Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Top five finish for Solomon in Audi R8 LMS Cup at Fuji


Matt Solomon Press Release

Just a week after claiming his maiden race wins in the Formula Masters China Series in South Korea, Audi Hong Kong’s rising star Matt Solomon was back in Japan for the second event on the Audi R8 LMS Cup program.

After claiming sixth on debut during the opening round in South Korea, the former GT Asia Series race winner suffered a DNF in race two whilst within reach of a top five finish, showing he has what it takes to compete with the established stars.

For Fuji, Solomon was reunited once more with ‘The Hulk’, the Hong Kong teenager quickly up to speed in practice and right back where he’d left off in South Korea..

“Practice got underway on Friday morning and I had a decent session to be sixth in P1, and then I got to grips with the circuit and the car and everything was not too bad during the second session,” Solomon explained.

“It was qualifying next and there was a little bit of mayhem in the pits, and I got stuck behind some traffic leaving pit lane, so I had to find myself a good gap and do my fast lap with only six push to pass functions – and with the tyre situation the way it was, you really only had one lap to set a time.

“So, on my best lap I had to overtake two cars and that obviously cost me a lot of time and I ended up qualifying ninth. However, carrying over my grid penalty from Korea, that put me down to 14th to start the first race.

“Despite that I got a mega, mega start and fought my way through the field to be tenth after the opening lap. I went on to catch the guys in front and had a good fight with Adderly [Fong] and Aiden [Wright] which ended up being one of the best fights I have had yet in my car racing career. It was great, pass after pass after pass – all three of us were battling really close and then Alex Yoong got in the mix. Then collectively we caught the group in front, so it was the top positions, from three to nine, all being disputed in those last couple of laps.

“Going through turn four I got a good run on the Korean driver [Kyong-Ouk You] – I was looking to pass him into the next corner, however as I did that he moved over in the braking zone – which you’re not allowed to do – and hit the front right of my car. That sent me left and into Alex Yoong who was trying to pass me with that same move, and we also ended up having contact.. so I was sandwiched in the middle, and damaged both my front wheels, and both front tyres popped off the rim, and I was forced into retirement.

“That was a shame because you know, up until then I was having a good race, and I think a top four or five in the race would not have been out of the question.

“Whilst the DNF wasn’t great, my lap time at the start of the race was good enough for tenth, so as a result, I would start tenth in the second race.

“I had a good start and moved into eighth after the first two corners and was chasing down the guys in front and I had another good fight, this time with Franky Cheng. That was a good battle, and I managed to make it up to fifth, and I just had to maintain my pace for the rest of race and pull away from the guys behind – Sun Zheng and Adderly Fong. I had a decent pace to keep up with Franky, but he was just a little bit too far ahead and I was unable to catch him in the end.

“I am happy to finish in the top five and have a good result to end the weekend. Now we move on to the next race in Sepang – that is going to be difficult because I am doing both Formula Masters and the Audi Cup, so it’s going to be a bit tricky.

“That said, Sepang is a track I have been too many times and I’ve set two lap records [there] so it should be doable, and hopefully I can score good results in both, and try and close down the championship on James Munro in Formula Masters, and try and fight for a top three finish in the Audi Cup.”

The Malaysian round will see event four on the Formula Masters China Series program and event three of the 2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup Series at the Sepang International Circuit in Kuala Lumpur on August 15-17.

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup




Monday, July 28, 2014

Spa 24 Hours: Fantastic win for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT at the Spa 24 Hours


Belgian Audi Club Press Release

It was the result everybody would have secretly dreamt of, but eventually it also became reality: the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has won the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, offering Audi its third success in four years in the world’s most prestigious GT race, which, in its 90th anniversary, proved to be worth of its reputation. After 24 hours of a race conducted at sprint pace, with not a single drop of rain and marred with race incidents, Laurens Vanthoor, Markus Winkelhock and René Rast took a magnificent victory, the second for WRT after the one in 2011, by only 7 seconds over their main rivals, with whom they battled until the very end.

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT had the satisfaction to take also the third spot on the podium, with Christopher Mies-Frank Stippler-James Nash, and also to bring to the finish its four cars, with André Lotterer-Marcel Fässler-Bénoît Tréluyer taking P12 overall and Jean-Luc Blanchemain-Fred Bouvy-Christian Kelders-Vincent Radermecker finishing 9th in the Pro-Am category. For Audi, the win at Spa adds to the ones at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Nürburgring, a hat-trick that clearly demonstrates the marque’s endurance racing expertise.


