Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Australian GT: Wall Racing Audi R8 LMS driver line-up revealed for 2015 Aus GT

By Johan Laubscher 

Last week it was revealed that Wall Racing has become the latest Australian team to join the Audi Sport customer racing family.

They were out testing at Phillip Island alongside Melbourne Performance Centre, from whom they acquired an Audi R8 LMS. It is one of the older R8 LMS vehicles and will be fielded in the GT Trophy class of the Australian GT Championship.

Greg Taylor had been mentioned as one of the drivers and now two more names have also been added. Taylor will be joined behind the wheel by Barton Mawer for the Australian GT races beginning at Adelaide from 26 February to 1 March. David Wall will be joining the driving duties for the two endurance races this season, the third running of the Highlands 101 and the Phillip Island 101.

More can be read at speedcafe.com HERE.

Photo credit: David Wall

PHOTOS: Audi teams in 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona by Endurance-Info

A selection of great photos taken by our friend Laurent Chauveau at Endurance-Info featuring the Audi teams at the 53rd Rolex 24 at Daytona. The famous Florida circuit played host to the opening round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Endurance-Info full photo coverage at Daytona is here.

Photo credit: Endurance-Info

Blancpain GT Series: Anders and Thomas Fjordbach in Blancpain GT Series with I.S.R. Racing

I.S.R. Racing Press Release

27/01/2015 - Preparations ahead of sporting season 2015 continue relentlessly at I.S.R. Racing, as the team is to compete in endurance racing.

The team reached an agreement with the brothers Anders and Thomas Fjordbach: they will compose the drivers pairing of one of the two Audi R8 LMS ultra that will be lined up in the Blancpain Sprint Series. Anders' programme will also involve the Blancpain Endurance Series, where he will compete alongside two drivers to be decided in the next few weeks.

Anders Fjordbach (DEN), class 1990, made his debut in motor racing in 2007 after some seasons in karting. He took part in several national single-branded championships up to 2009, among which the Volkswagen Polo Cup and the Renault Clio Cup. He then took two years off from competitions, but in 2012 he ended the Danish ThunderSport Championship in sixth place, scoring several podiums that were also repeated in the following two years. In 2014, he came close to claim the class victory at the 24 Hours of Dubai on a Porsche 997. He ended in fact second after keeping the lead for eighteen hours. Anders did eventually secure the victory in edition 2015, race won on a 997.

Thomas Fjordbach (DEN), class 1993, after karting has been racing in several national championships on cars like the Renault Clio Cup from 2011 to 2013. In that year he has also been competing in the Asian series Scirocco Cup Asia (taking one victory and nine podiums), in the Scirocco R China Master Challenge in Macau and in one round of the Ferrari Challenge Taiwan (one podium). In 2014 he has been among the protagonists of GT Asia where he claimed one win and nine podiums ending the season in third place.

Photo credit: I.S.R. Racing

Blancpain Endurance Series: Second BES season for Team Parker Racing with Audi R8 LMS ultra

By Johan Laubscher

Team Parker Racing and their Audi R8 LMS ultra will be returning to the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series. The British team debuted with Audi Sport customer racing during 2014 and claimed third position in the Gentleman Trophy teams' classification. The driving duo of Ian Loggie and Julian Westwood also took third sport in the class' drivers' standings.

Loggie and Westwood will once again be seen behind the wheel of the Team Parker Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra this year.

The 2015 season gets underway at Monza from 11-12 April.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport

ADAC GT Masters: Kelvin van der Linde joins Audi GT factory squad

Kelvin van der Linde Press Release

The meteoric rise of teenage motorsport sensation Kelvin van der Linde continues, with the announcement today (Tuesday, January 27) that he will be an official GT driver for Audi Sport in 2015.

The 18-year-old from Dainfern, Johannesburg, will thus defend his 2014 GT Masters crown assured of the best possible support from the manufacturer’s in-house motorsport department. He will once again campaign an Audi R8 LMS Ultra in what is Germany’s premier sports car series, which comprises eight rounds and includes races in Holland and Belgium. He will also drive for Audi in select endurance races, with the possibility of taking part in the prestigious Spa and Nurburgring 24-hour events.

