GT World Challenge Europe 2023

Sixth sprint title for Audi in GT World Challenge after two victories

Further championship victories for Audi R8 LMS on two continents

Title defense for Audi R8 LMS GT2 in Belgium

Audi Sport customer team Tresor Orange1 crowned the season finale in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS with a title success. Championship victories in Belgium, Germany and New Zealand as well as individual race wins round off a strong weekend for Audi Sport customer racing.

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Superior title success:  The two Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Ricardo Feller won the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup in commanding style. At the finale at Zandvoort, they celebrated their third and fourth wins of the season in the Audi R8 LMS of the Tresor Orange1 team.

The Italian-Swiss driver duo started Saturday’s sprint from pole position. A duel unfolded between Feller and title rival Raffaele Marciello. While the Audi driver maintained control on a damp track, his rival from Mercedes-AMG slid into a gravel trap. After the mandatory pit stop, Mattia Drudi was in second place and overtook Ferrari driver Thierry Vermeulen in the battle for victory five minutes before the end of the race.

In the second race, which was marked by a sudden rain shower, Drudi and Feller made up ground from ninth on the grid to win by 8.5 seconds. For Drudi and Feller in the Drivers Championship and Tresor Orange1 in the Teams Championship, it was respectively the first championship success in the demanding European racing series.

Audi celebrated its sixth Sprint Cup title after 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021 and 2022. With Team Boutsen VDS, another Audi customer sports team won the Gold Cup in the sprint discipline. In the overall classification of Sprint and Endurance, Alex Aka/Lorenzo Patrese secured victory in the Silver Cup, while Tresor Attempto Racing won the corresponding team classification.

Three wins and title successes in club racing:  Julian Hanses and Finn Zulauf, the two support drivers in the German GTC Race series, proved once again at the end of the season at the Nürburgring that they are able to turn their support program into first-class results. As a driver pairing, the two Germans won the partly rainy GT60 powered by Pirelli endurance race at the fifth event in Car Collection Motorsport’s Audi R8 LMS.

In the first sprint of the GTC Race, Hanses subsequently clinched victory with a lead of more than twelve seconds. The second sprint went to Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock, who crossed the finish line 1.9 seconds ahead of Finn Zulauf with Land-Motorsport.

Hanses won the overall GT3 championship on the sprint track at the season finale, while Car Collection secured the team title. Hanses was also the class winner in the SemiPro class, Markus Winkelhock won the Pro class of the race series and Florian Blatter with Land-Motorsport won the Am classification. In addition, Julian Hanses also won the GT60 endurance classification ahead of Finn Zulauf.

Commanding performance:  Stefan Wieninger dominated the finale of the Special Touring Car Trophy in the Audi R8 LMS. The Audi privateer won the first race by 26.4 seconds and the second by 24.9 seconds. In the capricious weather conditions at the Nürburgring, Wieninger also benefited from the wide range of settings available for the driving aids of his Audi.

More titles in New Zealand:  Sam Fillmore and Jonny Reid celebrated their fifth consecutive victory in the New Zealand Endurance Championship 3-hour discipline at the finale at Timaru. Even a drive-through penalty for Fillmore, who had nudged an opponent into a spin, did not prevent the two New Zealanders from winning ahead of their Audi brand colleagues Steve Brooks/Bill Riding.

As a result, Fillmore and Reid in Team International Motorsport’s Audi R8 LMS defended their title from last year. For Audi, it was already the fifth victory in this championship after 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. At the same time, Fillmore and Reid won the title in the South Island Endurance Series.

Here, too, it was the fifth success by an Audi team since 2018. Adam Julian celebrated another Audi victory in the finale. He won the race over the one-hour duration in the Audi R8 LMS.

Victory at the finale: Team PB Racing won the finale of the British Endurance Championship. On the Donington circuit, Peter Erceg/Marcus Clutton in the Audi R8 LMS prevailed by 13.7 seconds after two hours of racing. It was already the fifth victory of the season for the Audi R8 LMS in the British Clubsport racing series.

Endurance success in China: Audi Sport Asia driver Cheng Congfu and Chris Chia prevailed in the third round of the China Endurance Championship in the Audi R8 LMS of the FAW Audi Racing Team. On the Ningbo race track, they built up an advantage of 14.4 seconds over the course of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

As a result, the Chinese driver duo also took the lead of the standings. At the same time, Chris Chia collected valuable points in the Audi Sport Asia Trophy for privateers and is now in third place behind Andrew Haryanto and Hu Bo.

