Sunday, March 1, 2015

ATRC: Another ATRC Podium For Crimp’s PPE Audi TT RS

Performance Parts and Engineering (PPE) Press Release

Glyn Crimp and co-driver Frank Brookhouse have opened their 2015 Australian Tarmac Rally Championship account with an impressive sixth outright at the Mount Baw Baw Sprint, at the wheel of their Performance Parts and Engineering-built and prepared Audi TT RS.

The Baw Baw Sprint incorporates 220km of competitive tarmac rally stages spread over two days, using the roads from Icy Creek up to the summit of Mount Bar Baw itself.

“Glyn’s objective for this event was to be there at the finish,” explained PPE principal Alan Heaphy. “The car ran faultlessly and Glyn produced another consistent drive to finish on the Showroom 4WD category.”

PPE also provided servicing to regular client Barrie Smith who debuted a similar TT RS to Crimp’s.

Crimp will now focus on the second round of the ATRC to be held at Lake Mountain, Victoria over March 21-22.

From on-event servicing to complete car builds, PPE can provide a full suite of services to suit your tarmac rally needs. Contact Alan Heaphy on 03 8669 0237 for more information.

Photo credit:
Rayzor Special Photography (Ray Martin)
Australian Tarmac Rally Championship

VLN: Magenta Racing testing Audi TT RS at Ascari

By Johan Laubscher 

Magenta Racing from Finland was out testing a new Audi TT RS at Ascari in Spain this weekend. The team is busy preparing for the 2015 VLN Endurance Series, where it will be running the TT RS in the SP3T class.

Raeder Motorsport built this new Audi TT RS chassis towards the end of 2014 and the Nardo grey vehicle had its first roll-out test with Raeder during mid-December. It is similar to Raeder’s other VLN Audi TT RS cars fitted with a 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine.

It was a long wait for Magenta Racing’s first test session with the car, but it looked great circulating around a sunny Ascari circuit in Spain this weekend.

Photos from the testing at Ascari can be seen HERE.

The 2015 VLN Endurance Series will get underway at the Nürburgring on 28 March.

Photo credit: Magenta Racing

Australian GT: Podiums and carnage for the Audi teams in Adelaide race 3

By Johan Laubscher

The opening round of the Australian GT Championship concluded on Sunday at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The third and final race of the weekend saw success and misfortune for the Audi Sport customer racing teams.

Saturday was a day to remember for Nathan Antunes and Melbourne Performance Centre. He piloted the #6 Skwirk/Beechwood Homes Audi R8 LMS ultra to victory in both races one and two. Further Audi success came from the Greg Taylor Racing (Wall Racing) team and the #38 Audi R8 LMS driven by Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer, who won the Trophy class in the first race.

Nathan Antunes started from pole position for the final Australian GT Championship race of the weekend on Sunday and led the field towards the first corner. Antunes took a wide entry into the first corner and maintained the lead whilst chaos broke out behind him.

Paul Kelly was lying third and lost control of the #27 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 on the exit of the chicane and speared off into the wall and subsequently bounced back into the path of the oncoming field. Christopher Mies was very lucky in the #74 JAMEC-PEM Racing (MPC) Audi R8 LMS ultra, as he avoided contact during the high-speed incident, but a number of drivers were not so lucky, including two of the Audi R8 LMS ultra entries. Two Audis got caught up in the accident. Steven Johnson had nowhere to go and headed into the wall with the #75 JAMEC-PEM Racing (MPC) Audi R8 LMS ultra. Behind him Peter Fitzgerald in the #2 EVA Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra was a victim of the concertina effect and sustained frontal damage to his blue and white Audi, limping away from the incident, only to retire a short distance later.

