Saturday, August 29, 2015

ADAC GT Masters: Audi dominated the Sachsenring practice sessions

ADAC GT Masters Press Release

Christer Jöns in an Abt Audi sets the fastest time in the second session. The Schütz Porsche stops the Abt Audis making it a one-two-three.

The Audis once again proved unbeatable in the second free practice at the Sachsenring. In a rain-affected session, the fastest time went to an R8 LMS ultra entered by the team belonging to former ADAC GT Masters champions Christian Abt, just as it had in the morning. Christer Jöns and Andreas Weishaupt set the fastest time, but only by the narrowest of margins. The Audi duo in the car bearing the number #3 were only 0.001 seconds ahead of their team-mates Stefan Wackerbauer and Kelvin van Linde who had led the timesheets in the morning.

Klaus Bachler and Martin Ragginger in the GW IT Racing-Schütz Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 R prevented an Abt Audi triple lockout by edging Jordan Lee Pepper and Nicki Thiim for third place. Current championship leaders Luca Ludwig and Sebastian Asch in the Team Zakspeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 acquitted themselves well as fifth fastest, while Dominik Baumann and Jens Klingmann in a BMW Z4 GT3 entered by BMW Sports Trophy Team Schubert finished the day in sixth.

Fabian Hamprecht and Clemens Schmid drove the fastest of the Bentley Continental GT3s (Bentley Team HTP) to take seventh place ahead of the two Audi R8 LMS ultras of kfzteile24 MS RACING driven by Daniel Dobitsch and Edward Sandström, fresh from their victory at the Nürburgring, and by Florian Stoll and Marc Basseng. Free practice was temporarily suspended for five minutes after Stoll and Basseng skidded off the track. Andreas Wirth and Daniel Keilwitz (Callaway Competition) completed the Top Ten in the fastest of the Corvette Z06.R GT3s.

Qualifying for Race 1 will take place on Saturday at 08:00 CEST and for Race 2 on Sunday likewise at 08:00 CEST. Both races will be shown live on SPORT1, with coverage on Saturday and Sunday commencing at 13:00 CEST.

Photo credit: ADAC GT Masters

Friday, August 28, 2015

FIA WEC: Audi on the top again in the Nürburgring FP2

By Tarek Ramchani

As was the case in the opening practice session, the Audi Sport Team Joest set the fastest time in the second practice session of the day at the Nürburgring. The session was highlighted by a thrilling duel between the factory Audis and Porsches.

André Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer and Marcel Fassler were the quickest again in a very competitve LMP1 field. The drivers of the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro set the best time of the session with 1:37.862.

The FIA WEC leaders were followed by two Porsche 919 Hybrid cars in second and third places.

The #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro was fourth fastest overall. Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis set a best time of 1:38.886. They were 1.024s behind the fastest time of the sister #7 Audi.

Toyota Racing ended the session in position five and sixth. The two privateer Rebellion R-One were seventh and eighth. The lone CLM P1/01 - AER from Team ByKolles was ninth fastest.

Nürburgring Second Practice Results

FIA WEC teams and drivers will be back on track tomorrow for the third practice session followed by qualifying.

Photo credit: Audi Media

DTM: Mattias Ekström second fastest in the Moscow Raceway FP1

By Tarek Ramchani

Audi ace Mattias Ekström was second fastest in the opening DTM practice session at the Moscow Raceway. The Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline driver set a personal best time of 1:29.340. Eki was right behind the leading BMW of Marco Wittmann.

Edoardo Mortara ended the session in a strong fourth place overall. The Audi Sport Team Abt driver set a personal time of 1:29.498.

Eki's team-mate Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline) was seventh fastest

The remaining Audi drivers were outside the top-ten. Adrien Tambay (Audi Sport Team Abt) was thirteenth. Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) was fourteenth. Jamie Green (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) was fifteenth. Nico Mueller (Audi Sport Team Rosberg) was twenty-second.

New comer to Audi in the DTM, Antonio Giovinazzi was twenty-third fastest. The Italian driver is replacing Timo Scheider this weekend at Audi Sport Team Phoenix.

Action will resume tomorrow with the second practice session, the first qualifying session and the race.

Photo credit: Audi Media

FIA WEC: Audi quickest in the opening practice session at the Nürburgring

By Tarek Ramchani

The FIA World Endurance Championship action has started at the Nürburgring with the first of three practice sessions. Audi Sport Team Joest performed well with the two factory Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 cars.

FIA WEC points leaders André Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler were the quickest in the opening session. The three drivers of the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro set the best time with 1:39.201.

Third place went to the sister #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro behind the second placed #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The car in the hands of Loic Duval, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis set a best time of 1:39.910. They were only 0.709s behind their team-mates with the sister #7 Audi.

The second factory  #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid was fourth fastest. Toyota Racing took positions five and sixth with the TS040 Hybrids.

First Practice LMP1 results:

P1 #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro - 1:39.201
P2 #18 Porsche 919 Hybrid - 1:39.277
P3 #8 Audi R18 e-tron quattro - 1:39.910
P4 #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid - 1:39.915
P5 #2 Toyota TS040 Hybrid - 1:41.812
P6 #1 Toyota TS040 Hybrid - 1:42.541
P7 #12 Rebellion R-One AER - 1:47.433
P8 #13 Rebellion R-One AER - 11:49.171
P9 #4 CLM P1/01 - AER - 1:49.242

The second practice session will follow next.

Photo credit: Audi Media

DTM: Antonio Giovinazzi joins Audi Sport Team Phoenix in Moscow Raceway

Audi Press Release

Audi is again giving a promising junior driver an opportunity in the DTM. The 21-year-old Italian Antonio Giovinazzi will be contesting the two DTM races at Moscow Raceway (Russia) for Audi Sport Team Phoenix.
The leader of the European Formula 3 Championship will be competing in the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM that is normally driven by Timo Scheider (D). The 2008 and 2009 DTM Champion has been excluded from the DTM event at Moscow by the sports court of the German Motorsport Association (DMSB).

Matching his year of birth, 1993, Giovinazzi, who hails from Martina Franca in southern Italy, will be driving car number ’93.’ The Italian had left a strong impression in an Audi Sport DTM evaluation of young drivers at the end of the past season and confirmed it in DTM tests at the Lausitzring in June.

For the DTM’s Russian round this weekend, Giovinazzi had been scheduled as the driver of an Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi for the first time. Now, the Italian is making his debut in the internationally popular touring car racing series that will start with the rollout on Friday at 12.00, local time (11.00 CEST).

The first of the two races at Moscow Raceway will start on Saturday at 16.33 (from approx. 15.20, CEST, live on ‘Das Erste’), the second race on Sunday at 16.13 (from 15.00, CEST, live on ‘Das Erste’).

Photo credit: Audi Media

Super GT: Richard Lyons ready for Suzuka 1000km

Richard Lyons Press Release

This year in Super GT sees the 44th running of the 1000KM race at Suzuka Circuit in Mie prefecture, Japan.

Suzuka International Circuit built in 1962 is Japans jewel in the crown, a track that hosts F1 and is openly rated by drivers as one of the best circuits in the world is sure to come up trumps in Japans punishing summer heat with another hard fought and exciting Super GT race.

Richard Lyons:

“Rd5 marks the second half of the season and with that comes my strongest and most favourable circuits.

Past experience recently has not given us any advantage of late but maybe the best way to look at things is that this is certainly not a disadvantage.

Suzuka Rd 5 is Super GT’s biggest and longest race of the year being a brutal 1000km race in summer heat, with extra points on the table compared to the normal 300KM races it certainly ups the ante. 

Suzuka is traditionally the Japanese equivalent of Spa Francorchamps in Belgium, it has everything that a driver could possibly demand. However, our weak area has been straight-line speed (Regulated by each Championship) and this is highlighted with the extremely high ambient temperatures (35oC + June through September) in Japan which makes our Audi R8 V10 run on the limit.

Our goal for the weekend has to be solid points and if theres chances to pick up extra points then we have to be in a prime position to take advantage.

It’s going to be a hot weekend, not only for the car but for the drivers, let’s see how it all plays out.

Photo credit: Hitotsuyama Racing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

NPCC: Audi S4 quattro racers off to coastal challenge again

Audi South Africa Press Release

For the fourth time this season, the National Production Car Championship (NPCC) racers will tackle a coastal event. For round six of the 2015 series though, it will be at a circuit that has not seen them in action before.

With just three rounds left for the year, the Extreme Festival moves to Dezzi's Raceway in KwaZulu-Natal where the 2.5 km track lies in wait for the national competitors. Racing at this circuit so late in the season could result in an unexpected shake-up to the season.

With three Audi S4 quattro racers at the top of the leaderboard, it looks more and more like the NPCC title will go to one of these three competitors this season. At the top of the log is Hennie Groenewald (8 – Audi Sasolracing) who is currently nine points in the lead.

Second spot is held by Michael Stephen (12 – Engen Xtreme) while Gennaro Bonafede (32 – Audi Sasolracing) is in third place – with a three-point gap between them.

This thin 12 point spread between the top three racers will certainly prove to be the catalyst for some exciting racing in the remaining rounds – and with the Audi S4 quattro racers 26 points ahead of the fourth-placed competitor, their dominance in this series is hard to challenge.

For Simon Moss (38 – Engen Xtreme) the Dezzi's Raceway event presents an opportunity to focus on his race results. Moss has made great strides with his qualifying results, appearing on the front row of the starting grid twice recently.

A round of the championship at a new circuit creates the possibility that his pace will prove more valuable than the experience the other racers have at the regular circuits, and a good result could see him claim the three points he needs to break into being amongst the top five competitors this season.

Another round, a new circuit and four very determined Audi S4 quattro racers is an opportunity to see some fast-paced and exciting national circuit racing in NPCC. The challenge might result in some of the toughest on-track battles seen yet in the 2015 season.

Photo credit: (Morne Condon)

DTM: Audi faces ‘heavy’ task in Russia

Audi Press Release

Audi driver Mattias Ekström is aiming for the top step of the podium in the DTM races at Moscow: With a victory at the Red Bull Ring, the Swede had taken the lead in the Championship at the end of July. Now, the Russian round of the internationally popular touring car racing series is on the agenda.
In the DTM’s Russian premiere at Moscow Raceway, the Swede, in second place, completed a commanding Audi one-two win in the 2013 season. Last year, Ekström was on podium again at Moscow, having advanced to third place after starting from position eleven on the grid. “So, actually, the only thing that’s still missing is a victory,” the leader of the DTM standings feels – knowing full well that this will be no mean feat because the Audi RS 5 DTM cars, following their success at Spielberg, will be the heaviest cars in the field yet again this season.

Mattias Ekström is expecting to have chances at the 3.931-kilometer Moscow Raceway in spite of the high weight. “I had the heaviest car in the field at Spielberg too and actually shouldn’t have been able to win there,” he says. “We simply need to do the best job again. In that case, anything’s possible. Every point counts. This year, the title will be clinched by the driver that manages to score good results even with a lot of weight.”

“This will be a really tough nut to crack,” Dieter Gass believes. The Head of DTM at Audi Sport was absent due to illness most recently at Spielberg and is returning to the command post in Russia. “We’ve won at Moscow Raceway before but experienced a pretty difficult race last year. Our aim is another victory.”

Two other Audi drivers – Edoardo Mortara (Italy) and Jamie Green (Great Britain) – are in the top four of the drivers’ classification, which gives them good prospects in the battle for the title. Mortara clinched 40 of 50 possible points at Spielberg and would like to continue his performance at Moscow Raceway. Green most recently went home without points five consecutive times and is set on finally ending his string of misfortune.

Between Spielberg and Moscow, the activities of the three candidates for the title differed a lot from each other. Mattias Ekström competed in two rounds of the World Rallycross Championship in Canada and Norway with his own team. Edoardo Mortara had the opportunity to ride on a Red Bull stunt plane in Austria which meant fulfilling a dream of his. Jamie Green honed his German language skills in an intensive course at the Audi Academy in Ingolstadt.

Next weekend, they will meet again in Moscow. While the drivers will be conveniently traveling by air, the trucks of the teams had to cover the near-2,500-kilometer distance as a convoy – which put an extreme strain on the people and equipment as some of the roads were rough to travel on.

Moscow Raceway is about an hour and a half’s drive from Moscow’s city center. A long straight before the start and finish on which the drivers reach speeds of more than 240 km/h before braking is one of the special characteristics of the track. This is where most of the overtaking maneuvers normally take place.

Photo credit: Audi Media

Sunday, August 23, 2015

World RX: Podium for Robin Larsson Audi in Norway's Hell RX

By Tarek Ramchani

As was the case yesterday, the Audi drivers performed very well again in the FIA World Rallycross Championship action today in Hell.

No less than four Audi drivers took part in Semi-Finals, two of them made it to the big Final with a strong podium in the end.

Robin Larsson ended Hell RX in a strong third place overall. The 2014 FIA European Rallycross champion took the final spot of the podium in the big final after a thrilling battle with another Audi driver, Alx Danielsson. The Swedish driver was delighted with this result with a fully privateer #4 Audi A1 Supercar after two rounds without scoring points.

Alex Danielsson finished the event in fourth place behind the wheel of his #55 Audi S3 Supercar. His best result ever in FIA World Rallycross Championship. The ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport driver moved to Semi-Final for the first time today and did better by qualifying to the big Final. This is was the right reward for Alex Danielsson who faced a lot of bad luck this season.

EKS faced two frustrating semi-finals with drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Anton Marlkund. The two Swedish drivers were very fast all day long and could have reached the big final without an unbelievable bad luck.

Anton Marlkund ended in fifth place in Semi-Final one with his #92 Audi S1 Supercar. Team-owner Mattias Ekstrom was fourth in Semi-Final 2 with his #10 Audi S1 Supercar.

ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport team-owner René Münnich concluded Hell RX in twenty-first place overall with his #77 Audi S3 Supercar.

Overall victory in Norway went to Peugeot Hansen's Timmy Hansen ahead of his team-mate David Jeanney.

The next round in FIA World Rallycross Championship will be held in France at the popular Loheac circuit.

Photo credit:  World RX / EKS / ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: Frustrating race 1 for Mike Skeen in Miller Motorsports Park

By Tarek Ramchani

The Miller Motorsports Park in Utah played host to the first Pirelli World Challenge race of the weekend today. It was one of the hardest rounds ever for the Audi R8 LMS ultra in Pirelli World Challenge.

Mike Skeen was not able to battle for the top spots in today's race. The CRP Racing driver of the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra pushed hard but that was not enough. He ended the 50-minute sprint race in thirteenth place overall.

The 2014 series runner-up had to battle against strong competitors but also against a penalizing Balance of Performance.

Another Audi driver facing an unlucky race was Drew Regitz. Behind the wheel of the #19 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Cameron Racing he had a crash and did not finsih the race.

Overall race victory went to Johnny O'Connel with the factory Cadillac ATS-V.R. James Davison was second with a Nissan GT-R ahead of his team-mate Bryan Heitkotter in third place.

Utah Race 1 Results

Photo credit: Pirelli World Challenge

TUSC: Paul Miller Audi takes pole position at Virginia International Raceway

By Tarek Ramchani

The Paul Miller Racing team took a sensational pole position at Virginia International Raceway after a thrilling TUDOR United SportsCar Championship qualifying session.

The #48 Audi R8 LMS was the fastest within the GT Daytona class and set the best time in the session with 1:49.255 . Dion von Moltke who qualified the car is sharing the Audi with Christopher Haase. This is their third pole position this season in TUSC.

The two drivers are battling for the GT Daytona title with only three races left. Both Dion von Moltke and Christopher Haase will be eager to fight for the race victory.

Canadian team Compass360 Racing qualified in tenth place within the GT Daytona class. Their Audi #76 R8 LMS driven by Ray Mason and Pierre Kleinubing.

The TUSC race at Virginia International Raceway is set for Sunday,

Photo credit:

World RX: Three Audi drivers inside the top 10 in Hell RX day 1 action

By Tarek Ramchani

FIA World Rallycross Championship action has started in Hell, Norway. The Audi drivers had a positive opening day with three of them inside the top-ten overall after two close and fought heats.

The best ranked Audi driver is Anton Marklund. The EKS ace ended the day in fifth place with his #92 Audi S1. The Swedish driver collected a total of 75 points.

Robin Larsson is ninth overall with his #4 Audi A1. The 2014 FIA European Rallycross champion is bouncing back very well after two unlucky rounds at Holjes and Trois-Rivières.

Alx Danielsson is a position behind Rob Larsson, in tenth place. The Swedish driver is returning with ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport after missing the Canadian round. Behind the wheel of his #55 Audi S3 he was among the fastest in the field all day long.

EKS team-owner Mattias Ekström had a frustrating opening day. The DTM points leader is seventeenth overall with his #10 Audi S1. The Swedish Audi ace will be eager to bounce back on Sunday and try to enter the top-twelve and a place in semi-finals.

René Münnich is nineteenth with the #77 Audi S3. The ALL-INKL Münnich Motorsport team-owner was fast but unlucky today.

Up ahead it is a 1-2 Peugeot Hansen with Timmy leading team-mate Davy Jeanney. Ford Olsberges MSE driver Timur Timerzyanov is third overall.

Action will resume on Sunday with Heat 3, Heat 4, the Semi-Finals and big Final.

Photo credit:  World RX / EKS

BTCC: Strong sixth in Knockhill BTCC qualifying for Austin‏

Rob Austin Press Release

Rob Austin was an excellent sixth fastest outright in Dunlop British Touring Car qualifying at Fife’s Knockhill circuit this afternoon although team-mate Hunter Abbott was a frustrated 21st, albeit just seven tenths of a second away from the pole position time.

Rob was in the top ten throughout in his Exocet AlcoSense Audi A4. But with effectively his final lap of the session he produced a lap time of 51.979 seconds – his fastest ever around the twisting 1.2-mile circuit – to give himself a third row starting position on the grid for the first of tomorrow’s three races.

He said: “I’m very happy with that and I don’t believe it was the best lap I could have done either. We’ve opted to run the soft compound tyre in race one which could be very good for us if it stays dry as it’s a driver’s fastest lap in race one that decides their starting position for the race two grid.

“We’ve also found in the two earlier free practice sessions we’re able to turn in consistently fast laps so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Hunter, who is on stand-by to fly back home to Maidenhead in case expectant wife Susie goes into labour, added: “That was a frustrating session for me for a number of reasons and when I was perhaps on for my absolute best another car came out of the pit lane and delayed me.

“Also my best lap on the timesheets is 52.437s but we maybe need to look at some data as our best time was disallowed for exceeding track limits – just so we know for certain that the correct lap has been disallowed. Particularly because the times are so close – it could make the difference between P21 or P15. As for tomorrow we know we have excellent pace over a long distance with the tyres so we’ve got everything to fight for.”

Photo credit: Rob Austin Racing

Australian GT: Stunning 1-2 Audi victory in Sydney race 1 - Mies and Millier ahead of Antunes

Australian GT Press Release

Ryan Millier withstood huge pressure on his maiden Australian GT presented by Pirelli event with the JAMEC PEM Audi team to lead the Skwirk Audi of Nathan Antunes across the line, with Graeme Smyth bringing the TFM Ferrari he shares with Jono Lester home in 3rd; their first Australian GT podium.

As 31 cars took the race start Steve Owen in the Supaloc Ford GT retained the lead followed by the Audi’s of Christopher Mies and Antunes. Morgan Haber in the Erebus SLS got the jump on Jono Lester’s Ferrari, but by lap 3 Lester was through and in pursuit of Antunes.

Owen and Mies pulled a gap on the rest of the field; the Audi looming large in Owen’s mirrors under brakes and through the corners; but the Ford pulling away along the straights. Behind Lester chased Antunes but couldn’t find a way though, the Trass Family Ferrari struggling with understeer this weekend. Behind in 5th Haber pulled a small gap on Aaron Seton in the Scott Taylor Motorsport Porsche and Grant Denyer’s Ferrari.

Further back Matt Campbell was making his way through the field after his qualifying penalty but made contact into turn 1 with Justin McMillan’s Lamborghini. The incident at the fastest part of the track sent McMillan into a frightening spin and retirement. Campbell continued only to retire 10 laps later with mechanic issues crippling the Ginetta after a strong drive through the field.

At the half way point the race changed dramatically with two big incidents. Sam Filmore lost the rear end of the repaired FreeM Lamborghini braking into turn 9 making heavy contact with the wall and Andrew Jones in the #8 Ferrari dramatically crashed at turn 1. The Ferrari touched the grass on the entry to the corner, lost control and made contact with the tyres at high speed. Thankfully both drivers walked away unharmed.

The safety car was immediately dispatched creating a frenzy of pitlane activity as competitors completed their compulsory pit stops and driver changes. The order of the front 4 remained unchanged once the field re-formed behind the safety car with Kevin Weeks now in the Ford GT leading Ryan Millier’s Audi, Nathan Antunes (the only leading contender without a co-driver) and Graeme Smyth in the Ferrari 4th.

After a prolonged safety car period to repair the damaged barriers the race resumed with less than 9 minutes remaining. Immediately the two Audis were on the attack, both Millier and Antunes driving down the inside of Weeks under braking into turn 2.

Behind drivers frantically pushed to try and gain positions, Weeks loosing out to Smyth and Haber’s SLS. Millier resisted sustained attacks from Antunes; the Squirk Audi loomed large in his mirrors but Millier remained unfazed and in his first race for the JAMPEC PEM team managed to bring the Audi home in 1st with Antunes only 0.3 seconds behind.

Smyth brought the Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari home for their first podium of the season and Morgan Haber came in 4th; a much needed result for the Erebus driver. Driving solo this weekend Grant Denyer came home 5th keeping his championship hopes alive and Klark Quinn fought back from a poor qualifying session to bring the Darrell Lea McLaren home 6th.

Kevin Weeks fought valiantly in the Supaloc Ford GT but on the last lap was involved in an incident with 7th placed Max Twigg in the other Erebus SLS. The Ford sustained significant damage and Kevin has been taken to hospital for precautionary checks.

In 8th were Jack LeBrock and Nathan Morcom’s Camaro, a solid result for the M-Motorsport team, 9th James Koundouris’ Porsche GT3-R and 10th Tony Wall in the Objective Racing McLaren 650S. leading home championship leader Tony Quinn who drove a solid race to come home 11th in his McLaren after qualifying 24th.

The Trophy class field were one short before the race started with Ben Foessel and Hayden Cooper’s Ginetta not making the start line after a part shipped down from Queensland overnight failed to arrive in time. With the retirement of the Supaloc Ford GT, Theo Koundouris crossed the line to take class honours in the Supabarn Porsche with Simon Ellinghham and Warren Luff 2nd, the best result for the Fastway Porsche crew to date. Rounding out the top three were championship leaders Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer in the Adina Audi R8.

Challenge class pole sitter Richard Gartner was forced into retirement with mechanical issues leaving Michael O'Donnell to take the class win from Tony Alford.

Australian GT will return to the circuit for Race 2 tomorrow morning at 9:20am for another one-hour race.

Photo credit: Australian GT