           Kerrick Sports Sedans
  •           Audi endurance experience 

2.1. FIA GT Series

The FIA GT Series arrived at Zolder in Belgium this weekend. This was round two of the European series and five Audi R8 LMS ultra cars were once again entered in the event. All five cars were seen in the 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra specification (minus the new rear diffuser). The cars were very fast and WRT achieved victory in the qualifying race with the #11 R8 LMS ultra. This victory marked the first race win for the new 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra. The Championship Race saw a good battle for the lead between a Reiter Lamborghini and the #11 WRT Audi. In the end the WRT squad finished second and third, with the third car in fifth. Phoenix Racing and Team Novadriver completed a top ten finish for all the Audis by placing sixth and ninth respectively.

2.2. SCCA World Challenge

The second round of the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge took place on the streets of Long Beach. Five Audis were entered for the event, the same entrants that were present at St. Petersburg. Four Audi R8 LMS cars from GMG Racing and one Audi R8 GRAND-AM from Jeff Courtney Racing, which was sporting a new larger rear wing. James Sofronas, the winner last time out and current championship leader, was very fast this weekend. He took pole position for the race at Long Beach.

2.3. BRCC

The Belgian Racing Car Championship (BRCC) was a support event at Zolder this weekend. The PK Carsport Audi R8 LMS debuted at the event. The team performed well and won the ninety minute endurance race on Sunday. 

2.4. BTCC

Round two of the British Touring Car Championship was held at Donington Park. Rob Austin Racing completed a brilliant repair job, as they successfully repaired the #13 Audi A4 after a massive crash at Brands Hatch last time out. The Audi team expected to perform well at round two, however issues with their straight-line speed hampered them all weekend long. Ultimately they qualified and finished outside of the top ten in all of the races.

2.5. STT

The Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (STT) got their season underway at Hockenheim. A large variety of Audi cars took part, including an Audi A4 DTM R11, two Audi TT RS SP4T VLN cars, Audi A4 STW, Audi 80 (ROC), Audi A3 and many more.

2.6. RCN

The RCN is hosted at the Nürburgring, similar to the VLN series. A number of Audis too part in the first round which was held this weekend. Of particular interest was that Phoenix Racing entered the blue and white Stuck Audi R8 LMS ultra in the event, to test the car which was driven by Roman Rusinov and Christer Jöns. Rotek Racing is now using the TT RS which was used by 034 Motorsports at the 2012 Thunderhill 25 Hours, the car is still sporting the white and blue checkered livery from 2012. Rob Holland, who also drove the car at Thunderhill, raced the car this weekend.

2.7. V de V

The French V de V series was at Mugello in Italy this weekend. One Audi R8 LMS was entered once again by AB Sport Auto. The team qualified well and finished the six hour race in fourth overall, and first in class.

2.8. Targa Tasmania

The Targa Tasmania is the premier event of the Australian Targa Championship, and the final round of the 2012-2013 season. Four Audis took part, an Audi TT RS, R8 V10, S2 and Mk1 TT. The TT RS driven by Matt and Casey Close were tipped as potential winners following their very impressive results during the year. Unfortunately the Close’s retired from the event. The highest placed Audi overall was the R8 V10 of Laurence Kalnin and Doug Fernie, who finished eleventh.

2.9. Kerrick Sports Sedans

Mallala hosted the second round of the Australian Kerrick Sports Sedans. The Audi A4 (Chevrolet powered) of Darren Hossack was very fast. He qualified on the front row for race one and backed that up by taking victory in that race.

2.10. Audi endurance experience 

The Audi endurance experience is an one-make championship hosted by Audi France. The series consists of a full field of Audi A1 race cars which compete in a number of endurance events. The first event was held at Le Mans this week, on the shorter permanent Bugatti Circuit. 

2.11. Other Audi News

The Audi R8 LMS Cup calendar was revealed this week. The series will now feature races in China as well as expanding into Asia with races in South Korea, Malaysia and Macau. A larger grid and a number of high profile driver additions will ensure another very good year for the one-make Audi series in Asia. Rahel Frey and Congfu Cheng are among the latest additions to the series. More can be read HERE

Audi Sport will field a fourth Audi R18 e-tron quattro at the Le Mans Test Day in June. The car will be driven by Marco Bonanomi. The purpose of the fourth car is to conduct tire tests and simulations for the fourth coming 2014 regulations. More can be read HERE

A new formula is being developed for South African Motorsport. It will be called the South African V8 Touring Car Series and will feature cars developed in Australia, closely based on the latest generation of Australian V8 Supercars. The cars will feature bodywork from various manufactures. So far Ford and Audi cars have been confirmed for the series. The Audi CAD render was published this week. More can be read HERE

An Audi R8 LMS was part of the Audi race experience event at Le Mans this week. The car was seen and driven at the track.

The ATL Automotive ABT-Audi TT-R was display at an ATL Audi / VW showroom launch in Jamaica this week. The TT-R is driven by Doug Gore in Jamaican and Caribbean motorsport events.

The Nigeria Racing Eagle team confirmed that they will be racing in the British GT championship this year. They were not present at the opening round held at Oulton Park, but the team has announced that they will debut at Silverstone.

Nigeria Racing Eagle FB page

G-Drive by Phoenix Racing will enter two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars at the Nürburgring 24 Hours this year. Phoenix Racing, the reigning victors, have partnered with G-Drive fuel. The cars will also be seen in a black and white livery, representing the new partner’s colour scheme. They will be driven by Marc Basseng / Marcel Fässler / Frank Stippler / Markus Winkelhock (Car #1) and Frank Biela / Christer Jöns / Luca Ludwig / Roman Rusinov (Car #3).

Two Audis were on display at the Hockenheim Jim Clark Revival. An Audi 200 Trans Am and an Audi V8 DTM (1990) were on display.

David Stunnenberg

3. Next Weekend’s events (27-28/04/2013)

  •           ADAC GT Masters
  •           GT Tour
  •           VLN
  •           GT Open
  •           ADAC Procar
  •           Super GT
  •           HSR
  •           Devil in the Dark
  •           Supercars Series
  •           MMČR

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