Audi Sport customer racing celebrated title successes with its customer teams in the 24H Series powered by Hankook European Series, the GT Super Sprint Challenge in China and is well placed in title contentions in several championships. Two victories at the invitation race in Singapore round off a strong weekend.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Strong debut season for Haas RT: Audi customer team Haas RT won the GT3 title of the 24H Series powered by Hankook European Series in its first full season with the Audi R8 LMS. At the finale at Barcelona, Sandrine Haas’ team, which competes under the Antigua flag, scored second place. Finn Miika Panu, Brit Gavin Pickering, the two Belgians Mathieu Detry and Kris Cools as well as Audi Sport driver Max Hofer from Austria formed the driver squad of the number 21 Audi R8 LMS. With a total of 20 lead changes over the course of the 24 hours, Haas RT was in front two times in the race and in the end was the only team on the same lap as the winners. With 142 points, the team won the GT3 European standings by two points. Second place went to Scherer Sport PHX as another Audi customer team that also won the Pro-Am category, in which Land-Motorsport finished third. In the GT3 drivers classification, Mathieu Detry prevailed by two points ahead of Elia Erhart and Audi Sport driver Pierre Kaffer, who in turn were the best Pro-Am drivers in the standings with equal points. Their teammate Michael Doppelmayr followed in second place in this class. Christer Jöns, who contested the last two races with Scherer Sport PHX, finished third.
Title successes in China: Several customer teams in China have reason to celebrate after the GT Super Sprint Challenge finale. Hu Bo in the Audi R8 LMS won the GT3 classification of the race series, which is exclusively reserved for amateurs, after two victories and five further podium places. The race driver from China experienced his first full GT3 season. His fielding team Absolute Racing secured the team classification ahead of eleven other teams. In the intra-brand Audi Sport Asia Trophy for privateer drivers Hu Bo is behind championship leader Andrew Haryanto. GT3 up-and-comer Andy Deng from Team Winhere by HAR decided the GT3 Am plus classification in another Audi R8 LMS in his favor after having started the season in the GT4 sportscar and being runner-up in this category. Xiao Min came out on top in the GT3 Am Masters category with Team YC Racing after four wins and two podium finishes.
Double success on Grand Prix weekend: Tanart Sathienthirakul dominated the non-championship race weekend of the Thailand Super Series in Singapore. In both invitational races on the Grand Prix weekend, the driver of the B-Quik Absolute Racing team managed victory in the Audi R8 LMS. The driver from Thailand had secured pole position in qualifying. His Chinese teammate Vincent Lin started alongside him in another Audi. The race started on the wet track behind the safety car. Sathienthirakul pulled away from his pursuers early on. Lin, who had initially lost ground, used a safety car period to reduce the gap and overtake three opponents afterwards. The Audi driver duo subsequently held the lead until the finish of the twelve-lap race. Tanart Sathienthirakul won with an advantage of more than ten seconds. In the second race, too, the race driver pulled away from a chasing Porsche by more than ten seconds. Vincent Lin managed another podium result at his debut weekend on the demanding street circuit with third place.
Closer to the top: The two Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Ricardo Feller continued to make up ground before the finale at the fourth of five rounds of the Fanatec GT World Challenge powered by AWS Sprint Cup. With two podium results in Valencia, the Italian and the Swiss have moved two points closer to the championship leaders from AMG-Mercedes and are within striking distance with a gap of just 7.5 points. In the first race, the driver duo in the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team Tresor Orange1 improved from tenth on the grid to third position after initially their Audi Sport driver colleague and teammate Dennis Marschall, who had started from first place, had been leading almost continuously until lap 21. In the second race, Simon Gachet, another Audi Sport driver, had clinched the pole position. Once again, the one-hour competition started for Drudi/Feller from grid position ten. Within the first seven laps, Mattia Drudi improved to fourth place and by lap eleven he was already third. Ricardo Feller was close behind the eventual race winner Charles Weerts of BMW in second place after the driver change and crossed the finish line with a gap of just eight tenths of a second. A total of six Audi R8 LMS cars finished in the top ten.
Upward trend in Japan: Team LeMans finished on the podium in the Japanese Super GT race series for the second time. After finishing third at round four, Yoshiaki Katayama and Roberto Merhi in Masabumi Ota’s squad’s Audi R8 LMS also achieved third place in a strong GT300 field of 25 competitors at the sixth race weekend at Sugo.
Endurance success in Great Britain: Peter Erceg and Marcus Clutton prevailed in the fifth round of the British Endurance Championship. The British driver duo steered the Audi R8 LMS to its fourth victory of the season on the Snetterton circuit. The GT3 sports car of the PB Racing team won with a one-lap advantage after two hours of racing.