Says Van der Linde, who will relocate to Germany at the end of February in preparation for the opening round at Oschersleben on April 24: “A contract with Audi Sport is another big step forward, and an important development in my objective to make a career out of motorsport. I’m privileged that Audi and VW Group as a whole have placed such faith in me in recent years, and look forward to driving for them in 2015 – and beyond. I’ve worked extremely hard to reach this point in my career, and my family and I have made many sacrifices on many levels. I’m thrilled that it is all paying off.”

Van der Linde’s career started in karting at the age of eight, and he proved his natural ability when he graduated to saloon car racing and promptly won the Engen Polo Cup title as a 16-year-old. This earned him a drive in the Volkswagen Scirocco Cup in Germany which he went on to dominate, winning the title. The prize money Van der Linde earned made it possible for him to secure an Audi R8 seat in the GT Masters series as a Junior driver with Prosperia C.Abt Racing (sharing with René Rast, who has since moved up Audi’s ladder), one of Audi’s top customer teams. Victory alongside Rast last year made him the youngest-ever series champion – this despite writing Matric at the same time.

In 2014 Van der Linde was also the youngest ever winner of the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy, an initiative to identify and nurture young talent, and supported by the global motorsport controlling body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

“I’m already looking forward to this year’s challenges – GT Masters is very competitive with many of the big automotive brands using it as a platform to promote their sports car lines. The immediate objective therefore is to defend the title for Audi. Who knows, a successful season could lead to an Audi seat in LMP1 endurance racing or DTM in the future. Either would be like a dream come true, but I am just happy to be where I am right now, and I’m loving every moment.”

Photo credit: ADAC GT Masters

Monday, January 26, 2015

TUSC: Top-Five Finish for Paul Miller Racing In Season-Opening Rolex 24 At Daytona

Paul Miller Racing Press Release

Fifth-Place for Dion von Moltke, Christopher Haase, Bryce Miller, René Rast and the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Audi R8 LMS

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 26, 2015) - Paul Miller Racing, and team drivers Christopher Haase, Dion von Moltke, Bryce Miller and René Rast, drove the No. 48 Castrol EDGE Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS to a fifth-place finish in this past weekend's season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The four-driver Audi team became increasingly competitive as the day-long race progressed, taking the lead for the first time with Rast at the wheel 11 hours into the race. From there, Rast and Haase would lead on several more occasions while von Moltke and Bryce Miller each raced to as high as second in their respective stints.

"Overall we finished fifth," said Team Manager Mitchell Simmons. "We're going to head to Sebring and change some things around, but I'm really happy with the Daytona results. We started off the weekend with really great expectations on where we were and felt that we and the car could go the distance."

Haase, Bryce Miller and then team endurance driver Matt Bell used great team strategy and ever-improving setup changes to win 2014's season-ending Petit Le Mans 10-hour endurance race. Improving the car throughout the day-long Daytona race this weekend was again the plan and it worked for more than half the race.

"We had a perfect race for 17 hours," von Moltke said. "Well, that doesn't win you a 24-hour race, and that's one of the things that makes this race so difficult. You have to have the perfect race for 24 hours, we had a lot of difficulties to deal with, but somehow the team managed to keep it together."

A race-turning setback came just under seven hours from the finish when Rast suffered a brake lock up and went off course in the West Horseshoe. Making only light contact with the barrier, he continued with no apparent damage only to have the front bodywork rip loose at speed 30 minutes later.

"We had some issues with the platform that were causing some instability and some lock up, and other things like that, which made it difficult from in the cockpit," Bryce Miller said. "There was contact made early Sunday after a lock up, it really was pretty superficial but it was enough to loosen the bodywork and the air was able to work its way underneath and loosen things up. It got to the point it had to be addressed and we had to tape it down. It cost us a lot of time but the team did an awesome job just keeping the train going here."

The No. 48 returned to the race three laps down and in eighth place and later lost more time when both first and second gears in the transmission were lost later on Sunday morning. Perseverance and good pit-side strategy calls ultimately let the drivers make up some ground to crack the top five.

