Sunday, October 19, 2014

Audi in WTCC – A fan’s point of view

By Tarek Ramchani

The Audi brand has a long and very successful heritage in touring car racing. It started in early 1990s with the legendary V8 quattro in the demanding DTM. Later the Four Ring dominated the golden Super Touring era with the A4 quattro STW. In 2004 Audi returned in the DTM with a factory effort, scoring no less than six drivers titles in years that followed.

Currently European touring car racing has three major championships, the DTM of course, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Audi cars compete in two out of these three series. The DTM, as mentioned earlier, with a factory effort and in the BTCC via two privateer efforts from Rob Austin Racing (Audi A4) and Rotek Racing (Audi S3).

As a long-time Audi motorsport and touring car racing fan, here I will talk about my wish to see Audi entering the FIA World Touring Car Championship. And to makes it clear right from the start, my thoughts and views are my own and DO NOT in any way reflect Audi AG or Audi Motorsport policies or views.

There are no doubts that the WTCC is very popular worldwide. The series is celebrating its tenth season of competition this year. It all started in 2005, when the former FIA European Touring Car Championship was promoted to international level and became a true FIA World Championship. From 2005 to 2013 the WTCC used the S2000 formula with many brands taking part in the championship, with works entries from BMW, Alfa Romeo, SEAT, Chevrolet and Honda.

Starting this year, WTCC officials made a radical move switching from the very production based S2000 formula to a new generation of cars called TC1. The cars are faster, look more aerodynamic  and aggressive, which made them a little bit closer to DTM.

Right now there are no Audi efforts in the WTCC and there is no doubt that many of the brand's fans want to see Audi entries. Who doesn't want to see Audi A4s or Audi A3s racing against some of the best teams like Citroen and Honda? The idea of Audi cars competing around the world is cracking no doubts. The excellent TV coverage has made the series very popular since its first year. The WTCC can be an ideal platform, not only for racing successes, but also for marketing targets.

However, with Audi fully committed to both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the DTM with full factory efforts, it’s nearly impossible to see the brand joining WTCC with a works team. The FIA WEC is vital with Le Mans as a pinnacle and so is the DTM, racing against the two historical premium brands rivals of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

An Audi presence in the WTCC could be done in two ways. The first is to have factory blessed teams, as is the case in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, where Mattias Ekstrom’s team EKSRX is fielding two Audi S1 quattros with slight factory support. The other option is to let independent teams field Audi cars by giving them the green light for the homologation processes. FIA rules are clear, any TC1 car needs a manufacture's approval to be homologated and allowed to compete in WTCC. This is the case this year with Chevrolet, where TC1 Cruze cars are built in house by RML, with no support from the American brand.

Let’s be honest, the media and fans do look at the winning brand when it comes to GT3 racing. When Audi customer teams win the Spa 24 Hours, the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Blancpain Endurance Series or any other sportscar event around the world, it is seen as an Audi victory. Only a few distinguish the real difference between the various customer teams and the manufacturer, only the brand name matters with less focus on teams’ names. The very same can work in WTCC. Touring car racing is all about production based racing, therefore the brands and models do really matter. Any potential Audi victory in WTCC, even in privateer hands, would be a success for the brand itself.

For all these reasons I really want to see Audi cars racing in WTCC. It won’t be easy to see it happen, however the idea is no doubt a dream for thousands of touring car racing fans and Audi motorsport followers.

Photo credit: WTCC

Time Attack: GMG Racing and James Sofronas Audi R8 LMS ultra at Willow Springs

By Johan Laubscher

The Global Time Attack hosted a GTA Pro Am round at Willow Springs International Raceway this weekend.

GMG Racing took part in the event with one of their Audi R8 LMS ultra cars and one Porsche 911 GT3. James Sofronas was on hand to pilot his silver and black Audi R8 LMS ultra in which he also took part in the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge. The car was entered in the exhibition class.

The #14 Audi R8 LMS ultra was seen in the full 2013 specification with the aggressive 2013 rear diffuser. The car was thus in the full 2013 R8 LMS ultra aerodynamic specification, except for the rear view mirrors, which were of the older curved variety.