The majority of the race was held under safety car conditions, including the pitstop phase of the race. All the competitors had one compulsory pitstop and the safety car conditions meant that Antunes lost the lead due to his additional minimum pitstop time penalty. He re-joined the field well outside of the top ten and began a spirited drive through the field during the remaining laps. He made it all the way up to third place overall, taking second place in the Championship class. His exploits of two race wins and a runner-up spot has ensured that he has a commanding lead in the championship points, a total of 152 points, 47 points clear of the rest of the field.

Greg Taylor also performed well during the final race of the weekend and finished fourth overall, second position in the Trophy class in the #38 Audi R8 LMS. He also now leads the Throphy class standings. Mies also fell back during the pitstops and eventually finished seventh overall in the #74 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Mark Griffith finished sixteenth with the #19 Griffith Corporation Motorsport (MPC) Audi R8 LMS.

It was a very strong weekend for the Audi Sport customer racing teams in Adelaide. The Australian GT Championship will now be heading to Phillip Island for round two from 22-23 May.

Photo credit: Australian GT Championship

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blancpain Endurance Series: Asian racing program of Audi partners with Phoenix Racing

Audi R8 LMS Cup Press Release

• Phoenix Racing entry in Blancpain Endurance Series with Markus Winkelhock and Hong Kong drivers Marchy Lee and Shaun Thong
• Rene Koneberg: “Success and experience of Phoenix Racing elevates our driver development program”
• Integration of Audi Sport platforms in Asia and Europe steps up with entries in the Audi TT Cup and the Nürburgring 24h

Beijing, March 1, 2015 – Audi Sport customer racing Asia has formed a partnership with renowned motorsport team Phoenix Racing to compete in the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe. Phoenix Racing will enter an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the GT3 championship with an Asian-European driver team. Reigning Nürburgring 24h champion, Markus Winkelhock from Germany, will share the cockpit with two drivers from Hong Kong: 2012 Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Marchy Lee and 18 year-old talent Shaun Thong. The Audi R8 LMS Cup logo will be featured on the side livery of the team’s car.

“The entry in the Blancpain Endurance Series is another step in the integration between the Audi Sport platforms in Asia and Europe. Phoenix Racing is one of the most successful and experienced motorsport teams worldwide. The partnership will further elevate our development program for young Asian talents like Shaun Thong”, said Rene Koneberg, Director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia.

Over the years, Phoenix Racing has achieved number one positions with Audi in a range of prestigious events, like the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), Nürburgring 24h, Spa 24h and Bathurst 12h.

"Asia, especially China, is one of the largest markets for Audi in the world and there is a constantly growing racing scene there with many young and talented drivers. It's great to have a first step in to such a market with this project and we are very happy to enter the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2015 with Marchy and Shaun alongside our well-known Phoenix Racing driver Markus Winkelhock", commented Ernst Moser, Director of Phoenix Racing.

Hong Kong youngster Shaun Thong will also race in the new Audi Sport TT Cup in Europe, where he will again meet teammate Winkelhock, who is the official Audi Sport TT Cup coach. In 2015, 12 Audi Sport TT Cup races will be held at six DTM race weekends.

Thong will also be part of the first all-Asian team of Audi race experience for the 2015 Nürburgring 24h. For the endurance race in the famous "Green Hell", he will be joined by drivers from the Audi R8 LMS Cup. The final team will be announced soon after more testing during upcoming VLN runs.

In addition to offering opportunities for Asian talents in Europe, Audi is actively developing motorsport activities throughout Asia. The Audi R8 LMS Cup was founded in China in 2012 as the first brand Cup of Audi worldwide and has since expanded all across Asia. In 2015, the sprint race series will visit China, South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. For the first time, the GT competition will also have a stop in Taiwan. The 2015 season kicks off on March 21-22 at South China’s Zhuhai.

Furthermore, Audi Sport customer racing Asia supports entries in a range of regional motorsport events, like the GT Asia series and the Macau GT Cup.

Photo credit: Audi R8 LMS Cup

Australian GT: Double victory for Audi with Nathan Antunes in Adelaide

By Tarek Ramchani

A day to remember for Audi driver Nathan Antunes and the whole Audi Sport customer racing squad in Adelaide. Double victory for the #6 Audi R8 LMS ultra in the opening two Australian GT Championship races at the Cliplsal 500. All of the other Audi teams were fast and performed well in a demanding field with strong rivals representing various brands.

In Race 1 a total of four Audi cars made it into the Top 6. Nathan Antunes took a great victory with his Melbourne Performance-run Skwirk/Beechwood Homes Audi R8 LMS ultra. Nathan Antunes crossed the checkered flag victorious ahead of the second placed Porsche 997 GT3 R.

Another Audi entry also did very well, the R8 LMS from Greg Taylor Racing. The car in the hands of Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer took a sensational third place and the Trophy class win.

Fourth place overall went to the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Eva Racing/Evolve Technik. Peter Fitzgerald took a third place within the Championship class.

The best of the two JAMEC-PEM Racing Audis was sixth overall. The #74 R8 LMS ultra shared by Audi works driver Christopher Mies and Greg Crick.

The #19 Audi R8 LMS of team Griffith Corporation Motorsport narrowly missed the Top 10. Mark Griffith finished the 30-minute sprint race in eleventh place overall and in a strong second within the Trophy class.

The second JAMEC-PEM Racing Audi entry was sixteenth. The #75 Audi R8 LMS ultra was driven by Steven McLaughlan and Steven Johnson.

Nathan Antunes was victorious in Race 2 as well. The #6 Skwirk/Beechwood Homes Audi R8 LMS ultra looked unstoppable in Adelaide today.

The #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Eva Racing/Evolve Technik took strong fifth place overall with driver Peter Fitzgerald.

The #75 Audi from JAMEC-PEM Racing led the 60-minute race, but had a spin in the closing stages with Steven Johnson behind the wheel. He recovered and ended in seventh place overall sharing the car with Steven McLaughlan.

Their team-mates at JAMEC-PEM Racing, Christopher Mies and Greg Crick, were eighth with the #74 Audi R8 LMS ultra

Mark Griffith took third place within the Trophy class driving the #19 Griffith Corporation Motorsport Audi R8 LMS. As was the case in Race 1, Mark Griffith finished Race 2 in eleventh overall.

Greg Taylor Racing drivers Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer were sixteenth overall with their #38 Audi R8 LMS.

The third and final race of the weekend is set for Sunday in Adelaide. We wish the best of luck to all of the Audi teams and drivers.

Photo credit: Australian GT

Pirelli World Challenge: to Sponsor Drew Regitz in the Pirelli World Challenge

Stephen Cameron Racing Press Release

February 27th, 2015 - Sonoma, CA  Having started his professional racing career only a year after turning his first laps in a racecar, Stephen Cameron Racing driver, Drew Regitz, turned quite a few heads in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) paddock after testing the waters in 2013. In 2014, Regitz campaigned a full season in the PWC GTS class, successfully scoring top tens and podium finishes in what was only his second year in motorsports.

For 2015, Regitz will continue his meteoric rise through the professional sportscar ranks by stepping up to the hotly contested PWC GT-A class. The Denver, CO, resident routinely sites extensive driver coaching and an extensive routine of online driving simulator training for his rapid progression behind the wheel. His on-track success has made Regitz a staunch advocate of young and aspiring drivers utilizing advances in online racing and gaming technology in combination with hands-on driver coaching.

Regitz launched in late 2014 to help novice and seasoned racers alike gain access to professional driver coaching services from the comfort of their own home. Utilizing state-of-the-art driving simulator hardware and software clients can sign up to be paired with world class championship caliber drivers and coaches such as former F1 and professional IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, professional Indy 500 and Aston Martin /NISMO driver James Davison, sportscar aces Brandon Davis and Kris Wilson, and veteran IndyCar and IMSA driver coach Barry Waddell.