"We knew we weren't going to have the fastest car, but our overall performance time is pretty close to everyone else, and we felt that with our crew we could beat people out of the pits," Simmons said. "We really set our goal to do that, to stay on the lead lap and put our hot shoes in and try to do exactly what we did at Petit, but there was a small little incident that caused some problems that we could never quite recover from, and we later lost some gears. It just kept going and we are very lucky that we didn't have any problems as we had some engine over revs because of the gear situation. Taking that kind of torture was kind of a tribute to the Audi."

The Rolex 24 was von Moltke's race debut with Paul Miller Racing. He is taking over from Bryce Miller - who will focus on endurance races this year - as Haase's full-season teammate in 2015.

"I really have to take my hat off to everyone at Paul Miller Racing," von Moltke said. "This was my race debut with the team and I was really taken aback by how well this team works, and how hard the crew works to keep the car on track. It was a really good car. Ultimately, a good debut, we got good points and we finished a 24-hour race. It's a testament to the team and Audi as well."

Paul Miller Racing's competition relationship with Audi Sport customer racing complements a longtime retail partnership the Paul Miller Auto Group has enjoyed with the manufacturer. The dealership group has included since 1976 Paul Miller Audi, one of the largest Audi dealerships in the nation, which made the team's on-track switch to Audi a logical decision.

About Paul Miller Racing:
Paul Miller Racing was the top Audi Sport customer racing team in the inaugural season of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in 2014 in which Bryce Miller and Christopher Haase co-drove the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS. The racing team is affiliated with the Paul Miller Auto Group, which has operated Paul Miller Audi since 1976, races in support of Full Circle Home, and competes with the support of Castrol EDGE, Search Marketing Group and Motegi Racing.

Follow Paul Miller Racing on Twitter @paulmilleracing @bryceracer, @ChHaase and @Dionvmracing and on Facebook fan pages available at Facebook.com/paulmillerracing, Facebook.com/brycemiller.net, www.facebook.com/Dionvm, and www.paulmillerracing.com, www.brycemiller.net, www.christopher-haase.de and www.dionvm.com.

About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS: 
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components.

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.

Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport

TUSC: Flying Lizard Starts New IMSA Season with Rolex 24 at Daytona

Flying Lizard Motorsports Press Release

January 26, 2015 – Daytona, Florida – After a near miss in the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona, Flying Lizard Motorsports returned to Daytona International Speedway in 2015 with an even stronger desire to claim the top step at the legendary endurance event.

The team qualified the #45 Audi R8 LMS in the 6th position in the GTD class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Audi Factory driver Markus Winkelhock started the race and enjoyed a clean opening stint, but trouble found the team only one hour into the 24 hour long event.

Clutch issues forced the team to immediately take its R8 LMS to the garage, where the Lizard crew worked quickly and methodically to conduct repairs. In just 35 laps, the team removed the transmission and replaced the clutch. They rejoined the race in less than an hour at the back of the GTD field. Never losing determination to fight for a positive result, the team pressed on as the hours passed, taking advantage of every caution period in which they could regain lost laps. With the car repaired, the Flying Lizard Audi kept pace with the leaders of the GTD class for the remaining 22 hours without issue. Ultimately the team finished 10th in class after a flawless race by drivers and crew.

"I'm really proud of the result we produced in our first race of the 2015 season," said Program Manager Darren Law. "We had a phenomenal run. Aside from the mechanical issue in the first hour of racing, which put us down several laps, we had a trouble free run. This is such a prestigious race with a lot of history. Just finishing is an accomplishment and to finish without any damage or on track incidents says a lot about our drivers. If we didn't have the initial issue, I believe we would have been right there at the end fighting for the podium. Everyone worked well together all weekend, as you would expect from our Flying Lizard Audi team and to come from last to finish with a top ten is great."

Flying Lizard will now refocus on building the remainder of its 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship program and will announce its participation in additional 2015 IMSA races at a later date.

