Three victories for Audi in Australia on the Kumho TCR World Tour
Podium results for the Audi R8 LMS in Japan and New Zealand
Title success for Audi RS 3 LMS at the Coppa Italia Turismo finale
On the first weekend in November, the Audi Sport customer racing teams once again gave cause for celebration. While Rob Huff moved to within one point of the top of the standings in the only worldwide TCR racing series, Aikoa Racing won its second TCR title within a week in Italy with the Audi RS 3 LMS.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Strong performance in Australia: At the first of two consecutive appearances of the Kumho TCR World Tour in Australia, the Audi RS 3 LMS won all three races. On the Eastern Creek circuit near Sydney, Will Brown from the Melbourne Performance Centre Team Liqui Moly, a local Audi Sport customer, qualified for the front row of the grid in the fastest RS 3 LMS in changeable weather conditions.
In the first race, Brown overtook the Peugeot that had started in front of him on the second lap in light rain. After a race interruption due to several drivers running off, the Australian started from first position after the re-start and did not relinquish the lead until the finish.
In the second race, Brown had to start in tenth place on the reversed grid after his previous success. By the seventh lap he had improved to third place, and on the 13th lap he took the lead from Peugeot driver Aaron Cameron. This gave him his second victory in a row. Rob Huff from Team Audi Sport Comtoyou improved from seventh on the grid to second position in the Audi RS 3 LMS.
His teammate Frédéric Vervisch, who had started sixth, completed an Audi one-two-three in third place. Rob Huff celebrated his second win of the season in the third race. Will Brown received a five-second penalty for a jump start, but secured third place in the race. The big winner of the weekend was Rob Huff: The Briton had traveled to Australia in third place, 23 points behind Hyundai driver Norbert Michelisz.
After the seventh of nine events on the Kumho TCR World Tour, he is now second and has closed the gap to the Hungarian to just one point. The eighth race on the calendar is scheduled for Bathurst in just one week’s time. In the 15 sprint races so far, five victories have gone to Audi drivers.
Breakthrough on the last race weekend: Sandro Pelatti prevailed in the Coppa Italia Turismo title fight at the finale in the Audi RS 3 LMS. The private driver from the Aikoa Racing team had traveled to the sixth event of the racing series with a twelve-point deficit.
In the first sprint, Giacomo Ghermandi from Lema Racing prevailed in his Audi RS 3 LMS despite a 10-second penalty and won by 1.1 seconds ahead of Sandro Pelatti. Kostyantyn Gutsul from MM Motorsport completed an Audi one-two-three, while championship leader Kevin Giacon retired in his Honda.
In the second race, Ghermandi was once again unbeatable in the Audi RS 3 LMS. Turgut Konukoglu from Bitci Racing, Sandro Pelatti and Kostyantyn Gutsul completed an Audi one-two-three-four. So Pelatti decided the championship in his favour. That includes a special achievement: His Aicoa Racing team had already won the TCR Italy a week ago with an Audi RS 3 LMS and driver Franco Girolami.
Now the second TCR title awarded in Italy also went to the team from Venezia Mestre. For Audi Sport customer racing, this was the fourth title this season in an officially licensed TCR racing series and the 33rd drivers title overall with the Audi RS 3 LMS since the start of the program in 2017.
Class success in New Zealand: Three Audi privateer drivers achieved a class victory in the Highlands 6 Hour Endurance Race. Blake Knowles/Matt O’Donnell/Clay Richards won the TCR category after six hours of racing in the Audi RS 3 LMS on the Highlands circuit. The race on New Zealand’s South Island was a one-off race outside of regular championships.
|Audi R8 LMS GT3
Two podium results in the endurance race: The Audi customer teams in New Zealand narrowly missed out on a possible victory in the Highlands 6 Hour Endurance Race. After six hours of racing, Steve Brooks/Bill Riding/Andrew Waite in the Audi R8 LMS were just 0.8 seconds behind the victorious Mercedes-AMG. A further 4.7 seconds behind them were this year’s New Zealand Endurance Champions Sam Fillmore/Jonny Reid in another Audi R8 LMS.
Good end to the season: At the Super GT finale, Team LeMans celebrated a podium result for the third time this year in the fiercely contested GT300 class with 25 participants. Repeated rain made conditions on the Motegi circuit difficult for all teams. Yoshiaki Katayama/Roberto Merhi remained flawless in the Audi R8 LMS and improved from 13th on the grid to third position.
Coming up next week
10–12/11 Bathurst (AUS), round 8, Kumho TCR World Tour