“It’s no mystery that genuine on track seat time is expensive, so it is important to be able to maximize every second that you are on the track,” Regitz explained. “For a fraction of the cost, will partner you with professional drivers that can give you lap-by-lap feedback online as you train at home on your driving simulator or gaming wheel.”

“I didn’t start driving racecars until 2012, and now a mere three years later I am set to compete in one of the world’s most competitive GT series, and I absolutely could not have made that progression in such a short amount of time without the help of coaches like Barry Waddell, Justin Wilson, and my driving simulator at home. Their instruction and my extensive sessions online are a critical component of my preparation, which is why I am so passionate about combining the powers of professional coaching with online driving simulators.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing on my car this year, and working with Stephen Cameron Racing to campaign for the GT-A Championship.”

After thirty years of running his professional motorsports team in a variety of series, Stephen Cameron is used to adjusting his business to new technologies.

“Drew’s path to top tier motorsports is as atypical as it gets,” Cameron exclaimed. “It would have been exceedingly more difficult for him to have made the jump from absolute beginner to a professional driver in such a short timeframe even just ten years ago.”

“With a greater emphasis on data acquisition and engineering, driver coaching, and online simulators that rival real world experiences, the learning curve has been profoundly shortened,” Cameron continued. “Services like will take this to the next level by pairing household named drivers with anyone seeking to improve their performance.”

“You never know, with these new tools taking three years to reach the GT-A class might one day seem like an eternity. I for one am looking forward to helping Drew maximize his potential this year and to help him earn even more accomplishments in his short but already impressive resume.”

About iRacerCoaching
iRacerCoaching is an online, interactive platform that connects racers to professional racing coaches. Imagine having your own one-on-one sessions with the best coaches in the sport – all current and former professional drivers – as often as you want in a safe, virtual setting. No need to carve out travel time to the track or extra money for a car; with iRacerCoaching, you can be mentored by the biggest names in race car driving, all at a fraction of the cost of an in-person at-track session.

For seasoned and aspiring racers, this is a dream come true. We partner with world-class coaches who will give you lap-by-lap feedback to improve your performance and, more importantly, your speed behind the wheel. This is seat time at its most efficient – no waiting for your turn to drive, no car to care for, and no expensive race tires to purchase. Just you, your computer, and a coach with you at every turn you take.

Photo credit: Cameron Racing

Friday, February 27, 2015

FIA WEC: Chris Reinke – achieving aims with positive energy

Audi Press Release

Ingolstadt, February 27, 2015 – Be it in his role as a manager at Audi Sport, in dealing with the race drivers or serving as an interview partner for the media: Chris Reinke, who heads up Audi Sport’s Le Mans Prototype (LMP) department, is a man in demand in the paddock of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and at the season’s pinnacle event – the Le Mans 24 Hours. 

His contagious laughter belies the intensity of his everyday work. As Head of LMP Reinke is responsible for the entire sports prototype program involving the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and reports directly to Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “This is a full-time job with major responsibility in which I can rely on a strong and well-practiced team,” says Chris Reinke in outlining his work. “Still, there are imponderables to contend with now and then, for instance due to time-related or logistic conditions and technical challenges.”

The major tests, all the races, the routine work in relation to the current program, the exchange with a large team of employees and the simultaneous need to deal with basic issues and forward-thinking technology – they all amount to a massive workload. And it encompasses a lot more than what the scope of his studies covered. Chris Reinke has a master’s degree in vehicle engineering and a bachelor’s in composite materials engineering.

The engineer, who is 43 years old now, has been with Audi Sport since 2004. His career has taken him from the design department for chassis structure and bodywork via technical project management to overall project management for the Le Mans prototypes, which he assumed responsibility for in 2013. “In the WEC, the competition has become tougher, better, more demanding and more effective in terms of public visibility year by year. That’s a challenge which is great fun and calls for plenty of positive energy,” Reinke is pleased to say, although this makes his everyday work increasingly intensive. To achieve his work-life balance, the father of three daughters preferably spends time with his family or riding his mountain bike to stay fit.

Super GT: Stéphane Ortelli joins Hitotsuyama Racing for endurance events in Japan

By Johan Laubscher

On Wednesday Hitotsuyama Racing announced that they will be returning to the 2015 Super GT with support from W Racing (WRT) from Belgium.

The Japanese Audi Sport customer racing team will be entering one Audi R8 LMS ultra with the 2014 driving duo of Richard Lyons and Tomonobu Fujii. It was mentioned that they will be joined by a third driver who could possibly be an Audi factory driver.

On Friday it was announced that a driver with extensive Audi R8 LMS ultra experience and a very strong track record with WRT will be joining the team in Japan - none other than Stéphane Ortelli.

He will be joining Audi Team Hitotsuyama for the endurance events this year, rounds two and five, the Fuji 500 km and the Suzuka 1000 km.

The 2015 Super GT season will get underway at Okayama from 4-5 April.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: GMG Racing testing Sofronas' blue Audi R8 LMS ultra at The Thermal Club

By Johan Laubscher

It has been a busy week of testing for GMG Racing. The team was testing with Alex Welch's Audi R8 LMS ultra at the Circuit of The Americas earlier this week and then also went to the Thermal Club for further testing towards the end of the week.

The testing at the Thermal Club included James Sofronas in his newly re-coloured Audi R8 LMS ultra, now sporting a blue colour-scheme. Sofronas also had his first taste of the new Huracan Super Trofeo during the day's proceedings.

The 2015 Pirelli World Challenge will be getting underway at the Circuit of The Americas from 6-8 March.

Photo credit: GK Systems

Interview with Audi Sport TT Cup driver Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky - Part 2

By Tarek Ramchani

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky is a young and talented driver from Sweden. She has successfully competed in the Volkswagen Sicrocco R-Cup taking a great win in this demanding single make series. Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky will compete in the newly formed Audi Sport TT Cup this year.

We were pleased to have an interview with Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky. A very interesting Q/A about her 2014 season in the Volkswagen Sicrocco R-Cup, her expectations for 2015 and more.

You can follow Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky racing news and updates on her official Facebook page, and her official Twitter account.

This is part two of the interview (Part one is here).

How great is for the Audi Sport TT Cup to share the weekends with a prestigious championship like the DTM?

Is one of the most important things in the Cup. Both regarding spectators, and also to get the chance to “show yourself” in the same area as your goal (DTM) is.

What are your targets for the upcoming 2015 season?

Like I said before, my goal is to do my own best, and hopefully that results in even results during the year, and to be a top driver.

Which race track is your favourite? 

A driver always likes the tracks where they’ve made good results, so for me of course Norisring is one of my favourites, but I also like “hilly” tracks like Red Bull Ring and Nürburgring.

You did some rallycross events in the past. How about a ride with EKS RX Audi team in FIA World Rallycross Championship?

That would be so fun! I really enjoyed testing RX, so if I’d get that opportunity I would definitely not say no to it!

Looking at Audi's full factory motorsport effort, do you prefer FIA WEC/Le Mans 24 Hours or the DTM?

Same here, I wouldn’t say no to anything if I would get the great chance to do one of these events, but my goal is definitely the DTM.

What are your dreams for the future within your motor racing career?

To drive the DTM, and to be a top driver there. That’s my dream.

Photo credit: Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky / Audi MediaVolkwagen Motorsport

Australian GT: Impressive qualifying and Trophy class pole position for Audi teams at Adelaide

By Tarek Ramchani

The 2015 Australian GT Championship has started at Adelaide, the opening round supporting the prestigious V8 Supercars. Six Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars are taking part in the event showing great performances and strong pace.

The Audi Sport customer racing and Melbourne Performance Centre squad performed very well in all of the free practice sessions and was able to do the same in the official qualifying session. A total of three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars made it into the Top 5 in qualifying.

Audi factory GT driver, Christopher Mies, took a very strong second place after a thrilling qualifying session. The #74 Audi R8 LMS ultra from JAMEC-PEM Racing set a best time of 1:21.53, only 0.0465s behind the pole setting Ferrari 458 GT3. Christopher Mies is sharing his Audi with Greg Crick.

Another Audi performing well was the #6 R8 LMS ultra from Skwirk/Beechwood Homes. Nathan Antunes took a very strong fourth place overall.

Steven McLaughlan and Steven Johnson, with the second entry from JAMEC-PEM Racing, were fifth fastest driving the #75 Audi R8 LMS ultra.

A very strong performance from Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer, they took the Trophy class pole position and a fine eighth place overall. The two drivers are sharing the #38 Audi R8 LMS from Greg Taylor Racing.

The remaining two Audis were outside the Top 10. Peter Fitzgerald driving the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra Eva Racing/Evolve Technik was eleventh. Mark Griffith behind the wheel of the #19 Audi R8 LMS of Griffith Corporation Motorsport was eighteenth.

Photo credit: Christopher Mies / Australian GT

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: JCR Motorsports Announces Two-Car Program for 2015

JCR Motorsports Press Release

Milwaukee, WI – Feb 25, 2015 -JCR Motorsports announced today their return to Pirelli World Challenge competition with a two-car, two-class effort. Series veteran, team owner and driver of the No. 99 Kenda Tire/ Audi R8 Ultra Jeff Courtney will return to GT-A class competition while teammate Mitch Landry will take on the newly formed Porsche GT Cup class in his #97 Landry Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car.

Courtney ran successfully in the initial season of GT-A competition, achieving fifth overall in the Championship point’s standings. Courtney proved to be a strong GT-A competitor, achieving four podium finishes in twelve races including a third place at the Long Beach Grand Prix, two third place finishes at Road America and a second place finish at Sonoma.  Courtney brings a wealth of knowledge to the table regarding the Audi platform and GTA class racing.

“After about one and one-half seasons with our R8 I believe we have learned quite a bit,” said Courtney. “I believe we have the right engineering and crew in place this season to put us in a better position than ever to be more competitive.  We are very happy and thankful to have all of our sponsors returning, including our main sponsors, Kenda Tire and We hope to make a strong run for the GT-A Championship.”

Former GTS competitor Mitch Landry will transition to the all-new Porsche GT Cup Class. Landry entered Pirelli World Challenge competition in the 2013 season and campaigned a Ford Mustang for two years achieving multiple top-ten finishes. Landry placed a competitive twelfth-place overall in the 2014 GTS Championship.

Landry is no stranger to the Porsche GT Cup class platform as he competed for two years in the IMSA GT Cup Challenge and finished third overall in 2011.

“We are looking forward to working with Jeff and the JCR Motorsports team,” said Landry. “I would like to thank my sponsors and family at Deep South and VersaCrane for allowing me the opportunity to race. The new Porsche GT3 Cup car is awesome to drive and the dependability is unmatched.  I hope to give the young guns some competition, as it looks like I will be the senior of the group - and to have some fun in the process.”

The Pirelli World Challenge 2015 season begins at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on March 6-8. Circuit of the Americas is a 3.4 mile track designed with Formula 1 in mind. The circuit includes 20 technical turns and dramatic elevation changes, notably a 133-foot climb that preludes Turn 1.

Live streaming will be available at Streaming for GT/GT-A/GT Cup Round 1 begins on Saturday, March 7 at 3:50 PM ET. Round 2 of GT/GT-A/GT Cup competition can be streamed live on Sunday, March 8 at 2:50 PM ET. Both races will be broadcasted on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, March 14 at 11:00 AM ET.

Photo credit: JCR Motorsports