Driver Quotes

Markus Winkelhock
"It was a tough race. I did the first stint of the race and I was struggling a little bit of oversteer. I guess it probably came because of the rain during the night before the race and the green track conditions at the start. But the track changed quite a bit and the balance came back and the car was getting better and better. I felt confident in the car, and we hadn't had a problem with it all weekend, but unfortunately we had a problem at the end of the first hour and we dropped back 35 laps. So the race was gone after one hour, and it was not easy to keep up the motivation for the rest of the race. The team did a great job. We had no issues besides the clutch for the whole race. The balance was really good at the end. It was a pleasure to drive for the Flying Lizards and I hope to join them again soon."

Robert Thorne
"Overall, it was a bit of a struggle the past 24 hours. We had a real uphill battle after our issues in the first 60 minutes. We stayed out there and felt good in the car and put down some fast laps. Audi brings a great package, and it was strong and durable. We had a car or two bounce off of us but had no issues. Even at the end of the race the #45 was as good as it was in the beginning. A big thanks to the team, I'm happy to be on board."

Tomonobu Fujii
"First of all, I would like to say Thank you so much for such a great job to Flying Lizard Motorsports, Audi, Audi Sport Customer Racing and all of the race fans. It was very challenging as it was my first Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, one of the most difficult races in sports car racing. Even so, it was a very exciting and an amazing experience. Unfortunately, we lost some laps in the beginning, but we never gave up. We focused on our own performance, and the team gave us a great strategy to the end. The Audi R8 LMS showed a strong performance and was very consistent throughout the race, which is always a very tough one on cars. I hope to be back next year again in Daytona for this fantastic event!"

Satoshi Hoshino
"It has always been one of my biggest dreams to race in the 24 hours of Daytona, and it was a great moment when it came true. Thank you very much to Flying Lizard Motorsports, the other three drivers, and all the fans for the great support. I am looking forward to returning to Daytona again with Flying Lizard Motorsports!"

About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard is based in Sonoma, California, and has competed in the American Le Mans Series for ten consecutive seasons, from 2004 to 2012 in the GT class and in 2013 in GTC, along with the inaugural season of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship in the GT Daytona class in 2014. The Lizards have won two ALMS GT team championships (2008 and 2009), one ALMS GTC team championship (2013), and have secured three ALMS GT Drivers' championships (2008, 2009, and 2010). Flying Lizard has also competed in the 24 Heures du Mans from 2005 through 2012, finishing third in 2005, fourth in 2006, sixth in 2008, sixth in 2011, and fourth in 2012. Please visit the team website at www.lizardms.com and the team store at www.flyinglizardstore.com. Follow Flying Lizard Motorsports on twitter, and like us on Facebook for all team updates.

About Audi of America and the Audi R8 LMS
Audi began a new chapter in 2009 with the introduction of the Audi Sport customer racing program. For the first time it was possible for motorsport customers to acquire a race car designed for customer racing events. Since its inception, the success of the R8 LMS has been significant throughout the GT3 racing format worldwide, including victory in the GT class in the 2013 edition of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Audi R8 LMS shares more than 50% of its parts with the Audi R8 street car including the naturally aspirated V10 5.2 Liter engine, the Audi Space Frame and a variety of other components.

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2012, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies.

Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport

ADAC GT Masters: C.ABT Racing announces 2015 driver line-ups and new name

By Johan Laubscher

C.ABT Racing announced its driver line-ups for the upcoming 2015 ADAC GT Masters on Monday. The team had previously announced that they will be returning with a three-car Audi R8 LMS ultra campaign and now they have added the names of five of their six drivers.

The team has also been renamed from Prosperia C.ABT Racing to just C.ABT Racing, following the departure of their title sponsor, Prosperia AG, who had been with the team for a number of seasons.

Their mission for 2015 is clear, as they are aiming to repeat their success from the previous two seasons. C.ABT Racing is the reigning two-time defending ADAC GT Masters teams' champions (2013 and 2014) and they also claimed the drivers' title with Rene Rast and Kelvin van der Linde during 2014.

They will once again be relying on young talent behind the wheel of their trio of Audi R8 LMS ultra entries.

Kelvin van der Linde reunites with C.ABT Racing for the 2015 ADAC GT Masters season. The young South African will be sharing the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra with Stefan Wackerbauer, who made his ADAC GT debut with Prosperia C.ABT Racing at Oschersleben last year.

The second C.ABT Racing entry will be piloted by Nicki Thiim, who will also be starting his second season with the team this year. His teammate will be another young South African, Jordan Lee Pepper, the winner of the 2014 Scirocco R-Cup. Pepper becomes the second Scirocco R-Cup champion to join C.ABT Racing in as many years, following Kelvin van der Linde who won that title in 2013.

Christer Jöns will be piloting the third Audi R8 LMS ultra alongside a yet to be announced co-driver. It is Jöns' third season with C.ABT Racing.

The 2015 ADAC GT Masters season gets underway at Oschersleben from 24-26 April.

Photo credit: C.ABT Racing / Redcart-Designs.com

World RX: Anton Marklund joins EKS family

EKS Press Release

Anton Marklund will be at the wheel of an Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship. The 22-year-old Swede joins Mattias Ekström as driver of EKS. “This is an amazing opportunity that Mattias and EKS are giving to me, both to score top results in 2015 and to develop on all levels for my future career”, says Anton.

“Mattias has been a friend of mine since 2013, when we competed together in X Games Munich. He has helped me a lot already in my career and I’m really glad that I now will join the ’family’ of EKS.” In 2015 Anton will drive the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in World RX and additionally compete in the brand-new Audi Sport TT Cup. Two races of the Audi one-make cup will be held at six DTM events.

Anton started his racing career in folkrace and moved to Rallycross in 2010 and became a professional two years later. In his first full season he earned the European Champion’s title in TouringCars with two top spots and six runner-up positions. Stepping up to a SuperCar in 2013 Anton was seen racing in FIA European Rallycross Championship, X Games, Gymkhana GRiD and Swedish Championship. 2014 was his most successful season so far, competing in X Games and the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship in a VW Polo of Marklund Motorsport, finishing 6th overall.

Name _ Anton Marklund
Date of birth _ 09/12/92
Nationality _ Swedish
Hometown _ Boliden
Height _ 1.84 m
Weight _ 83 kg
RX events (SuperCar) _ 21
Best result (SuperCar) _ P2 (Canada 2014) 
Hobbies _ everything with engines, hunting and wildlife 
Motorsport _ since 2006, professional since 2012
Web _ www.marklundanton.com

Photo credit: EKS

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Italian GT: 2014 title decision heading to FIA International Court of Appeal for Audi Sport Italia

By Johan Laubscher

The 2014 Italian GT Championship title still remains undecided for Audi Sport Italia and their #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra driving duo of Thomas Schöffler and Marco Mapelli.

The Italian Audi dealer team's drivers had been crowned as the 2014 Italian GT driver's champions, but a final lap incident at Monza saw them receiving a ten second post-race penalty. This dropped them to third position in the race, thus losing the title to Giammaria Raffaele and Casè Lorenzo in the #27 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.

Audi Sport Italia immediately protested the decision of the penalty. The appeal hearing was postponed until 20 January 2015 with the National Court of Appeals in Italy. By Friday their decision was communicated and it stated that the penalty will be upheld and that the results would remain unchanged.

Following the National decision the news has emerged that Audi Sport Italia will be taking their case to the FIA International Court of Appeal. Emilio Radaelli and his Audi Sport Italia team are able to do this, because they are registered as a team from San Marino, thus making them a "foreign" team competing in the Italian GT Championship. This allows them to take their case to the FIA International Court of Appeal.

This entire process began with the final lap incident at Monza last year.

Monza was the scene for the final round of the 2014 Italian GT Championship and the title came down to the final lap of the final race.

Marco Mapelli was running second in the race and heading towards the title, but he was closely pursued by the title contending #27 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Giammaria Raffaele and Casè Lorenzo.

Marco Mapelli braked very late coming into the second chicane (Seconda Variante). He managed to make the corner, but the Ferrari hit the Audi from behind during the incident and suffered damage, limping to the finish line in third.

It was originally a second place finish for Thomas Schöffler and Marco Mapelli, which was enough to crown them as the 2014 Italian GT Champions, but they were later given a ten second penalty for the final lap incident.

The ten second penalty dropped the Audi duo to third place and they lost the title to the #27 Ferrari driving crew of  Giammaria Raffaele and Casè Lorenzo.

The official Audi Sport Italia press release from the Monza finale can be seen HERE.

The final outcome of the 2014 Italian GT Championship driver's title remains to be seen and it will be decided by the FIA International Court of Appeal.

Photo credit: Audi Sport Italia

TUSC: Top ten GTD class results for the Audi teams at the Rolex 24 at Daytona

By Johan Laubscher

The Rolex 24 at Daytona was the scene for the opening round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Paul Miller Racing and Flying Lizard Motorsports each fielded one Audi R8 LMS entry in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.

Paul Miller Racing, the only Audi team confirmed for the full 2015 TUSC season, fielded their #48 Audi R8 LMS for the driving quartet of Dion von Moltke, Christopher Haase, Bryce Miller and René Rast. They qualified eleventh on the grid for the 24-hour race.

The #45 Audi R8 LMS from Flying Lizard Motorsports was entered for a one-off appearance in the TUSC this year. Tomonobu Fujii, Satoshi Hoshino, Robert Thorne and Markus Winkelhock were the drivers behind the wheel of the car that qualified sixth within in the GTD class.

Saturday afternoon saw the start of the Daytona 24 Hours and both Audi teams were running well. It was however far from an ideal opening hour for Flying Lizard Motorsports. Markus Winkelhock had taken the start and handed over to Satoshi Hoshino, who spun and was left stranded with the Audi on the oval just before the end of the first hour. The #45 Audi had driveline issues and brought out the first safety car period of the race. The car was recovered to the pits where the Flying Lizard Motorsports crew repaired the non-terminal problems. Despite being many laps down the #45 Audi R8 LMS crew kept on pushing forward and were able to recover a result within the GTD class by the end of the 24 hours.

For Paul Miller Racing it was a very competitive opening twelve hours. They were consistently involved in the GTD lead battle and led during the night. The team, drivers and their Audi R8 LMS were performing very well and everything was looking good as dawn approached.

Unfortunately the race began to unravel for Paul Miller Racing during the early hours of Sunday morning. Rene Rast ran wide and had an off at the International Horseshoe. He was able to reverse back onto track with what looked like minor front left damage and continued on the lead lap. He completed his stint and handed the car over to Christopher Haase, who took the car out onto track still within the lead battle. Tragedy struck when the front bodywork broke whilst Haase was approaching the Bus Stop chicane. He slowly brought the car back to the pits. With a new bonnet and much tape across the front of the #48 Audi, Haase went back out on track, after losing three laps in the pits and falling outside of the top five in GTD.

Both Audi Sport customer racing teams continued to soldier on as the sun began to rise for a bright Sunday morning in Florida. Flying Lizard Motorsports was able to progress back into the GTD top ten and Paul Miller Racing was involved in the battle ranging from fourth to sixth.

Ultimately the race concluded at 14:10 local time and Paul Miller Racing finished fifth in the GTD class, nineteenth overall. Flying Lizard Motorsports maintained their recovery and finished tenth within GTD, twenty-fourth overall.

It may have been a race of ups and downs for the two Audi teams, but both crews can be commended for never gave up and pushing all the way to the flag.

Two Audi Sport factory drivers also took part in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with different teams this year. Mike Rockenfeller again joined SDR Motorsports at Daytona. He shared the #90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype alongside Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante. They qualified tenth and completed the 24 hours in fourth place overall. Rocky will also be taking part with the team at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans later this year.

The second Audi Sport factory driver was Filipe Albuquerque, who was a late addition to the Starworks Motorsport Prototype Challenge line-up. He replaced Enrique Bernoldi in the #8 Martini liveried ORECA FLM09, sharing with Mirco Schultis, Renger van der Zande, Alex Popow and Mike Hedlund. They qualified fourth in class and were running very well until they suffered retirement with a blown engine.

Round two of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be the 63rd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring from 18-21 March.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport