Audi Sport customer racing enjoyed another strong weekend with the Audi R8 LMS. B-Quik Absolute Racing achieved a 1-2 victory in Thailand, while Audi privateers won four races in German club racing hosted in the Netherlands, and one endurance race in Denmark.
Adding to the success was the Audi R8 LMS GT4 that scored a class win and podium results in the Netherlands. Comtoyou Racing rounded off the weekend by strengthening its position in TCR Europe with the Audi RS 3 LMS.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
First win of the season in Thailand: The B-Quik Absolute Racing team celebrated a successful weekend at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram by scoring a total of four podium results at the second event of the year – highlighted by a 1-2 victory on Sunday. The two qualifying sessions saw teammates Akash Nandy and Sandy Stuvik leading the way for the team owned by Henk Kiks.
Nandy took second on the grid as the best-placed Audi for the weekend’s opening race, while Stuvik clinched pole for the second heat, ahead of Audi Sport driver Pierre Kaffer. In the opening heat, Nandy moved into the lead during the opening stint, but the number 25 entry lost ground during the pitstop phase. Stuvik pushed hard to come back from fifth to finish runner-up.
Kaffer put in a thrilling charge to complete the passing maneuver for third place on the last lap, clinching the final overall podium step for himself and teammate Vincent Floirendo. On Sunday, Daniel Bilski and Philip Massoud won the second race of the weekend. Their teammates, Nandy and Stuvik, completed the Audi 1-2 victory by finishing runner-up.
Kelvin van der Linde returns to the podium: The second half of the DTM season got underway at the Nürburgring following the summer break. After sunshine for practice on Friday, dense fog followed in the Eifel on Saturday. The first qualifying session of the fifth race weekend was cancelled due to the lack of visibility and the drivers’ standings determined the grid for the opening race. In the end, the fog also delayed the start of the race by almost four hours.
When the lights finally turned green, Rast, who started from third place on the grid, fell back on the opening lap and finished ninth after a turbulent race. Teammate Kelvin van der Linde started from thirteenth on the grid, but dropped down as far as twentieth at the start. From there, the South African charged forward to finish runner-up – less than two seconds behind his brother, Sheldon, in a BMW.
Team ABT Sportsline teammate, Swiss Ricardo Feller, finished third with the sister Audi R8 LMS – completing a double podium for the outfit from Kempten. Another strong race on Sunday saw Kelvin van der Linde again finishing as the best Audi, this time in fourth place. These two strong results moved van der Linde up from thirteenth to seventh in the drivers’ standings, ahead of Feller (eighth) and behind Team Rosberg’s Nico Müller (sixth).
After a difficult Sunday with a retirement, René Rast dropped from third to fourth place in the title hunt, but he remains the best-placed Audi driver with a 29-point deficit to the leader, Sheldon van der Linde, ahead of the six remaining races this season.
Audi R8 LMS remains unbeaten in the sprint races: The Audi privateers continued their strong form at the fourth GTC Race weekend of the season. In the opening sprint heat at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands on Sunday, Seyffarth Motorsport’s Robin Rogalski led an Audi 1-2 victory ahead of Finn Zulauf from Rutronik Racing.
Going one better, the Audi R8 LMS clinched the first three places in the second heat with Max Hofer taking the win for Aust Motorsport, followed by Rogalski and Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock from Rutronik Racing. With these results, the GT3 model from Audi Sport customer racing has won each of the eight GTC Race sprint heats so far this year, as well as clinching a total of 20 out of 24 possible podium results.
Zulauf is currently leading the overall and semi-pro class GT3 drivers’ standings, while Hofer leads the GT3 pro class. One day earlier, in the fourth GT60 endurance race of the season, Aust Motorsport finished runner-up. Dino Steiner and Hofer even had chances of winning the one-hour race, but when the power steering failed in the second half of the race, Hofer had no chance against the leading Mercedes-AMG and crossed the finish line with a 20-second deficit.
It was the eighth GT60 podium finish for the Audi R8 LMS this year. Steiner and Hofer are leading the GT60 semi-pro class drivers’ standings.
Alzen on top in the Netherlands: The German Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (STT) club racing series saw former professional race driver Uwe Alzen putting in another strong performance with his Audi R8 LMS. At the TT Circuit Assen, the fifth event of the year, the Audi privateer won both races from pole position. Alzen has now won all but one of the season’s races so far – a total of nine victories – with two more race weekends remaining, both scheduled for October.
Victory in Denmark: Audi privateer Valdemar Eriksen won the second Danish Endurance Championship (DEC) heat of the weekend at the Jyllandsringen circuit – the fourth race weekend of the season. It was a one-off appearance in the championship for Eriksen, who is the reigning DEC champion in his class. Eriksen started Sunday’s race from pole position in an Audi R8 LMS and took victory with a 30-second advantage after 42 laps of racing on the circuit near Silkeborg.
|Audi R8 LMS GT4
Class win and podiums at Assen: The fourth GTC Race weekend of the season saw Tom Spitzenberger in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 from Seyffarth Motorsport finishing third in class in the first sprint heat at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands on Sunday. Christer Jöns won his class in the second heat for Aust Motorsport – the first GTC Race class win for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 this year.
The GT60 race, the fourth endurance race of the season, took place on Saturday with Aust Motorsport achieving a good result. Bernd Schaible took part alongside Jöns for the first time. After a strong second half of the race, in which Jöns overtook two rivals, the duo in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 finished runner-up after 32 laps. It was the first GT60 class podium result for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in 2022.
Another podium for Heide-Motorsport: At the fourth event of the season, Thiago Vivacqua finished third in the first race of the DTM Trophy at the Nürburgring. This marked the Brazilian youngster’s third podium result of the season so far with an Audi R8 LMS GT4.
As was the case with the DTM in the Eifel on Saturday, the first DTM Trophy qualifying session was cancelled due to the foggy conditions and the championship standings determined the starting order for the first race. Vivacqua started from fourth place and moved forward to finish third. After finishing fifth as the best Audi on Sunday, Vivacqua is currently ranked third in the drivers’ standings.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Tom Coronel wins in Germany: Comtoyou Racing celebrated a first and third place in the TCR Europe race at the Nürburgring with Coronel finishing on top, while teammate Franco Girolami took third – both driving Audi RS 3 LMS cars from the Belgian team of Jean-Michel Baert. The fifth event of TCR Europe was also affected by the foggy conditions in the Eifel on Saturday.
Qualifying was cancelled and the first race, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, was moved to Sunday, replacing the second race. The grid was determined by the combined free practice session results from Friday, which saw Coronel starting from pole position. The Dutchman went on to win his second race of the season on Sunday. Argentine Franco Girolami started from fourth and moved up to finish third, clinching his sixth podium result of the year so far.
Girolami extended his lead in the drivers’ standings by a further 6 points, now holding a 78-point advantage over Hyundai driver Josh Files with four races remaining. With the strong results, Comtoyou Racing almost doubled its lead in the teams’ standings from 66 to 126 points.
Coming up next week
01–04/09 Imola (I), round 3, Campionato Italiano GT Sprint