Audi R8 LMS GT2

Second title in a row in Belgium:  Team PK Carsport successfully defended its title in the Belcar Endurance Championship. Second place in the Audi R8 LMS GT2 was enough for Peter Guelinckx, Bert Longin and Stienes Longin to become champions at the finale at Zolder. In four of the five races this season, the Belgian privateer team has relied on the Audi R8 LMS GT2 in the process.

The Belgian title follows just one week after the GT2 European Series finale, which the Audi R8 LMS GT2 had won for the third time in a row.

Audi R8 LMS GT4

Class victory in China: Team Winhere by HAR won the GT4 category at the third round of the China Endurance Championship. Deng Yi and Xu Zheyu secured success in Ningbo after two and a half hours of racing with a one-lap lead.

Class success in club racing:  Team Seyffarth Motorsport had reason to celebrate at the GTC Race finale. Tom Spitzenberger secured third place in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the first race on the fifth race weekend at the Nürburgring in a well-stocked field of 19 competitors.

In addition, Rüdiger Seyffarth’s squad celebrated a title in a category: Tobias Erdmann won the GT4 Trophy championship in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 ahead of six other contenders.

Second place at the finale:  Team Konrad Motorsport recorded a podium result at the finale of the Special Touring Car Trophy. At the sixth round at the Nürburgring, Jürgen Hemker in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 achieved second place in the first race.

Two wins in South Africa: Joseph Ellerine enjoyed a successful eighth race weekend in the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars Series at Zwartkops. The privateer driver won his class in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 from Team MJR in the second and third races. In the first race he had taken third position.

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

Leading the standings in Italy: Franco Girolami has taken the lead of the standings in the TCR Italy in the Audi RS 3 LMS ahead of the finale. The privateer driver from the Aicoa Racing team finished the first race at Vallelunga in second place ahead of Audi brand colleague Denis Babuin. Girolami won the second race by 6.9 seconds. In the TCR Italy DSG races, Eric Brigliadori prevailed in both competitions in the Audi RS 3 LMS.

Class victory in British endurance racing:  Sheard Autosport celebrated a class win in the British Endurance Championship. Jonathan Beeson and George Heler prevailed in the Audi RS 3 LMS after two hours of racing in Class E and finished immediately ahead of guest entrants George Jaxon/Scott Sumpton in another Audi.

Class victory at the finale:  Max Gruhn won the TCR class in the first race on the sixth race weekend of the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy at the Nürburgring. The privateer driver had a 14.6-second advantage in the Audi RS 3 LMS. After finishing third in the second race, the privateer concluded the season with the runner-up spot in the overall standings behind a Ferrari GT3 sports car.

Podium in Belgium:  In the Supercar Challenge, Laurens de Wit/Fabian Schoonhoven managed to make it onto the podium on the seventh race weekend at Spa. The driver duo finished second in the first race in the Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by Technova College Racing.

Second place in endurance racing: Team M&D Racing recorded a podium result in its class at the finale of the Belcar Endurance Championship. Manfred Verbeke steered the Audi RS 3 LMS to second place in the TA class in a field of nine competitors at Zolder.

Trophy in New Zealand: Warren Black returns home from the finale of the New Zealand Endurance Championship with a trophy. The privateer driver had finished third in his class in the Audi RS 3 LMS in the one-hour race at Timaru.

Third place in China:  The 326 Racing Team scored a podium result at the third round of the China Endurance Championship. Zhao Di/Zhu Shengdong/Lai Jingwen finished third in the TCE category in the Audi RS 3 LMS at Ningbo.

Coming up next week

20–21/10 Zwartkops (ZA), round 4, South African GT Series
20–21/10 Zwartkops (ZA), round 4, South African Endurance Series
20–22/10 Barcelona (E), round 7, TCR Europe
20–22/10 Portimão (P), round 6, Le Mans Cup
20–22/10 Hockenheim (D), round 8, DTM
20–22/10 Hockenheim (D), round 6, ADAC GT Masters
20–22/10 Chengdu (CN), round 5, TCR China
21–22/10 Okayama (J), round 6, Super Taikyu Series
21–22/10 Brands Hatch (GB), round 7, TCR UK
21–22/10 Barcelona (E), round 8, International GT Open
21–22/10 Jerez (E), round 3, Supercars Endurance
22/10 Varano (I), round 3, Coppa Italia Turismo Endurance

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