Two podium results in club racing: At the sixth round of the British GT Cup Championship club racing series, Team Cook Racing recorded two trophies. Sacha Kakad/Hugo Cook in the Audi R8 LMS won the first race at Donington by just 0.57 seconds. In the third race, the driver duo finished second.
|Audi R8 LMS GT2
Excitement in the title fight: After their fourth victory of the season, Peter Guelinckx/Stienes Longin are back in full title contention ahead of the GT2 European Series finale. Just like their main opponents in the Pro-Am classification – the championship leaders Anthony Beltoise and Henry Hassid – they are relying on an Audi R8 LMS GT2. On the fifth race weekend at Valencia, Beltoise/Hassid initially found the better rhythm. The Audi of the Italian team LP Racing pulled away from its pursuers from pole position and led for 14 laps. After the mandatory pit stop, Beltoise/Hassid were second and maintained their position until the finish. Meanwhile, Peter Guelinckx slid into the gravel on an opponent’s oil at the start but was able to continue his drive. In the end, the PK Carsport Audi recorded fifth place. In the second race, Peter Guelinckx/Stienes Longin were not fazed by a red flag, a safety car or the slippery track surface and won by one second. Although the Audi had crossed the finish line in third place, the Mercedes-AMG in first place and the Audi of LP Racing in second place were retroactively imposed compensation times. The reason: race control had to interrupt the action with the red flag during the pit stops of these two competitors because a competitor had come to a halt in a dangerous position after spinning. Beltoise/Hassid lead the Pro-Am standings before the finale at Le Castellet by just two points ahead of Guelinckx/Longin.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Spectacular success in America: Team Unitronic/JDC Miller MotorSports celebrated a last-minute victory in the tenth round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. South African Mikey Taylor overtook Robert Wickens’ Hyundai in the Audi RS 3 LMS in a daring maneuver on the outside of Turn 7 of the Indianapolis circuit shortly before the end of the 4-hour race. As a result, Taylor, who shares the Audi with Chris Miller, won by 1.1 seconds. After their second consecutive win of the season and their third in total, Miller/Taylor are second in the TCR standings before the finale at Road Atlanta, just 20 points behind Wickens and Harry Gottsacker, with the series awarding 350 points for a win. In the manufacturers standings, Audi is best of four brands.
Class victory at the 24-hour race: The Wolf-Power Racing team celebrated victory in the TCR category at the finale of the 24H Series powered by Hankook European Series. Miklas Born/Roberto Ferri/Jasmin Preisig/Ivars Vallers managed their first victory with the Audi RS 3 LMS over this distance at the Barcelona 24 Hours. At the finish they were four laps ahead. While Jasmin Preisig thus won the Ladies Cup of the TCE standings, the Swiss Wolf-Power Racing team finished the TCR annual standings in second place.
Podium results in Italy: Franco Girolami crossed the finish line in first place in the turbulent first race at Monza on the fourth race weekend of the TCR Italy. However, after a penalty for overtaking under yellow flags the Argentinean in the Audi RS 3 LMS of Aikoa Racing dropped back to ninth position. The best driver of an Audi was thus Felice Jelmini from the PMA Motorsport team in second place. In the second race, Girolami improved from eighth to second place. He was just 1.4 seconds behind the winning Honda driver Niels Langeveld, who now leads the standings with a seven-point advantage over Girolami. In the DSG classification of the race series for race cars with dual-clutch transmissions, Audi recorded two one-two-three wins in which Vedat Ali Dalokay from Bitci Racing Team AMS was the best driver in each case. The race driver from Turkey leads the DSG standings in his Audi RS 3 LMS with a 92-point advantage.
Two top results in Denmark: Mike Halder in the Audi RS 3 LMS enjoyed a good sixth race weekend in TCR Denmark. The German won the second race at Padborg from pole position with an advantage of 2.4 seconds. In the third race, which was held under floodlights, Halder initially lost a place to Hyundai driver Martin Andersen at the start but made up for it. With a gap of just half a second, Halder finished second for Team TPR Motorsport. Before the finale at Jyllandsringen, Halder is second in the standings, 39 points behind Honda driver Kasper Jensen.
Podium in club racing: At the fifth round of the British Endurance Championship, Sheard Autosport recorded a podium result in its class. Jonathan Beeson and George Heler steered their Audi RS 3 LMS to second place in their class over the course of two hours of racing at Snetterton.
Two trophies in the Netherlands: Two Audi customer teams were on the podium at the sixth round of the Supercar Challenge. The Technova College Racing team finished second in the second race at Zandvoort with Laurens de Wit’s Audi RS 3 LMS. Certainty Racing with Paul Meijer and Tim Schulte in another Audi RS 3 LMS followed three tenths of a second behind.
Winning streak continued: Glenn Nirwan remains top in Indonesia. The race driver of the BRM Motorsport team won the European classification of the Indonesian Sentul Series of Motorsport at Sentul in an Audi RS 3 LMS with a lead of 18.2 seconds. In the Indonesia Touring Car Race at the same event, he beat his best rival by 7.772 seconds.
Coming up next week
22–23/09 Teretonga (NZ), round 4, New Zealand Endurance Championship