Belgian Audi Club Team WRT team principal Vincent Vosse was almost speechless after the race: “What can I say? It is difficult to express with words what I feel at this moment”, he admitted, “It has been a fantastic victory and a wonderful weekend, we couldn’t ask for more… Winning by a handful of seconds adds much more to this win. It has been an extremely tough race, very closely-fought and we have had our difficult moments too… On Sunday morning, we were not so confident, then we changed our strategy and went for full attack and that proved to be the right move.

Our four cars have finished, two are on the podium, which means that this is the fourth year on a row that we finish on the podium. It’s just incredible! The entire team and all the drivers have done a terrific job, I think I will never forget the first stints of Laurens and the last one of René, amazing!” And summing up everybody’s feelings in the team during the well-deserved celebrations, Vosse concluded: “You work so hard the entire year for this race, you think of it every minute for so long that now, when you have reached your goal, you are simply wiped out…”


The winning car #1 had started the race leading it, thanks to the brilliant superpole conquered by Laurens Vanthoor, but then a very turbulent phase of the race, with numerous accidents leading to four different safety-car periods and even a red flag of over one hour, brought the leading trio down in the standings. It was only during the seventh hour that the Audi R8 LMS #1 retook the first spot. From there to the end, especially in the final hours, the race was a long duel with the leading BMW, with pit stop strategy playing an essential role. Finally, Winkelhock, Vanthoor and Rast, who drove in the last part of the race, emerged as victors by a margin of 7 seconds only. “Right now, I feel a little bit overwhelmed”, confessed Laurens Vanthoor, “I still cannot measure what it means to win here. Everybody did an incredible job, and I want to thank my team mates, Markus and René, for replacing me this morning when I felt ill. We fought hard, didn’t make mistakes and didn’t suffer any trouble. It was a perfect race for us…”

For the young Belgian comes also the satisfaction of having taken the lead in the points standings of the Drivers’ championship; he will go to the last round at the Nürburgring in September with a 7-point advantage. Similarly, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has taken the lead in the Teams’ standings.


Car #3 of Christopher Mies-James Nash-Franck Stippler took an excellent final third position, although there were some regrets for having to abandon the fight for victory after many hours in the forefront. “We paid the two drive-throughs we were inflicted”, explained Stippler, “so there is some disappointed but it is still great to take third and contribute to the team’s great day”.

Car #2 of the “Le Mans stars”, André Lotterer-Marcel Fässler-Bénoît Tréluyer, was also in contention for the podium but lost any chance five hours from the end after a collision with a slower car at La Source during an overtaking. Then driven by Tréluyer, the car lost precious time in the pits for repairs to the left front suspension and the splitter. “It’s a pity because we also had the pace to be on the podium”, said Marcel Fässler, “but these things happen, and the risks deriving from traffic and non-professional drivers are part of endurance racing.”

Car #4 of Jean-Luc Blanchemain, Christian Kelders, Vincent Radermecker and Fred Bouvy had a relatively smooth race up to the 9th position in the Pro-Am category. “It’s an excellent result for a team composed of two gentlemen and two semi-professional drivers”, analyzed Blanchemain, the only non-Belgian of the quator, “we haven’t done any big mistake and to finish 9th out of 30 Pro Am cars and in P20 overall out of 60 starters is not bad at all”.

Photo credit: Audi Media


Spa 24 Hours: Marc Basseng on position 14 with the Czech Team ISR at the 24 hour race of Spa-Francorchamps


Marc Basseng Press Release

Rosenbach/Spa-Francorchamps (rol/ot) The race driver Marc Basseng from Rosenbach (Saxony) returns from the Total 24 hour race with about 60 drivers at start on Sunday (27th of July) in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) with a good 14 th overall position. He shared the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of the Czech Team ISR with the German Fabian Hamprecht and the Czech Filip Salaquarda.

“We crossed the finish line and we scored a good position with our GT3 race car, which is a nice success”, the 35 year old explained, who is on overall position ten at the Pro Cup drivers ranking after the fourth season event of the Blancpain Endurance Series. Winners in Belgium have been his brand colleagues Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), Markus Winkelhock and Rene Rast (both Germany) of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, which for Basseng drives this year as well.


“The team ISR had its 24 hour race premiere and its premiere with an Audi, so our result is even better. Of course there is not that much experience yet, which means a loss of time at the pit stops for example. But we made it until the finish line”, Marc Basseng explained, who has been FIA GT1 world champion in 2012. “Of course we had a few highlight in Spa, the car in the gravel as well as a fire accident in the pit, when fuel ignited and the Audi has been on fire. Nobody got hurt and after the flames were extinguished we were able to get back on track.”

The race must have been very exhausting due to the heat, the furious driving of other combatants, a lot of crashes and safety car phases. “But it has been great fun anyway”, the driver from Rosenbach said, who has been behind the wheel for about eight hours. The next race at the VLN long track championship for Marc Basseng is already scheduled for next Saturday (2nd of August). He will share the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Team Phoenix Racing with Frank Stippler (Bad Münstereifel) at the four hour long 37th RCM DMV Grenzland race.

Photo credit: Audi Media


Spa 24 Hours: Sainteloc Racing performed well in the Belgian classic with Audi


By Tarek Ramchani

Sainteloc Racing was one of the four Audi Sport customer racing teams at the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The French team entered two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars showing an impressive pace.

The two cars competed in two different classes, one in the upper Pro-Cup and the second in the Gentlemen Trophy.

The #26 Audi R8 LMS ultra, the car which entered the Pro-Cup class was very impressive. The FIFA backed Audi driven by Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandstrom and Gregolry Guilvert who had great Blancpain Endurance Series races in the first three rounds at Monza, Silverstone and Paul Ricard.

At Spa-Francorchamps the three drivers were among the strongest and fastest line-ups in a very demanding Pro-Cup field. They narrowly missed the podium and ended in a very strong fourth place overall right behind another Audi, the #3 R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT.


With their strong Spa performances, Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandstrom and Gregolry Guilvert moved to second place in the Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Cup drivers' standing with 67 points. At the Nurburgring for the season finale the three drivers will challenge the series leader and Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor (Belgian Audi Club Team WRT) for Pro-Cup drivers' championship title.

Unfortunately the second car from Sainteloc Racing was forced to retire. The #25 Audi R8 LMS ultra which entered the Gentlemen Trophy class was fast but had a severe crash ending its race. The car was driven by Jean-Paul Buffin, Claude-Yves Gosselin, Philippe Haezebrouck and Marc Rostan.

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series


Spa 24 Hours: Emotional second for Team Parker Racing in 24-hour debut with Audi


By Tarek Ramchani

The Audi brand had a very successful race at the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. A great overall victory with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and strong performances from all four customer teams in the different classes.

Team Parker Racing who entered the Gentlemeb Trophy class in the stellar event of the Blancpain Endurance Series performed very well. The British Audi team took an emotional second place with their white and green #22 Audi . Not bad for a team debuting in 24-hour endurance races with the all conquering R8 LMS ultra.

The car was shared by Ian Loggie, Leonid Machitski, Carl Rosenblad and Julian Westwood. The four drivers were among the strongest in a very demanding field.


Team Parker Racing achieved an amazing 28th place overall (out of 61 entries) and were right behind the winning #51 Ferrari 458 GT3 from team AF Corse in their class.

With strong results at the Spa 24 Hours, Team Parker Racing is now third in the overall Gentlemen Trophy teams' standing with 58 points. Ian Loggie and Julian Westwood are fifth the drivers standing with 50 points each.

The British will be back at the Nurburgring, the season finale of the Blancpain Endurance Series and a special 1000km event.

Photo credit: Audi Media


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spa 24 Hours: Audi wins the Spa 24 Hours 2014


By Tarek Ramchani

Audi did it again at Spa-Francorchamps. The Ingolstadt brand just won the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps overall with the all conquering Audi R8 LMS ultra. A total of four cars made into the Top 5 overall.

The winning #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra run by the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT was simply the best car in this demanding all GT3 field. Laurens Vanthoor, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock who started from pole position Saturday afternoon crossed the finish line victorious covering 527 laps. René Rast made the decisive move with 15 minutes left passing the leading BMW.

