Another early title for Audi Sport drivers Weerts and Vanthoor
Victories for the Audi R8 LMS in Italy and China
Class titles for the Audi R8 LMS GT4
The latest GT World Challenge Europe weekend saw more celebration for Team WRT as Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor clinched another early title. The Audi R8 LMS proved to be the car to beat in Italy and China, while the latest evolution version of the GT3 sports car made its debut in Spain. Audi Sport customers also enjoyed success with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 clinching titles in the GT4 European Series.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Another title for the Audi Sport driver duo: Belgians Charles Weerts and Dries Vanthoor finished the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup race at the Nürburgring as the overall series champions. The success comes one week after the two young Audi Sport drivers clinched the Sprint Cup drivers’ title and the teams’ title together with Team WRT.
At the Nürburgring, Weerts and Vanthoor shared an Audi R8 LMS with Robin Frijns and started the race from twelfth on the grid and moved forward to finished sixth after three hours of racing, enough to secure the early title in the overall drivers’ standings.
Two races remain in the GT World Challenge Europe season, one Sprint Cup round at Valencia and one Endurance Cup round at Barcelona. Three titles are still up for grabs: Team WRT currently leads the overall teams’ standings, while Weerts and Vanthoor, as well as Team WRT, lie second in the drivers’ and teams’ classification, respectively, of the Endurance Cup.
|Victory and championship lead in Italy: A first and a second place for Audi Sport Italia’s driver pairing of Lorenzo Ferrari and Riccardo Agostini in the Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo Sprint race weekend at Imola ensured that the young Italians left the venue as the new leaders in the sprint classification.
On Saturday, the reigning sprint champion, Agostini, started the race from second place and gained the lead during the pit stops. Teammate Ferrari took over the Audi R8 LMS and defended first place all the way to the finish, which ended under yellow flag conditions – the first sprint victory for the Audi R8 LMS in the series so far this season.
The win elevated the duo into the lead of the standings ahead of Sunday’s race wherein they scored another podium result by finishing runner-up. Agostini and Ferrari now hold a 17-point lead with one sprint round remaining at Mugello in October.
On top at Ningbo: The China Endurance Championship kicked off with a victory for the Audi R8 LMS. The Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute squad lined up fourth on the grid for the 150-minute race at Ningbo. Chen Weian was behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS for the start and took the lead during the first 30 minutes. Together with teammate Cheng Congfu, the duo proved to be untouchable on their way to clinching first place with a lead of 90 seconds.
Third place and a debut in Spain: Rutronik Racing by TECE clinched its best finish so far in the 24H Series with third place in the 24-hour race at Barcelona. Audi Sport driver Pierre Kaffer and teammates Michael Doppelmayr, Elia Erhart and Swen Herberger started the endurance race from third position and took the final spot on the podium after one full day’s worth of racing on the grand prix circuit.
The race also included the debut of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 evo II with the Car Collection Motorsport team as a 24-hour development test under race conditions. The recently-revealed second evolution of the current GT3 sports car from Audi Sport customer racing has not been homologated yet and thus ran as the only entrant in the P4 class.
The driver quartet, including Audi Sport drivers Nathanaël Berthon and Patric Niederhauser sharing with Christer Jöns and Martin Lechman, finished fifth overall.
Trophies in the Czech Republic: At the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic, Audi privateers scored a total of four podium places in the GT3 class of the Eset Cup season finale. Stanisław Jedliński from Olimp Racing finished third in an Audi R8 LMS in the one-hour endurance race. In the subsequent sprint races, Jedliński finished second and third respectively, while Petr Kačírek in an Audi R8 LMS ultra finished runner-up in the second heat.
|Audi R8 LMS GT4
Early class titles won in the European championship: In the Pro-Am class of the GT4 European Series weekend at the Nürburgring, Gregory Guilvert and Fabien Michal from Saintéloc Racing took the class honors in the opening race and with it won the Pro-Am drivers’ title. The same was the case in the Am class for Team Fullmotorsport. Christophe Hamon and Michael Blanchemain drove their Audi R8 LMS GT4 to both Am class victories and these results secured the Am class drivers’ title for the pairing with one round still remaining.
Spanish podium for Audi privateers: Car Collection Motorsport finished third in the GT4 class in the 24H Series at Barcelona. The Audi R8 LMS GT4 was driven in the 24-hour race by the line-up of Lisa Clark, Mark Issa, Jeff Westphal and Martin Lechman.
The latest trophies in Sweden: The J-Tech team celebrated its third podium finish of the season in GT4 Scandinavia. At Anderstorp, the Swedish team finished third in the second race with Magnus Gustavsen and Carl Rosenblad in an Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Debut success: Alienergy 300+ Motorsport finished third in the GT4 class on their debut with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 driven by Huang Ruohan and Zhao Chen in the China Endurance Championship at Ningbo.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
1-2 victory: At the China Endurance Championship season opener at Ningbo, the MMK Racing team, with drivers Mi Qi, Zheng Wancheng and Chang Chienshang, took the TCE class win ahead of 326 Racing’s Yang Manman, Jiang Jiawei and Da Bai – ensuring a first and second place in class for the Audi RS 3 LMS.
On top twice in Canada: Audi privateers Travis Hill from TWOth Autosport and Marco Cirone from Mark Motors Racing each took a class win and another podium result with their Audi RS 3 LMS cars in the two races of the Sports Car Championship Canada presented by Michelin at Mosport.
Podium run continues in TCR Eastern Europe: Bartosz Groszek achieved two runner-up finishes in the TCR Eastern Europe season finale at the Brno circuit. The polish driver was once again driving an Audi RS 3 LMS from the Horňák-Aditis team – taking his seventh consecutive podium result in the eight races that he has contested this year.
Silverware on debut: In a one-off drive with Brink Motorsport, Jessica Bäckman enjoyed a strong first weekend in the Audi RS 3 LMS at Anderstorp. The young Swede scored a podium result by finishing runner-up in the third and final race of the TCR Scandinavia weekend.
Three podium places in Denmark: Audi privateers enjoyed winning trophies with the Audi RS 3 LMS in the Danish Endurance Championship at Padborg Park near the Danish/German border. In the opening one-hour race, Dan Agro Racing with drivers Stefan Lorenzen and Niels Ulrich Nyboe finished runner-up in their class, ahead of Frederik Vodder and Jesper Henriksen from STATE Energy Racing. Vodder and Henriksen went one better in the second race and finished runner-up in class.
First podium in TCR UK: At the season finale at Donington Park, Audi privateer Hugo Cook finished third in an Audi RS 3 LMS in the final race of the TCR UK season on the Monday Summer Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom.
Coming up next week
10–12/09 Lédenon (F), round 5, GT4 France
10–12/09 Lausitzring (D), round 4, ADAC GT Masters
10–12/09 Lausitzring (D), round 3, ADAC TCR Germany
10–12/09 Lausitzring (D), round 3, GTC Race
10–12/09 Laguna Seca (USA), round 9, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
10–12/09 Laguna Seca (USA), round 8, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
10–12/09 Shanghai (CN), round 2, TCR Asia/TCR China
10–12/09 Shanghai (CN), round 2, GT Super Sprint Challenge
11/09 Nürburgring (D), round 7, Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie
11–12/09 Kazanring (RUS), round 5, TCR Russia
11–12/09 Oulton Park (GB), round 6, British GT
11–12/09 Sugo (J), round 5, Super GT
11–12/09 Rivera (ROU), round 3, TCR South America
11–12/09 Red Bull Ring (A), round 5, International GT Open