Audi R8 LMS prevails in Thailand, New Zealand and England
Two victories for the Audi R8 LMS GT2, one for the Audi R8 LMS GT4
Excellent season opener for Audi RS 3 LMS in Italy
Audi’s customer teams, which started the new season in Thailand and New Zealand as defending champions, celebrated a perfect start with their victories. The three other race cars from the current Audi Sport customer racing model program contributed to the brand’s track record with many other top results.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Triple success in Thailand: Team B-Quik Absolute Racing started its title defense in the Thailand Super Series with a one-two-three. Last year’s champion Akash Nandy from Malaysia, who is part of the Audi Sport Asia driver squad, won the first race of the series at Buriram with Thailand’s Adisak Tangphuncharoen.
In his GT3 debut, Tangphuncharoen qualified for grid position one in the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team B-Quik Absolute Racing. However, he lost one position at the start and handed over his car in second place at the pit stop. In addition, he received a five-second penalty for violating the track limit regulations.
After the pit stop, teammate Akash Nandy managed to take the lead and build up a large advantage. Despite the penalty, the duo still won the race by 7.6 seconds. Behind them followed two other Audi cars from the same team: the Chinese driver duo Sun Jingzu and Cheng Congfu finished second ahead of the Philippine Vicente Floirendo and Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock.
In the second race, Sun Jingzu and Cheng Congfu were the fastest Audi team in third place. Henk Kiks, who drove a fourth Audi and recorded fifth place as his best result, now occupies second place in the Audi Sport Asia Trophy interim standings for privateers behind Andrew Haryanto.
Winning start to the season in New Zealand: Jonny Reid and Sam Fillmore won the opening round of the New Zealand Endurance Championship in the Audi R8 LMS as defending champions. At Hampton Downs, Reid initially pulled away from pursuer Ant Pedersen in a Mercedes on a wet track but the latter came closer again on a drying track in the final hour of racing.
A puncture forced the chaser to make a pit stop, with the Mercedes team switching to slicks. Reid, who had taken over the Audi again from teammate Fillmore towards the end, stopped two laps later and also had slick tires fitted. As a result, last year’s champions in their Audi from Team IMS won with an advantage of more than 23 seconds.
Dominant performance in British club racing: Team PB Racing dominated the second round of the British Endurance Championship. Peter Erceg and Marcus Clutton prevailed at Brands Hatch with a large lead in an Audi R8 LMS. After two hours of racing, they were six laps ahead of their best pursuers who drove a Porsche.
|Audi R8 LMS GT2
Audi customers dominate at season opener: The two customer teams LP Racing and PK Carsport prevailed with one victory each at the GT2 European Series opener in Monza. In the first race, Henry Hassid – last year’s champion in the amateur category – now achieved overall victory with teammate Anthony Beltoise.
In their first race together for LP Racing, the French driver duo prevailed from sixth on the grid over the course of 50 minutes of racing. Beltoise took the lead from KTM driver Jan Krabec after the pit stop on the 18th race lap. Stéphane Ratel and Mattia di Giusto improved from ninth on the grid to third in another Audi.
In the second race, PK Carsport gained revenge after last year’s champion team had retired in the first race due to an accident. Peter Guelinckx and Stienes Longin had started from position one but lost two places in slipstream duels on the high-speed circuit.
However, after a penalty for an opponent, the Belgian Audi was back in second and ended up winning the race after the leading KTM was given a 51-second penalty. Guelinckx/Longin thus recorded their first joint success.
Second place went to Hassid/Beltoise, who now lead the standings with a 16-point advantage over Guelinckx/Longin. Pierre Kaffer/Michael Doppelmayer in another Audi are tied for third place with 27 points, as are Štefan Rosina/Nicolas Saelens in a KTM.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
European success in Monza: Team Speedcar won the first race of the GT4 European Series by a razor-thin margin. After Benjamin Lariche and Robert Consani in the French team’s Audi R8 LMS GT4 were fastest in all practice sessions, they also decided the one-hour race in Italy in their favor.
The two Frenchmen did not let a 25-minute race interruption after the accident of an opponent throw them out of their rhythm. Although Gaël Castelli in an Audi of the CSA Racing team briefly took the lead, Robert Consani regained the lead after the pit stop. In the end, he won by half a second ahead of two BMW cars.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Eight trophies in one weekend: The first round of the TCR Italy was a true festival for Audi’s numerous customer teams. In the first sprint race at Imola, Franco Girolami from Team Aikoa Racing in second place was the best of a total of 13 drivers who relied on a RS 3 LMS.
In the second race, last year’s European champion took the lead after a safety car phase and won by just under one and a half seconds. After the opening event, he is second in the standings, three points behind.
The number of TCR race cars was so large that teams with models equipped with DSG gearboxes held two separate races. Carlotta Fedeli led an Audi one-two-three in the first event ahead of Vedat Ali Dalokay and Paolo Palanti.
Dalokay won the second race ahead of Fedeli and Filippo Barberi, who also drove an Audi. Fedeli and Dalokay share the TCR DSG standings lead with 75 points each.
Podium at the Nürburgring: A privateer driver duo achieved third place in the Audi RS 3 LMS as the best result in the TCR class at the 24h Nürburgring Qualifiers. Artur Goroyan/Roman Mavlanov from Team MSC Sinzig e. V. im ADAC achieved the result with the DSG variant of the touring car in the second, four-hour race on Sunday.
Third place in club racing: Team Sheard Autosport returned from the second round of the British Endurance Championship with a trophy. Jonathan Beeson/George Heler steered the Audi RS 3 LMS to third place in their class over the course of two hours of racing at Brands Hatch.
Termine der nächsten Woche
28–30/04 Hockenheim (D), round 1, ADAC TCR Germany