Photo credit: Jager Racing on flickr and James Sofronas

DTM: Audi is best manufacturer in the 2014 DTM

Audi Press Release

  •     155,000 spectators experience Audi one-two-three victory in DTM finale
  •     Mattias Ekström celebrates second victory in succession
  •     Audi beats BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the manufacturers’ championship
Ingolstadt/Hockenheim, October 19, 2014 – Audi is the best manufacturer in the 2014 DTM. With a one-two-three victory in the finale at Hockenheim the brand with the four rings in front of 155,000 spectators (throughout the weekend) managed to recover the title in the manufacturers’ championship from BMW.

The squad around Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, with an impressive performance in the finale, converted a deficit of 21 points into an advantage of 30 points. In the 2014 season, Audi scored a total of 409 points, BMW 379 and Mercedes-Benz 222. One of the first people to extend their congratulations was soccer world champion Bastian Schweinsteiger, who watched DTM finale in the Audi pits.

The runner-up’s spot and third place in the drivers’ championship were secured by Audi as well. The two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekström in the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline celebrated his second victory in succession and finished the season as the runner-up. Last year’s champion Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Phoenix on clinching second place advanced to third place in the drivers’ standings. Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg in third place made for drivers from all three Audi Sport Teams mounting the podium in the season finale.

“Today Audi showed ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’: before the start of the race with the driverless RS 7 and in the DTM finale with a one-two-three victory,” said Dieter Gass. “Our aim this weekend was to win the manufacturers’ championship. And in the end we clearly decided it in Audi’s favor – not least thanks to a brilliant team performance. That drivers from all three Audi Sport Teams mounted the podium today speaks a clear language. On this weekend everyone could see how strong the Audi RS 5 DTM is. 15 in 30 possible podium places this year are an impressive tally. Congratulations also to Mattias (Ekström) and Mike (Rockenfeller) on taking the runner-up’s spot and third place in the drivers’ championship. We’re already looking forward to 2015 when we’re aiming to recover car number 1 as well.”

The race winner Mattias Ekström, just like Mike Rockenfeller, started on the harder standard tires and thus had the right strategy. The two maintained their positions in the top ten throughout, and in the final stage, after switching to the softer option tires, were able to make up one position after another. Favored by a late safety car period, Ekström and Rockenfeller managed to intercept Jamie Green, who had been leading from the starting lap on, on the last two laps.

“My Audi was again fantastic today,” beamed Mattias Ekström following his second victory in the space of just three weeks. “Ever since things have been going better in qualifying, the races have been working out as well. This was a great season finale for Audi, Team Abt Sportsline and also for me in front of a fantastic crowd. You can’t wish for a better farewell before the winter break.”

With Timo Scheider (AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM) and Miguel Molina (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) in positions six and nine, a total of five Audi drivers finished in the top ten and thus in the points.

Nico Müller (Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM) finished the last race of his rookie season in 14th place, following a tough race. Adrien Tambay (Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM) and Edoardo Mortara (Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM) retired after collisions but were still classified in positions 19 and 22.

Even before the start of the DTM finale, Audi caused a sensation. A driverless Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept did a fast lap on the DTM race track – without a driver. On track with a driver was the new Audi TT cup that will be fielded in 2015 as part of the DTM. At the wheel was Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of Audi’s Management Board for Technical Development, who after the race joined Chairman of the Management Board Rupert Stadler and the entire Audi DTM squad in celebrating the win of the manufacturer’s championship.

BRCC: PK Carsport on podium at Zolder finale

By Johan Laubscher

The Belgian Racing Car Championship (BRCC) headed to Zolder this weekend. It was the BRCC season finale held alongside the Zolder round of the Blancpain Sprint Series.

PK Carsport entered their #1 Audi R8 LMS ultra with Anthony Kumpen, Bert Longin and Frank Beliën behind the wheel. They entered the weekend with nothing to lose after winning the previous round in September, the 600 km of Spa. Coming into the Zolder finale they were lying fourth in the BRCC Endurance Pro drivers’ standings, 18 point behind the leaders.

Qualifying took place on Sunday morning and the PK Carsport Audi R8 LMS ultra was placed on the front row. Anthony Kumpen set a lap time of 1:30.679 to take second on the grid, a mere 0.322 seconds behind the pole sitting #99 Belgium Racing Team Porsche 911 GT3R.