The three drivers pushed very hard all race long and deserved this victory after a very hard 24-hour race. Laurens Vanthoor, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock gave also Audi a first victory this season in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

René Rast won his second Spa 24 Hours victory after the victory in 2012 with Phoenix Racing. for both Laurens Vanthoor and Markus Winkelhock this is a first win in the Belgian Ardennes.


Second place went to the #77 BMW Z4 GT3 from BMW Sports Trophy Team VDS driven by Dirk Werner, Lucas Lhur and Markus Paltalla. The podium was completed by the #3 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the hands of Christopher Mies, Frank Stippler and James Nash who performed very well all race long.

A great race for the French Sainteloc Racing team. Their #26 Audi R8 LMS ultra of Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandstrom and Gregory Guilvert ended in a very strong fourth place.

Bad luck hit the three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winners. André Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler finished twelfth overall after loosing many laps in their garage.


Credits to the British Parker Racing Team who finished the Spa 24 Hours in a fine second place within the Gentlemen Trophy class. Their #22 Audi R8 LMS ultra was driven by Ian Loggie, Leonid Machitski, Carl Rosenblad and Julian Westwood.

This marks the third major endurance victory for Audi this year after the wins at Le Mans 24 Hours with Audi Sport Team Joest (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) and the Nurburgring 24 Hours with Phoenix Racing (Audi R8 LMS ultra). Audi repeated an achievement already done in 2012 when the brand won all three major European endurance races.

For the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT today's victory at Spa-Francorchamps is their second in the Belgian endurance classic after their first win back in 2011.


At first the Audi victory looks really easy, but fact is the field was great and the race was very hard for all competitors. A lot of Saftey Car periods and even a long red flag after a horrific crash involving two Ferrari 458 GT3s highlighted this 2014 edition.

Now all focus will be on the Blancpain Endurance Series season finale at the Nurburgring. Audi teams and drivers will fight for the championship titles in the special 1000km race. Laurens Vanthoor is the new Pro-Cup leader with 74 points followed by the three Sainteloc Racing Audi drivers Stéphane Ortelli, Edward Sandstrom and Gregory Guilvert in second with 67 points.

Photo credit: Audi Media


Saturday, July 26, 2014

TUSC: Flying Lizard Motorsports - Brickyard Grand Prix results


Flying Lizard Motorsports Press Release

July 25, 2014 – Indianapolis, Indiana

The Flying Lizard Motorsports team's stretch of bad luck continued at the Brickyard Grand Prix, as the team's two Audi R8 LMS race cars were hit a total of six times during the two hour and forty five minute TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race, including once even before the race started. Spencer Pumpelly took the start in the No. 35 PR Newswire / UBM Tech / eSilicon car, filling in for injured team owner Seth Neiman. On the first of the two pace laps a competitor ran off track on cold tires and then abruptly rejoined, running into Spencer and causing the No. 35 car to spin. Then only 10 minutes into the race, Spencer was hit again, this time by an out of control Prototype class car. This caused a flat tire and Spencer pitted immediately for repairs. As each driver is only allowed to earn points in one car, the team took the opportunity to put Dion von Moltke into the car for the remainder of the race, but he too fell victim to poor and overly aggressive driving on the part of his competitors, being hit by another GT Daytona class car as well as a Prototype Challenge car as the race went on, before eventually finishing the race with body damage in 13th place in class.

Spencer's teammate Nelson Canache Jr. fared better, starting the race in 4th place and moving into the lead with an inspired pass to jump up two positions in one turn. But the same bad luck was to befall Nelson, as he was hit multiple times by the GTD class BMW and was forced into a spin as well. He was able to recover however and entered the pits in the top-5 during a lengthy yellow for track repair due to a damaged section of curbing. Spencer then took over the No. 45 Yoddle / Venezuela / eSilicon Audi but irregular handling caused by damage to the car hurt his race pace and an 8th place finish was all that was possible.

Flying Lizard hopes to shake its recent run of bad luck in two weeks at the Road America racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The race will be held on Sunday, August 10th, starting at 1:15pm local time.


About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Flying Lizard is based on 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. 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.

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: Flying Lizard Motorsports / Bob Chapman


Q/A: Interview with Rahel Frey - Audi GT factory driver


Rahel Frey is racing with Audi since 2011. First in the German DTM touring car series for two years and since 2013 the Swiss driver switched to GT racing with competing in various events around the world from German ADAC GT Masters to the Asian based Audi R8 LMS Cup.

