​Audi ready for DTM race at Lausitzring

The first four races of the new season saw four different winners. Drivers from all three brands – Paul Di Resta (Mercedes-Benz/43 points), Edoardo Mortara (Audi/40 points) and Timo Glock (BMW/37 points) – are heading the standings, separated by only small gaps. And the field as a whole has moved closer together as well: at Spielberg, all 24 cars were ultimately within just 0.640 seconds of each other in qualifying.

“By now, it’s become nearly impossible to make any predictions,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “An assessment is extremely difficult this year. We’ve already been seeing a number of surprises in the first two events. We’re determined to deliver a similarly strong performance as last year at the Lausitzring. But it would be totally wrong to travel to Lausitz with too much self-confidence.”

Last year, Audi had a picture-perfect weekend at the Lausitzring located some 140 kilometers south of Berlin. In race one on Saturday, a one-two-three-four win was achieved and in race two on Sunday, even five Audi RS 5 DTM cars took the top five spots. Mike Rockenfeller in the Schaeffler Audi RS 5 DTM is holding the track record in the race (1m 18.268s) and Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM set the best time ever achieved in the DTM (1m 17.386s).

Green was the “high flyer” at Lausitz last year. The Briton won both races in commanding style and in Sunday’s second qualifying session caused a stir with a sensational lap on which he outperformed the second-fastest driver by more than half a second – a world of difference in the DTM.

With a pole position and a third place in race two at Spielberg Green has returned to the group of front runners in the DTM following a difficult start of the season. The same is true for Mattias Ekström (Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM) who will be in the spotlight at the Lausitzring as well. In 17 events on the East German race track to date, the Swede has managed to score two victories and nine podium finishes – including his first ever DTM podium 16 years ago. 

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 19/2016

Albuquerque and Mapelli win in Italy

Podium and victory for the Audi R8 LMS on the second weekend of the Italian GT Championship at Imola: In race one, Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli in their R8 LMS from Audi Sport Italia took third place following a puncture. Due to a rival’s exclusion from the classification, they advanced to second place. The second race was stopped after only eleven laps, due to a storm and Albuquerque and Mapelli were classified as the winners. In the GT3 category, their teammates Emanuele Zonzini and Matias Russo, who had finished the first race in third place, triumphed. In the Super GT classification, Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Mapelli will be traveling to round three at Misano in third place, trailing the leaders of the standings with a one-point deficit.

Mattias Ekström dominates FIA World Rallycross Championship

Mattias Ekström remains the dominant campaigner in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Following his celebrated successes at the Hockenheimring and in Belgium, the Swedish Audi driver won the round in the “Home of Rallycross” at Lydden Hill in the UK. After a clear victory in the semi-final, Ekström in a dramatic final defeated reigning World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. The 37-year-old, after four of twelve rounds, is now leading the drivers’ classification, trailed by Solberg, with a five-point advantage. Ekström’s team, EKS, extended its lead of the teams’ standings in the World Rallycross Championship to 56 points.

Audi customer team in second place in Australia

Podium success in the Australian GT Championship: Steven McLaughlan and Garth Tander in an Audi R8 LMS of Audi customer team Jamec Pem Racing in race two of round four at Phillip Island advanced to second overall and to third place in the championship standings. DTM driver Miguel Molina, who competed in Down Under standing in for the current champion, Christopher Mies, experienced a difficult weekend in his second race in an Audi R8 LMS and, alongside Tony Bates in the team of Jamec Pem Racing, recorded a retirement and an eleventh place.

Kyle Marcelli on podium in the United States

Just a week after his third place in Canada, Kyle Marcelli in his Audi R8 LMS ultra finished on podium again in the Pirelli World Challenge. In rounds ten and eleven of the season at Lime Rock, the driver from the CRP Racing Audi customer team took a sseconds and a third place.

Two Audi R8 cars rolled into one

Spectators visiting Audi marveled at an unusual attraction featured at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Parked at the entrance to the Audi Sport Hospitality was a model representing a production R8 on the passenger’s side and the R8 LMS race car on the driver’s side. The Audi R8 Transformer split lengthwise perfectly symbolizes the claim of “Born on the track. Built for the road.” The double R8 was created in a mere four weeks. Seven budding automotive mechatronics specialists from the Audi Academy Ingolstadt built the model together with their trainer, Gerald Knispel. “Our intent was to show the direct link between motorsport and production in this special exhibit,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. The road-going production model and the race car are produced at Audi’s Böllinger Höfe site and share 50 percent of all their components.

Audi Sport TT Cup drivers catch a whiff of GT air

Audi Sport TT Cup drivers Max Hofer and Joonas Lappalainen paid a visit to Markus Winkelhock during the events of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. The instructor and coach from the Audi one-make cup gave the two young talents some insight into the near-580-hp Audi R8 LMS in which he contested the classic endurance race in the Eifel. Talents in the Audi Sport TT Cup aspire to a promotion to Audi’s GT program. Three drivers, Jan Kisiel (Audi R8 LMS Cup), Nicolaj Møller Madsen (Blancpain Sprint Series) and Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky (ADAC GT Masters), from last year managed the leap into GT racing. The supporting program of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring also included two rounds of the Audi Sport TT Cup.

Van der Linde family united at the Nürburgring

Big family reunion on the occasion of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring: 19-year-old Kelvin van der Linde, who is racing again in an Audi R8 LMS in the ADAC GT Masters this year, was on the grid of the iconic endurance race twice around the clock. His brother Sheldon, who is two years younger, battled for points in the overall classification of the Audi Sport TT Cup. The Audi one-make cup, which serves as an opportunity to enter the motorsport world of the brand with the four rings, was held for the first time as part of the supporting program of the 24-hour race this year. The two talents received moral support and tips from their father, Shaun, the 1994 Champion in the South African Super Touring Car Championship.

Audi experiences disappointment in the Eifel

The setbacks suffered by the other Audi squads showed how treacherous the conditions were. Following the interruption of the race in the early stage due to heavy rain and hail, Alex Yoong (MAL), with the Audi race experience, had an accident at night in slightly foggy conditions. In the early morning hours, misfortune struck last year’s winner Nico Müller (CH) from Audi Sport Team WRT. He had to evade a rival standing in the opposite direction of traffic and touched the guard rail. The subsequent repair took three hours. Only three laps later, there was a misunderstanding when two-time winner Markus Winkelhock (D) from Audi Sport Team Phoenix hit the Audi of Connor De Phillippi (USA) from Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport. Both cars could not be repaired anymore. An incident of contact between a rival and experienced campaigner Frank Stippler (D) in the number “5” Audi deprived Phoenix Racing of a top-6 result shortly before the end of the race.

Two all-privateer driver teams were happy about their positions in the top 20. Christian Bollrath/Maximilian Hackländer/Ralf Oeverhaus/Micke Ohlsson (D/D/D/S) achieved 14th place with the Audi race experience. Team Car Collection Motorsport was on the Nürburgring grid with Audi for the first time and, with Ronnie Saurenmann/Peter Schmidt/Andreas Ziegler (D/D/D), advanced to position 18.

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Race results 

1 Christodoulou/Engel/Metzger/Schneider (Mercedes), 134 laps

2 Hohenadel/Seefried/Vietoris/van der Zande (Mercedes) +5.697s

3 Alzen/Arnold/Götz/Seyffarth (Mercedes) –1 lap

4 Buurman/Engel/Haupt/Müller (Mercedes) –1 lap

5 Eng/Martin/Sims/Werner (BMW) –1 lap

6 Asch/Heyer/Keilwitz/Ludwig (Mercedes) –3 laps

7 Brück/Hamprecht/Menzel/Smith (Bentley) –3 laps

8 Frijns/Leonard/Sandström/Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS) –4 laps

9 Dumbreck/Henzler/Imperatori/Ragginger (Porsche) –4 laps

10 Busch/Busch/Mamerow/Rast (Audi R8 LMS) –4 laps

14 Bollrath/Hackländer/Oeverhaus/Ohlsson (Audi R8 LMS) –9 laps

18 Saurenmann/Schmidt/Ziegler (Audi R8 LMS) –11 laps

46 Kaffer/Mies/Müller/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS) –25 laps

Marschall and van der Linde triumph in Audi Sport TT Cup at the Nürburgring

Following the rookies’ strong debut at Hockenheim, in which the newcomers took three in six possible podium places, the seasoned campaigners struck back at the Nürburgring. In race one on Friday, three drivers, Marschall, Joonas Lappalainen (FIN) and Christoph Hofbauer (D), who had been on the grid in the Audi Sport TT Cup last year, mounted the podium. On Saturday, van der Linde’s time came again. The double winner from the Hockenheim season opener started from pole position and, following a fierce but always fair duel with Marschall, went on to cross the finish line in first place. Lappalainen completed the podium in position three.

“We again saw two riveting races today,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. The competitiveness in the Audi Sport TT Cup is impressive and I’m very much looking forward to the cup’s home round at the Norisring.” In the overall classification of the Audi Sport TT Cup, van der Linde, after two of seven race weekends, has a score of 87 points and leads the standings with a six-point advantage over the runner-up, Marschall. Lappalainen trails them in third place with 73 points. Round three of the Audi Sport TT Cup will be held as part of the DTM at the Norisring from June 24 to 26.

Audi well prepared for Nürburgring 24 Hours

Three teams had previously secured their grid positions in the second qualifying session. The Audi race experience is entering the race with both R8 LMS cars from rows 18 and 19. Christian Bollrath/Maximilian Hackländer/Ralf Oeverhaus/Micke Ohlsson (D/D/D/S) qualified for position 36 ahead of their teammates Franky Cheng/Marchy Lee/Shaun Thong/Alex Yoong (CN/HK/HK/MAL). Starting from position 46 will be Ronnie Saurenmann/Peter Schmidt/Andreas Ziegler (CH/D/D) in the Audi R8 LMS of Car Collection Motorsport.

The starting flag will fall on Saturday, May 28, at 15:30. RTL Nitro will broadcast the race for nearly 26 hours, starting at 15:00 (CEST). At www.audi-motorsport.com, fans can even watch the race from four perspectives. In addition to the TV view, Audi is offering on-board footage of Audi Sport Team WRT (#1 Pierre Kaffer/Christopher Mies/Nico Müller/Laurens Vanthoor (D/D/CH/B), Audi Sport Team Phoenix (#6 Christopher Haase/René Rast/Frank Stippler/Markus Winkelhock (D/D/D/D) and montaplast by Land-Motorsport (#28 Marc Basseng/Connor De Phillippi/Mike Rockenfeller/Timo Scheider (D/USA/D/D).

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Qualifying results 

1 Maro Engel (Mercedes #9) 8m 14.515s

2 Augusto Farfus (BMW #18) 8m 16.146s

3 Maximilian Götz (Mercedes #88) 8m 18.380s

4 Uwe Alzen (Mercedes #8) 8m 18.530s

5 Frank Stippler (Audi #5) 8m 19.138s

6 Christian Krognes (BMW #999) 8m 19.390s

7 Nicki Catsburg (BMW #22) 8m 19.862s

8 Nicki Thiim (Aston Martin #7) 8m 20.332s

9 Christian Hohenadel (Mercedes #29) 8m 20.514s

10 Robin Frijns (Audi #2) 8m 20.662s