The three hour endurance race was held after the main Blancpain Sprint Series race on Sunday afternoon. The PK Carsport trio ran at the front and came home to take third position, a podium result to close out the BRCC season.

Photo credit: Anthony Kumpen

STT: Victory for Edy Kamm A4 DTM and bad luck for R8 LMS ultra at Nürburgring

By Johan Laubscher

The Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy (STT) held its seventh and final round at the Nürburgring this weekend. A total of four Audi race cars took part.

Edy Kamm highlighted the weekend by taking victory in race two behind the wheel of his 2004 Audi A4 DTM R11. He finished third in race one.

Berthold Gruhn, in the #16 Audi R8 LMS ultra run by Rotary Motorsport IG, finished second in Class 2 at the last round, also held at the Nürburgring at the beginning of October, but he faced a difficult weekend this time. Race one saw him finishing twenty-ninth, one lap down and he retired from race two.

An Audi 80 and an Audi S4 also took part this weekend. An Audi A6 (C5) bodied V8 Star race car was also among the entries.

The weekend’s results can be seen HERE.

DTM: Proof positive: Audi RS 7 concept taken to the limit with no driver

Audi Press Release

  • Audi sets new standards for piloted driving
  • Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept completes Hockenheimring lap driverless at racing speed
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, AUDI AG Board Member for Technical Development: “This top performance substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi.”
Ingolstadt, October 19, 2014 – At the DTM season finale, Audi demonstrated the sheer fascination of piloted driving. The Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept completed a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim – at racing speed, without a driver. 

Audi scored yet another major success in the development of piloted driving: Before the season finale of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the latest technology pioneer was running up to its physical limit, with no driver. It took the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept just slightly over two minutes to complete a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim – piloted with high precision and accuracy to within centimeters.

“The top performance by the Audi RS 7 today substantiates the skills of our development team with regard to piloted driving at Audi,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG. “The derivations from series production, particularly in terms of precision and performance, are of great value for our further development steps.”

For orientation on the track, the technology pioneer uses specially corrected GPS signals. This GPS data is transmitted to the vehicle via WiFi according to the automotive standard and redundantly via high-frequency radio. In parallel to this, 3D cameras in the car film the track, and a computer program compares the cameras’ image information against a data set stored on board. This is what makes it possible for the technology pioneer to orient itself on the track within centimeters.

Piloted driving is one of the most important development fields at Audi: The first successful developments were achieved ten years ago. The test results continually flow into series development. The latest test runs at the physical limit are providing the Audi engineers with insights for the development of automatic avoidance functions in critical driving situations, for example.

Driver assistance systems from Audi are already making driving more relaxed and better controlled. These systems’ highest level of development can be experienced in the updated Audi A6* and Audi A7 Sportback* model series. The offerings include Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, and adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function including Audi pre sense front.

Experts from Volkswagen Group Research, the Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) and Stanford University (both in California) are supporting Audi as partners in the further development of piloted systems.

Further information, photos and video material are available in the digital presskit and on Audi MediaTV.

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Alex Yoong wins highly charged Round 8

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

• Yoong cuts through field to win and regains series lead
• Strong second place for André Couto despite 60 kg handicap
• Sun Zheng takes third while Rahel Frey loses ground after duel with “Franky” Cheng Congfu

Shanghai, October 19, 2014 — Alex Yoong put in a superb performance today in Round 8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup at the Shanghai International Circuit. The former Formula 1 driver started from position five on the grid and charged to the front in an eventful opening few laps. Yoong, who was not carrying any extra weight, made this advantage count as he passed Rahel Frey, Adderly Fong and Jeffrey Lee before waiting for the perfect opportunity to overtake Couto for the lead. Yoong extended the distance behind him to finish the race with a comfortable eleven second gap.

“We saw a very eventful and exciting race. The championship now heads into the final four races and every driver will be fighting even harder on the track to keep title aspirations alive, as only a handful of points now separate the top drivers. The right race strategy and tire usage and balance in case of weight additions could be a deciding factor in the championship at the end of the year. I expect we will see the final champion decided only after the final race in Abu Dhabi”, said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

Behind the race leader, there was no love lost between brothers as Brothers Racing Team teammates André Couto and Sun Zheng drove hard to decide second and third places. Sun had progressed through the field from seventh and was determined to advance into second, but Couto managed to hold on to become the first driver to finish second after starting the race with the maximum 60 kg weight addition for his win in the preceding round.

A series of intense battles were providing a show for the spectators in the packed grandstand of the home of the China F1 Grand Prix. Around 40,000 motorsport fans came over the weekend. Underlining the competitive nature of the Cup, several drivers constantly pressed back and forth for position between places four and seven. Rahel Frey started the race from third and for most of the race drove consistently, carrying a 40 kg weight addition. However, in the last lap, local favourite “Franky” Cheng Congfu forced his way past her to take fourth, causing the young Swiss to lose momentum and drop to seventh.

2013 champion Adderly Fong and youngster Matt Solomon both managed to slip past Frey behind Cheng to finish in fifth and sixth respectively after spending most of the race clashing with K.O. You. The Audi Korea driver span out towards the end of the race after an attempted overtaking manoeuvre, and a resulting puncture forced him to retire early.

Solomon clocked the fastest lap time of Round 8, showing his competitiveness and determination against the experienced professionals. Fellow Hong Kong driver Marchy Lee suffered with his second early retirement this weekend.

In the amateur competition, Steven Lin racked up back-to-back victories in Shanghai, crossing the finish line ahead of Wu Zhou and Sun Jingzu.

The Audi R8 LMS Cup will return to Shanghai in two weeks for Rounds 9 and 10 on October 31-November 1.

Alex Yoong:

“I had a weight advantage over the other top drivers today, and the car drove very well to give me the win. I used seven push-to-passes to get into second position, and from there I knew it’d be tough to take André. I just waited for the right time to overtake, and slipped past him after a dummy manoeuvre. I managed to extend my lead and take the win, and now I must plan for next time.”

André Couto:

“It was never going to be an easy race considering the extra 60 kg. I tried to do my best to keep pace and defend my position. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do once Alex got past me, so I just drove harder to keep second at least, in front of Sun Zheng. He made it an interesting end, and luckily we never had any contact, which would have ruined both our races!”

Sun Zheng:

“I’m familiar with the track here in Shanghai, so I had a bit of an advantage in that respect. After a disappointing race yesterday, I started in P7 today and managed to get up to third. I kept trying to push past André, but he wouldn’t let me!”

Steven Lin:

“I had a little silly mistake when I span around, but luckily I had enough distance behind me that I didn’t get overtaken, and I could carry on to win in the amateur category.”

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Round 8 — Shanghai International Circuit, China
Official Result

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Top Ten Overall Classification After Round 8

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Top Three Am Cup Classification After Round 8

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup

NASA Utah: Season finale enduro victory for TW Racing Audi R8 LMS

By Johan Laubscher

The NASA Utah region hosted its seventh and final round at Miller Motorsports Park this weekend. It was the NASA Utah TresDuro & TT event and it featured a unique endurance racing format.

TW Racing again entered their blue and black Audi R8 LMS. They were entered in the Time Trails and endurance event. The ex-GMG Racing #08 Audi R8 LMS was driven by Derek Wolthoff, Allen Turner and Ben Lamberson. This older specification R8 LMS is fitted with the aggressive 2013 R8 LMS ultra rear diffuser. 

Saturday got under way well for the team as they topped the time sheets during the HPDE 3 & 4 / Time Trials. The Audi R8 LMS was piloted to a fastest time of 1:56.751 around the east configuration of Miller Motorsports Park.

The endurance event was split into three segments of forty-five minutes each on Saturday afternoon. A unique format was chosen for the event, as each of the three races used a different configuration of the circuit: outer, east and west configurations. The overall result was based on the cumulative laps and cumulative time of each entry.

TW Racing qualified second on the grid and went on to perform very well in the three races.

The first race was held on the west configuration and TW Racing finished fourth. Race two ran on the east course and saw TW Racing taking victory with a victory margin of over a lap. The third and final race took place on the outer configuration and TW Racing finished second.

The cumulative results saw the TW Racing squad of Wolthoff, Turner and Lamberson taking the overall victory. Their overall winning margin was less than ten seconds after the three races, a well-deserved victory for TW Racing.

This event marked the end of the 2014 NASA Utah region’s motorsport calendar.

Photo credit: Makes and Models

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Audi R8 LMS Cup: Couto wins in Shanghai and takes over series lead

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

• André Couto wins ahead of Rahel Frey and Adderly Fong
• Championship remains close with just five points separating top three drivers
• Steven Lin consolidates lead in the amateur championship

Shanghai, October 18, 2014 — Former Macau GP winner, André Couto, enjoyed a start-to-finish victory in Round 7 of the 2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup at the Shanghai International Circuit, ahead of Swiss GT specialist Rahel Frey and 2013 Champion Adderly Fong. With his extra point awarded for clocking the fastest time in qualifying on top of his win, Couto moves to the top of the leaderboard with 101 points, narrowly ahead of Frey on 100 points. Alex Yoong is not far behind with 96 points, although he drops to third after coming to Shanghai as points leader.

“The 10 fastest drivers today posted lap times within a single second of each other, which shows just how competitive the driver field is this year in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. Any of the top drivers could go on to take the title this year. Not collecting any points in a race will most likely damper title aspirations. Consistency will be key to win the season”, commented Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

There was drama right at the start of the race as the front seven cars made contact when Alex Yoong pushed his way forward from position seven. Couto escaped with his lead intact, while Frey passed Sun Zheng for second place. The Chinese driver dropped several positions before retiring due to temporarily impaired vision. Another casualty of the early contact was Marchy Lee, who retired after the first lap due to damage sustained to his vehicle.

Talented youngster Aidan Wright, and Korean K.O. You put in strong performances to progress through the field. You started from tenth and finished in fifth after some impressive overtaking manoeuvres. Likewise Wright showed skilled driving to navigate from ninth to finish in sixth place.

Yoong’s fourth place finish along with recording the fourth fastest lap time in Round 7 puts him in a strong position tomorrow. The former Formula 1 driver will start from position four without any weight additions. Couto, who will start from pole for clocking the fastest lap time, will carry an extra 60 kg for today’s win. Fong clocked the second fastest time and will start from position two with 20 kg of additional weight, while Frey will start from position three with 40 kg.

In the amateur competition, Steven Lin notched up another victory ahead of Zheng Ting and Ashraff Dewal to further consolidate his lead at the top of the amateur rankings.

Round 8 of the Audi R8 LMS Cup will take place at 13:55 Chinese local time (UTC +8) on Sunday, October 19 and will be broadcasted live on

André Couto:

“Even though it may have looked easy, it was actually a very tough race today. The Cup is so competitive now and the top drivers are all fighting for points. The push-to-pass function makes everything more intense too and is something else we have to think about during the race.”

Rahel Frey:

“There’s five more races to go this season, so we can expect a lot more competition! I’ve collected some more crucial points today to remain in second in the rankings. I’m happy with the results today – there was the incident at the beginning but I managed to hold on to finish second.”

Adderly Fong:

“In the first half of the season, I thought there was some sort of problem with my car. No matter what we did to it, we couldn’t get decent results. Today we adjusted it so it’s now set-up the same way as last season, and I found it actually drove better, and the third place shows that.”

Steven Lin:

“I was nervous racing in front of my home crowd today, but I managed to pull off a win again. I saved my push-to-passes until the end for a strong finish.”

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Round 7 — Shanghai International Circuit, China
Official Result

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Top Ten Overall Classification After Round 7

2014 Audi R8 LMS Cup
Top Three Am Cup Classification After Round 7

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup

Blancpain Sprint Series: Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos win Zolder qualifying race

Blancpain GT Series Press Release

With a margin of almost 16 seconds, Laurens Vanthoor and Cesar Ramos crossed the line in first place after the Qualifying Race of the Zolder round of the Blancpain Sprint Series. The Audi duo had dominated the race after a hectic few opening laps. Series’ newcomer Nicky Catsburg and Peter Kox finished in second in the #95 NSC Motorsports/Syntix Lamborghini, with the #28 Lamborghini of Jeroen Bleekemolen and Hari Proczyk in third. The victory in Silver Cup went to the BMW-pairing of Stefano Colombo and David Fumanelli, while Alessandro Latif and Marc Basseng won the race in the Pro-Am Trophy.

Glorious sunshine greeted the drivers for the Qualifying Race in Zolder. With 25 cars on the largest grid of the year, the opening few corners of the race were hectic, but almost everybody got through unscathed. Polesitter Laurens Vanthoor had managed to hold on the lead, but before the end of the first lap the Belgian was passed by René Rast in the #2 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi. At the end of the ninth lap Vanthoor tried to retake the lead going into the Jacky Ickx-corner, but his Audi made contact with Rast’s and the German lost control of his car. However, he managed to keep it out of the gravel trap, and rejoined in fourth, behind the two Lamborghinis of Bleekemolen and Catsburg.

Just before the pit window opened, Stephane Richelmi spun off the track at the chicane, causing an intervention of the safety car. Once the pit window opened, almost all cars entered the pitlane simultaneously. Peter Kox in the NSC Motorsports/Syntix Lamborghini could rejoin in second, behind Cesar Ramos. But when the lights went green again, there was no stopping the Brazilian. Ramos gained almost half a second a lap over his nearest competitors, eventually finishing with an advantage of just under 16 seconds over Peter Kox.

The fight for the third podium position turned out to be very entertaining, as Enzo Ide in the #2 Audi was all over the Lamborghini of Proczyk. Cacá Bueno in the #0 BMW Sports Trophy Team Brasil and Andy Soucek in the #107 Beechdean AMR Aston Martin joined the fight in the final stages of the race, but Proczyk managed to hold on to third. Series leader Maximilian Götz had a difficult start to the race, driving on the edge of the top-10. When Maxi Buhk took over the HTP Mercedes steadily gained some places, eventually crossing the line in 6th.

In Silver Cup David Fumanelli had taken the best start, but the driver of #34 ROAL Motorsport BMW lost his advantage completely when his team made him wait for the second lap under safety car to make its mandatory pitstop. Stefano Colombo rejoined in last position, but after an inspired comeback by the young Italian, the BMW crossed the line in 13th place overall, winning the Silver Cup as well.

Alessandro Latif did his best to keep his nose clean during the opening laps, so Marc Basseng could try and get through the pack in the second half of the race. Even though the German did not get higher than 16th overall, it was still enough to take the win in the Pro-Am Trophy.

The Main Race of the penultimate round of the 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series will be held on Sunday October 19th, with the start of the race at 13.45 CET.

Laurens Vanthoor (#1 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Audi): ‘I would like to apologise to the team and to Audi, for this is not the way it should work. René had made a small mistake in the previous corner and I got really close to him in the run up to the Jacky Ickx corner. I showed myself pretty early and I thought he had seen me. It was not planning to do something crazy under braking, I braked just a little bit later. When I was alongside, he turned in on me. It was probably my mistake, for I was the car behind.”

Peter Kox (#95 NSC Motorsports/Syntix Lamborghini): “I lost some ground on Ramos at the restart, but I managed to get closer to him again by setting my best lap. But then he disappeared so quickly, that there was no point in trying to keep. So I drove my own race, looked after the car and controlled the gap to the guys behind me.”

Hari Proczyk (#28 Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini): “This was probably one of the hardest races of my life. The car had a lot of oversteer and in the end the brakes started to suffer as well. Enzo was really quick in the second sector, but I had a better exit of the corners. That is why I could keep him behind me.”

David Fumanelli (#34 ROAL Motorsport BMW): “I don’t know what happened with the pit stop, but it was the wrong decision to stay out. Fortunately Stefano did a really good stint and managed to retake a lot of positions and the lead in Silver Cup.’

Marc Basseng (#5 Phoenix Racing Audi): ‘For one reason or another, the car lacked some speed today. The lap times at the beginning of my stint were identical with the ones at the end, which makes me think that we do not manage to get everything out of the tyres. We will have to improve for tomorrow if we want to gain some more places in the overall standings.”

Photo credit: Blancpain GT Series