Our friend Jean-Baptiste Lassaux at IG Autorennsport had a a very interesting interview with Rahel Frey at the Nürburgring about her 2014 season.

1/ First, a look back to the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Tell us more about your race with the Audi race experience in the Green Hell?

My summary of the 2014 24h race at the Nürburgring is really positive. Our priority was to finish the race, what we did on P22. Furthermore all four drivers on the car (including myself) could improve our personal laptimes compared to last year or compared to former races which was for my the most important. Incidents can always happen in a 24h race and they did unfortunately for us! But our team and especially our mecanics mad a fantastic job to fix this incidents in no time - therefore big thanks once again!


2/ Now, your next race is in Fuji in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. This will be your first time there, so  how do you learn the track before the race weekend?

As usual when I dont know a racetrack, I will watch onboard videos and studying important datas I got from the team. I will be prepared for it.

3/ What are your targets this year in the Audi R8 LMS Cup?

My target is to win the Audi R8 LMS Cup 2014. Right now I'm 10 point behind the leader - a cap which I can still close when I'm clever on driving and on strategy.

Taking care about the tyres is an important point for but as well being clever on using the new "push-to-pass" system which gets us 50hp more when we press the special button for it. Furthermore it's performance balance we get for the first three places (60kg for P1, 40kg for P2 and 20kg for P3) can take influence on the results.


4/ Let's talk about your season in ADAC GT Masters. What do you think about your season so far in the German series?

We had a good start into the new season with immediately scoring points in both races at Oschersleben. Afterwards we made some mistakes where we had to pay for not being in the position for fighting for point anymore. But we learn from every mistakes we do and for sure we will get back stronger again.

5 / What are you expecting in the second half of the season?

As I just mentioned, we will get back stronger and aiming again for more points. Therefore each race track is a new challenge. For sure sometimes one race track fits better for the driver another race track fits best for the car. But in my opinion the BOP 2014 is more equal as last year!


6 / After your two years in the DTM, you switched to GT racing with Audi. Tell us more about what you have learnt traveling and discovring many prestigious tracks and events around the world?

Always when traveling the world you have to find your way through! I got already a lot of experience with traveling around the world for racing and I wont miss any. Some were tough, some were really nice but they all formed my personality like I am today. And for sure each race driver has a list with races or race tracks he likes to drive in or on. I have my list too, some of these tracks were on - some are still on.

7 / Any racing track or series you want to compete in?

Taking every challenge I get! But I would like to drive once in America maybe in the oval with a Nascar.

Photo credit: Autorennsport

TUSC: Second place for Paul Miller Racing Audi at Indianapolis


By Tarek Ramchani

The Audi R8 LMS performed well again in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. A fine second place for the Paul Miller Racing run Audi at Indianapolis.

The #48 Audi R8 LMS in the hands of Christopher Haase and Bryce Miller finished in a very strong second place within the GT Daytona class in the Brickyard Grand Prix. The two drivers were right behind the winning Ferrari 458 Italia from Scuderia Corsa.

The Paul Miller Racing team battled really hard in what is clearly seen the most fought class in the North American sportscar series. The car was leading the GT Daytona field in most of the second half of the race before the final pit stops. In the closing stages of the race Christopher Haase charged back chasing the leading Ferrari but the time run over. A strong result for the team and drivers and big points collected for the overall championship standing.


Best of the Flying Lizard Motorsport Audis was the #45 R8 LMS, eighth within the GT Daytona field. The car was shared by Nelson Canache Jr and Spencer Pumpelly. Their team-mates Dion von Moltke and Seth Neiman were thriteenth in class driving the #35 Audi.

The #46 Audi R8 LMS from Fall-Line Motorsports finished the 2h45 event in fourteenth place in GT Daytona class with drivers Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman.

Indianapolis race results can be seen here.

The next stop for TUDOR United SportsCar Championship teams and drivers will be at the very popular and fast Road America, August 8th-10th.

Photo credit: Flying Lizard Motorsport / Paul Miller Racing / Bob Chapman


Friday, July 25, 2014

Spa 24 Hours: Audi R8 LMS ultra cars starting grid


By Tarek Ramchani

Audi took a sensational pole position at the Spa 24 Hours with the #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the hands of Laurens Vanthoor, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock.

