Four Audi R8 LMS are aiming for overall victory in the Pro category
“Past – Present – Future”: Three striking designs for a century
Eight drivers travel to season highlight as championship leaders
Audi Sport customer racing has never been represented by such a large number of race cars at the Spa 24 Hours: 99 years after the debut of the Belgian racing classic, the
brand and its customers will field a total of 13 Audi R8 LMS cars on July 1 and 2.
The company is targeting its fifth overall victory at Spa this year since 2011
After the record number of twelve Audi R8 LMS cars last year, 13 sports cars with the four rings will be entered at Spa for the first time this year.
“In the biggest GT3 field of the year, Audi will be competing with seven other illustrious automobile brands,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Rolf Michl. “The race has a worldwide significance and attracts drivers and teams from numerous nations. We’re pleased to welcome an all-Chinese driver team in an Audi at Spa for the first time as well.”
The UNO Racing team from China, as well as the Belgian Audi Sport Team Comtoyou and CSA Racing from France, will make their debut at the endurance race in the Ardennes with the GT3 car. The experienced teams Tresor Attempto Racing, Saintéloc Racing as well as Scherer Sport PHX and Boutsen VDS will field the remaining Audi R8 LMS cars.
The current Scherer Sport PHX organization emerged from Phoenix Racing, the team that celebrated Audi’s second victory at Spa in 2012. Audi Sport Team Saintéloc claimed the brand’s fourth and most recent triumph in this race with the R8 LMS in 2017.
|“Past – present – future”: motorsport journey through time with Audi
“Following the great enthusiasm for our historic designs for the 40th anniversary of Audi Sport GmbH at the Nürburgring, we have also depicted our racing history over a longer period in line with the long-standing racing tradition here in the Ardennes,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing.
“Our three race cars from Audi Sport customer racing visually cover almost 100 years of motorsport history of the four rings under the guiding principle ‘past – present – future’. In sporting terms, the focus for us is obviously on fighting for our fifth success in just twelve years in a top-class environment.”
Audi Sport Team Saintéloc’s starting number 25 harkens back to the era of Auto Union’s streamlined race cars with its classic racing color silver, the gold-framed four rings, a red color marking at the front and visually suggested openings above the wheels. Simon Gachet, two-time Nürburgring winner Christopher Mies and Patric Niederhauser, all Audi Sport drivers, take turns in this cockpit.
The present is reflected by the number 40 in the 40th year of Audi Sport GmbH’s existence: Audi Sport Tresor Orange1 relies on a striking design. While the colors are new, the geometric pattern picks up the design from the debut of the current generation R8 LMS evo II. Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi, Ricardo Feller and Dennis Marschall chase times in this GT3 sports car.
The theme of the future is embodied by the body surface of car number 11. The design is based on the Formula 1 project while also citing elements of the future-oriented Audi Sport models, i.e. the innovative Audi RS Q e-tron Dakar prototype, the S1 e-tron quattro Hoonitron as well as the all-electric RS e-tron GTX study, which entered the 2020 grid as the leading car.
Audi Sport Team Comtoyou is fielding this R8 LMS for three Audi Sport drivers: Christopher Haase, 2017 Spa winner and, like teammate Frédéric Vervisch, two-time Nürburgring winner, and junior driver Gilles Magnus form a team.
Competition in many classes
A fourth pure Pro driver line-up enters the race for Team Scherer Sport PHX. Audi Sport driver Luca Engstler and the experienced pros and former Nürburgring 24 Hour winners Nicki Thiim and Kelvin van der Linde make up the line-up.
The UNO Racing Team with another R8 LMS represents a special feature: The team from China is sending an all-Chinese driver squad into the race. Adderly Fong, 2013 Champion in the Audi R8 LMS Cup, Xiaole He, David Pun and Rio, last year’s GT Super Sprint Challenge Champion in China with Audi, will be competing together for the first time in the bronze classification.
For the remaining Audi teams, valuable championship points are at stake in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS. No fewer than eight racers from the customer teams are coming to Spa full of expectations as championship leaders in four classes. In addition, Audi teams are leading in three team classifications.
In the Endurance category of the race series, Sam Dejonghe/Loris Hezemans/Finlay Hutchison lead the Silver Cup after their victory at Monza. In Spa they start together with Lucas Légeret. At the same time, their team Comtoyou Racing is in first place in the Silver Team standings.
Ten points behind this trio of drivers, Alex Aka/Pietro Delli Guanti/Lorenzo Patrese of Tresor Attempto Racing follow in second. Fourth are Andrea Cola/César Gazeau/Roee Meyuhas in the Audi from Boutsen VDS, who will be joined at Spa by Loris Cabirou. In the Gold Cup, Audi Sport driver Max Hofer and his teammates Nicolas Baert and Maxime Soulet have a 24-point advantage as championship leaders after two wins this season at Monza and Le Castellet.
Their entry team Comtoyou Racing also leads the respective team standings. Adam Eteki/Alberto di Folco/Aurélien Panis are currently fourth in the standings for Boutsen VDS and start at Spa with Thomas Laurent. In addition to these entries, CSA Racing is also competing in a class: The French outfit will start in the bronze classification with Erwin Creed/Jean Glorieux/Arthur Rougier.
Attractive overall classification from Endurance and Sprint
Spa is the third of five rounds on the endurance calendar. With separate classifications after six, twelve and 24 race hours, the longest race of the season traditionally carries a particularly high weight in the points distribution. Together with the sprint category, the endurance category also forms an overall classification.
Here again, Aka/Patrese lead the Silver Cup ahead of Dejonghe/Hezemans/Hutchison, while Tresor Attempto Racing is the best team. In the Gold Cup, Baert/Hofer/Soulet lead ahead of di Folco/Panis, with Eteki in fourth.
“It is precisely this diversity that makes this race series so appealing to our teams,” says Chris Reinke. “Several of our customers are in promising positions at the same time. We wish them all every success in a competition of over 70 race cars.”
Fans can follow the 75th edition of the motorsport classic in the promoter’s livestream. Audi reports live from Belgium on its social media channels. In addition, the media team has a permanently updated stock of high-resolution images available for media purposes in the audi-mediacenter.com database alongside previews, interim reports and a race summary.
The drivers and teams at Spa
Audi Sport Team Comtoyou
UNO Racing Team
Scherer Sport PHX
Audi Sport Team Saintéloc
Saintéloc Junior Team
Audi Sport Tresor Orange1
Tresor Attempto Racing