World soccer stars in Audi Cup 2015

Four matches with top-flight soccer clubs on two days – that’s the Audi Cup. Four big names in international soccer will be meeting at the Munich Allianz Arena on August 4 and 5 at the event billed as ‘In close touch with the best.’ The teams that have been confirmed to date are FC Bayern München and Real Madrid CF. Advance ticket sales on www.audicup.com are beginning today, with one-day ticket prices starting at only 20 euros.

This year’s event marks the fourth edition of the tournament that celebrated its premiere in 2009 on the occasion of the festivities for the 100th anniversary of the Audi brand. Held at two-year intervals, the Audi Cup has since become established as one of the most important tournaments in preparation of the European soccer season. Real Madrid CF will be competing in Munich under the banner of the four rings for the first time. The other two teams will be announced immediately following the end of the European league seasons at the beginning of June.

The time-tested format of the Audi Cup has remained unchanged. On Tuesday, August 4, the two semi-final meetings will be held. The losers of these matches will be playing for third place on Wednesday, August 5, before the winners meet in the final. The kickoff times on both days will be 18.15 and 20.45. As a result, the spectators at the Allianz Arena will be seeing all four clubs on both match days. The winners’ well-deserved reward: the 60 centimeter tall aluminum trophy designed by Audi.

Arjen Robben, Mario Götze, Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos or Iker Casillas – these are just some of the big names in the participants’ squads that will be breathing life into the ‘In close touch with the best’ motto of the Audi Cup again this year.

Tickets for the Audi Cup can now be purchased at www.audicup.com. One-day tickets giving spectators the opportunity to watch two games live start selling for as little as 20 euros. Information about the Audi Cup and Audi’s commitment in soccer is available at www.facebook.com/Audi.Football as well.

Break lounges in production areas at Audi

Factory workers at Audi will soon be spending their breaks in a more relaxing way. The company has designed new group corners and break rooms for both of its production plants in Germany, together with the faculties for wood engineering and interior design of Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences. The design and modular construction of the employee lounges are unique in the automobile industry.

The approximately 27,000 employees at Audi’s production facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm spend time in the group corners every day. Eight to twelve colleagues on a shift have their breaks there – close to the assembly lines. The concept of the new employee lounges is modular – like the cars from Audi. Nearly all components can be flexibly combined and exchanged. The type of partition can be adapted to the surroundings: wooden panels, panes of glass or magnetic boards. The employee lounges will be installed as standard in the Audi plants in Germany. In addition to the group corners, the company is applying the new concept also to the break rooms – as an option with a lounge area with low tables and comfortable chairs.

Audi will install the new group corners and break rooms in its new production buildings and assembly sections. “We have ultramodern production facilities with pioneering technologies. With the new employee lounges, we have put an innovative concept into the production halls for our workforce. Their variable design allows us to adapt them to the various conditions and requirements of the assembly lines,” stated Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl.

Audi’s Board of Management Member for Human Resources Prof. h.c. Thomas Sigi said: “Our goal is to be an attractive employer all over the world – so we naturally want to offer a working environment that is pleasant and motivating. Especially in our group corners and break rooms, it is important that our employees feel at ease.” Peter Mosch, the Chairman of Audi’s Group Works Council, added: “Everyone knows how important it is to take breaks during a working day and to recharge one’s batteries. The more pleasant the atmosphere is in the break rooms, the better one can regenerate and return to the next phase of work.”

The redesign of the space for relaxation is the result of an initiative of the plant directors in Ingolstadt und Neckarsulm, Peter Kössler and Fred Schulze. Audi employees in production and planning and the Works Council cooperated with the faculty for interior design and the faculty for wood engineering and construction of the Rosenheim University of Applied Sciences in both the planning and the prototype phase.

Quotes following the Nürburgring 24 Hours

Christopher Mies/Nico Müller/Edward Sandström/Laurens Vanthoor (D/CH/S/B) were delighted about their first victory in the endurance race in the Eifel.

Romolo Liebchen (Head of Audi Sport customer racing): “The narrow gaps shown by the results can only give a vague idea of how thrilling GT3 racing is at the moment. We’ve experienced a weekend full of emotions, with months of hard work behind us, and all this has culminated in a hard-fought victory. ‘Thank you’ to everyone at Audi and Audi Sport customer racing, to all the teams and the drivers. This has been a solid performance. The career of the new Audi R8 LMS couldn’t have begun any better. Sincere congratulations to the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT and to our four drivers Christopher Mies, Nico Müller, Edward Sandström and Laurens Vanthoor who’ve won this race for the first time.”

Christopher Mies: “It was a tough race and a close battle with BMW and Porsche. The new Audi R8 LMS was running well. There wasn’t even the slightest problem. But during the night we lost three to four minutes due to a yellow period and, as a result, our advantage was gone. Afterwards, we really had to battle hard. BMW put us under a lot of pressure. The car was running superbly and the pit stops were brilliant. That was enough for us to win in the end with a 40-second advantage.”

Nico Müller: “It’s incredible. My three team-mates, Chris (Mies), Edward (Sandström) and Laurens (Vanthoor), did an awesome job. The team made no mistakes throughout the race and our car was running superbly. This was the first 24-hour race for the new Audi R8 LMS – and we made it across the whole distance without any problems, especially at such high speed. We were constantly under pressure and always had to give everything. This victory is a sweet reward for everyone.”

Edward Sandström: “It was a tough race with many good teams and difficult weather conditions. My friends from the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, just like Audi Sport customer racing, did a perfect job. The team performance simply fit. The new car meant a lot of work for all of us, which paid off. Driving a whole 24-hour race without the slightest problem deserves a lot of respect.”

Laurens Vanthoor: “These were the kinds of conditions that are so typical for the Green Hell – patches of rain and a dark sky early on Saturday night. It was difficult. We were set on making it through the night unharmed and managed to do this. Afterwards, the race turned into a sprint. For me, the first victory in the new R8 LMS will be an unforgettable experience. The car has instantly been reliable. This shows how well the whole Audi squad has been working. ‘Thank you’ for this.”

New Audi R8 LMS wins Nürburgring 24 Hours

The Audi R8 LMS managed a brilliant 24-hour racing debut by clinching victory at the Nürburgring. Audi only unveiled its GT3 race car ten weeks ago – now the production-based sports car impressed in a tough battle that lasted up to the last hour of the race. In the end, Audi Sport Team WRT with Christopher Mies/Nico Müller/Edward Sandström/Laurens Vanthoor (D/CH/S/B) was 40 seconds faster than the BMW Team Marc VDS.

The battle for victory in the Eifel endurance race has not been as thrilling as this in a long time. During the 24 hours the lead changed 35 times – a record in the event that has been held since 1970. After the race’s midpoint, either the number ‘28’ R8 LMS or its fiercest rival was running in front, depending on the pit stop sequence. In the end, the Belgian Audi team prevailed with a concentrated performance of its drivers and solid teamwork. Vincent Vosse’s squad and each of the four race drivers celebrated their first victory in this classic event.

“This was a weekend of thrilling racing, as well as an intense and nerve-wracking one,” said Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Sincere congratulations to our winners who never lost their cool even in the face of some minor irregularities and held up to the pressure. The whole squad of Audi Sport customer racing is happy to see the new R8 LMS instantly delivering on our promise of it being a competitive, attractive and reliable race car our customers can look forward to starting this fall.”

Vincent Vosse was delighted about another success of his young team: “We’ve already won the Spa 24 Hours with Audi and now we achieved success on the Nürburgring as well. My thanks for this go to a motivated squad, four talented drivers and to Audi Sport customer racing for their solid support. We’re very happy that we can thank Audi by taking the first 24-hour victory of the new race car.”

About 50 percent of the GT3 race car is based on its production counterpart it simultaneously celebrated its debut with in March at the Geneva Motor Show. Four new Audi R8 LMS cars were on the grid of the 24-hour race. Last year’s winners Christopher Haase/Christian Mamerow/René Rast/Markus Winkelhock in car number ‘1’ of Audi Sport Team Phoenix led the race several times but were forced to retire following an accident by Christian Mamerow. The German was hospitalized for observation. In the sister car, number ‘4,’ Mike Rockenfeller spun on track due to an oil spill shortly before the race’s midpoint. He was hit by another car that was following him, causing damage to the Audi that was too severe for continuing the race.

The second race car of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT saw the checkered flag in seventh place. Accident damage had caused Pierre Kaffer (D) and his team-mates Christer Jöns (D), Nicki Thiim (DK) and Laurens Vanthoor (B) to lose three laps in the early stage. However, with good lap times, this driver quartet proved the competitiveness of the Audi R8 LMS as well.

The time-tested Audi R8 LMS ultra model – the 2012 and 2014 winner of the Nürburgring 24 Hours – completed the good result. Team Twin Busch Motorsport with Dennis Busch/Marc Busch/Christiaan Frankenhout (D/D/NL) saw the finish in 11th place, followed by the Audi race experience. The Asian driver line-up of Franky Congfu Cheng/Marchy Lee/Shaun Thong/Alex Yoong (CN/HK/HK/MAL) achieved 12th place whereas the sister car retired after an accident.

Race results

1 Mies/Müller/Sandström/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS), 156 laps
2 Luhr/Martin/Palttala/Westbrook (BMW) + 40.729s
3 Dumbreck/Henzler/Imperatori/Ragginger (Porsche) – 1 lap
4 Adorf/Catsburg/Farfus/Müller (BMW) – 1 lap
5 Buurman/Al Faisal/Haupt/van Lagen (Mercedes) – 1 lap
6 Cerruti/Edwards/Keilwitz/Laser (BMW) – 3 laps
7 Jöns/Kaffer/Thiim/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS) – 3 laps
8 Brück/Primat/Schmid/Seefried (Bentley) – 5 laps
9 Buncombe/Hoshino/Krumm/Ordonez (Nissan) – 5 laps
10 Heyer/Huff/Frommenwiler/Krognes (Mercedes) – 5 laps
11 Busch/Busch/Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra) – 7 laps
12 Cheng/Lee/Thong/Yoong (Audi R8 LMS ultra) – 8 laps

All four Audi R8 LMS cars on the first five rows of the grid for the Nürburgring 24 Hours

The new Audi R8 LMS has passed its initial ‘field assessment’ in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. With a gap of only 1.6 seconds, Pierre Kaffer (D) for Audi Sport Team WRT achieved fifth place in the individual time trials of the top-30 qualifying session. His team-mate Nico Müller (CH) trailed him by merely 0.379 seconds on the 25.378-kilometer Nordschleife. Audi Sport Team Phoenix completed the results in positions nine and ten.

The Audi teams thoroughly prepared for the demanding endurance race and used the practice sessions to set up the Audi R8 LMS for the Nordschleife in different weather conditions. “I’d like to thank Audi Sport customer racing and Audi Sport Team WRT that did an excellent job of developing and preparing the Audi R8 LMS,” said Pierre Kaffer. “My first lap in qualifying was good and I even improved some more on the second lap. But contesting the race as a balanced driver squad is a lot more important than a single fast lap.” For the professional race driver from Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, things will have come full circle in this race. “In 1994, I was working on Kurt Thiim’s race car as a mechanic. Now I’m racing together with his son, Nicki Thiim, who was five years old back then, for the first time. Christer Jöns and Laurens Vanthoor are completing our squad.” Vanthoor (B) is also competing in the sister car with Nico Müller (CH), Christopher Mies (D) and Edward Sandström (S).

René Rast (D) took ninth place for Audi Sport Team Phoenix, trailed in tenth place by Frank Stippler (D) with a gap of merely 30 thousandths of a second. As a result, all four of the new Audi R8 LMS cars have qualified in the group of the ten best race cars. “The extremely narrow gaps show that the cars of the best teams are very balanced with respect to a lap,” says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “But the picture in the race will be determined by additional factors. We’re competing with a fundamentally new race car, whereas our rivals are intimately familiar with their cars which they’ve been racing for years. We did everything to thoroughly prepare for the first 24-hour race of our new GT3 model. But with the benefit of plenty of experience on the Nordschleife we also know how unpredictable and tough this race is. We have strong rivals whose performances we greatly respect.”

Three other Audi driver squads are completing the line-up of the Audi Sport customer racing teams. In the combination of the first two qualifying sessions, Team Twin Busch Motorsport took 23rd place. The Audi race experience with Franky Cheng (CN), Marchy Lee (HK), Shaun Thong (HK) und Alex Yoong (MAL) achieved 24th place and the sister car with Niki Mayr-Melnhof (A), Micke Ohlsson (S), Rod Salmon (AUS) and Ronnie Saurenmann (CH) took 28th place. The 43rd running of the 24-hour race will start on Saturday at 16.00, local time, with more than 13 hours of live coverage to be aired by the TV channel Sport1.

Qualifying results

1 Augusto Farfus (BMW #26) 8m 17.394s
2 Adam Christodoulou (Mercedes #2) 8m 18.341s
3 Jens Klingmann (BMW #20) 8m 18.814s
4 Dirk Müller (BMW #19) 8m 18.886s
5 Pierre Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS #29) 8m 19.058s
6 Maxime Martin (BMW #25) 8m 19.323s
7 Nico Müller (Audi R8 LMS #28) 8m 19.437s
8 Lance David Arnold (Bentley #84) 8m 19.592s
9 René Rast (Audi R8 LMS #1) 8m 19.766s
10 Frank Stippler (Audi R8 LMS #4) 8m 19.796s