Below the starting grid of all eight Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the Belgian endurance classic and stellar event of the Blancpain Endurance Series.

P1 #1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - René Rast/Laurens Vanthoor/Markus Winkelhock 


P4 #26 Sainteloc Racing - Stéphane Ortelli/Grégory Guilvert/Edward Sandström


P5 #3 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Christopher Mies/James Nash/Frank Stippler


P12 #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer 


P29 #75 ISR Racing Team -  Marc Basseng/Fabian Hamprecht/Filip Salaquarda 


P33 #4 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT - Jean-Luc Blanchemain/Fred Bouvy/Christian Kelders/Vincent Radermecker


P54 #22 Team Parker Racing - Ian Loggie/Leonid Machitski/Carl Rosenblad/Julian Westwood


P59 #25 Sainteloc Racing - Jean-Paul Buffin/Claude-Yves Gosselin/Philippe Haezebrouck/Marc Rostan


Photo credit: Audi Media

Spa 24 Hours: Pole position for Audi driver Laurens Vanthoor in home round at Spa


Audi Press Release

  • Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in position one
  • Three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the top five spots on the grid
  • Sixth row for the Le Mans winners
Ingolstadt/Spa, July 25, 2014 – The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has achieved a perfect starting base for the Spa 24 Hours. The #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra will be starting the race from position one on the grid on the 90th anniversary of the endurance event. In the super pole qualifying session for the top 20 participants, the Belgian team, with the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor, achieved the best time in its home round.

A look at the time sheets reveals how balanced the performance level at the front of the field in the world’s biggest GT3 race is. Seven marques are represented in the top ten and a single second separates grid position one from 14th place. Laurens Vanthoor managed to set a lap time that was 46 thousandths of a second better than that of his closest rival in a Ferrari. Even a partially wet track did not prevent the 23-year-old Audi driver from Hasselt in Belgium to achieve a lap time that turned out 1.965 seconds better than that of the fastest team last year. Vanthoor is sharing the R8 LMS ultra with the Nürburgring 24-hour race winners René Rast and Markus Winkelhock.

Edward Sandström qualified as the second-best Audi driver. The Swede, who is competing for Saintéloc Racing together with Grégory Guilvert and Stéphane Ortelli, achieved a second row place by posting the fourth-best time. Christopher Mies trails him in the subsequent position with a gap of 43 thousandths of a second. He is sharing the cockpit of car #3 of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT with James Nash and Frank Stippler.


As the fourth-best R8 team, the Le Mans winners took a spot on the sixth row of the grid. Marcel Fässler, who is running with André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, set the twelfth-fastest time in the field of 60 entrants in the #2 WRT Audi.

On Thursday, four other driver teams had achieved their grid positions in the combined qualifying session. Marc Basseng/Fabian Hamprecht/Filip Salaquarda took 29th place for Team ISR from the Czech Republic. Jan-Luc Blanchemain/Fred Bouvy/Christian Kelders/Vincent Radermecker in the R8 LMS ultra of the Belgian Audi Club Team qualified for position 33. Ian Loggie/Leonid Matchiski/Carl Rosenblad/Julian Westwood will be starting the race for Team Parker Racing from position 54. Jean-Paul Buffin/Claude-Yes Gosselin/Philippe Haezebrouck/Marc Rostan will be starting for Saintéloc Racing from 59th place.

The race starts on Saturday at 16.30. Before the start, there will be a joint appearance of two great endurance race winners from Audi: At 15.00, the spectators will be able to watch the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro, driven by André Lotterer, together with the Nürburgring winning R8 LMS ultra, driven by René Rast, during a demo drive on the track. The race can be followed on television on Eurosport and Motors.tv. Audi will be broadcasting the endurance race live on the internet on www.audi-motorsport.com.


Selected quotes

Romolo Liebchen (Head of Audi Sport customer racing): “It was a fantastic surprise to have clinched the pole position and further good places in the super pole qualifying session. We primarily prepared for the race and didn’t take any major risks for qualifying. Pole is a superb gift but shouldn’t delude us about the fact that this race lasts 24 hours. We’re expecting tough confrontations with our rivals because the field is extremely competitive. Surviving the 24 hours without any problems is no mean feat if you’re set on finishing the race with a similar result.”

Laurens Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra #1/Belgian Audi Club Team WRT): “I’m very happy about the pole position. My second lap was right on the mark. I never even gave any thought to the fastest time all day. When I asked my engineer what position we were in he said first place. For a few seconds, I thought he was joking. The pole position in our home round is great for Team WRT and the Belgian Audi Club. But it’s just a very small step this weekend, as the bigger one is yet to follow. Now we can sleep well. That’ll make life easier for us tomorrow.”


Qualifying results

1 Laurens Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra #1), 2m 18.710s
2 Alessandro Pier Guidi (Ferrari #50), 2m 18.756s
3 Step Dusseldorp (Mercedes #85), 2m 18.934s
4 Edward Sandström (Audi R8 LMS ultra #26), 2m 18.989s
5 Christopher Mies (Audi R8 LMS ultra #3), 2m 19.032s
6 Steven Kane (Bentley #7), 2m 19.093s
7 Bernd Schneider (Mercedes #84), 2m 19.166s
8 Kevin Estre (McLaren #99), 2m 19.316s
9 Nick Catsburg (BMW #12), 2m 19.334s
10 Stefan Mücke (Aston Martin #107), 2m 19.491s
12 Marcel Fässler (Audi R8 LMS ultra #2), 2m 19.569s


29 Fabian Hamprecht (Audi R8 LMS ultra #75), 2m 20.882s
33 Fred Bouvy (Audi R8 LMS ultra #4), 2m 21.084s
54 Carl Rosenblad (Audi R8 LMS ultra #22), 2m 23.513s
59 Marc Rostan (Audi R8 LMS ultra #25), 2m 27.037s

Photo credit: Audi Media


Audi R8 LMS Cup: Audi R8 LMS Cup debuts in Japan


Audi Press Release

  • Audi R8 LMS Cup visits the Fuji International Speedway
  • Alex Yoong leads the drivers’ championship
  • Japanese film actor and race car driver Koichi Iwaki to drive for Team Audi Japan
Fuji, Japan, July 24, 2014 — The Audi R8 LMS Cup visits Japan for the first time ever this weekend. Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2014 season of the sprint race series will be held at the Fuji International Speedway on July 26. After his first and third places at the season opener in Korea, former Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong from Malaysia, arrives in Fuji as points leader, ahead of Round 1 winner “Franky” Cheng Congfu and Rahel Frey.

“The addition of the Japan race weekend to the Audi R8 LMS Cup is the next step in the expansion of the series around Asia. It emphasizes the commitment of Audi to the development of motorsport in the region,” commented Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia. “Audi won here a few weeks ago in the GT Asia series, and we anticipate another weekend of exciting motorsport action.”


Qualifying will take place on Friday June 25, with Rounds 3 and 4 both to be held on Saturday, July 26. The Fuji International Speedway has been host to the Japanese Grand Prix, sitting beneath the symbolic Mount Fuji. It is a 4.5 km circuit, featuring 16 turns, challenging corners and a high-speed 1.5 km straight, one of the longest among motorsport tracks.

Team Audi Japan, representing the brand in the host country, will join the competition for the first time. Starting for the local Audi team will be actor and race driver, Koichi Iwaki. Team Tunewear Racing will field two additional Japanese drivers with Kato Gachi and Kenji Abe.

Young regulars Matt Solomon and Aidan Wright will be joined by fellow Formula Masters China driver Ronald Wu in Fuji, who debuts in the Audi R8 LMS Cup.


After the season opener at the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam, South Korea, Alex Yoong sits top of the leader board (40 points) after two podiums with his 3rd place finish in Round 1 and victory in Round 2. “Franky” Cheng Congfu is just four points behind him (36 points) with his start-to-finish win in round 1 and 5th place in Round 2. In third place is the young Swiss female driver, Rahel Frey (30 points).

Meanwhile, in the Amateur Cup, Steven Lin of Brothers Racing Team comfortably tops the standings (51 points) after back-to-back wins in South Korea.

The Audi R8 LMS Cup is the first brand cup in the history of Audi. After its successful maiden season in China in 2012, and expansion to Malaysia and South Korea in 2013, the sprint race series has added Japan to its stops around Asia this year.

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup