Audi extends involvement in the Bayreuth Festival with modern art film project

Appearing in the film, among others, are Icelandic actor Tómas Lemarquis, Jacques Palminger, a member of the Hamburg music trio “Studio-Braun,” and electroclash singer Peaches, as well as actor Volker Spengler, known from his Fassbinder films, and Sven Marquardt, a doorman at the Berghain techno club. The modern staging, with music based on Wagner’s leitmotifs as composed by Moritz von Oswald, translate the old “Parsifal” for today.

With its sponsorship of the Bayreuth Festival, Audi is fostering culture of the highest order, and with “Black Mountain,” is closing the gap between the “Wagner for Kids” project for young talent and grand opera. “We highly value the special commitment of our main sponsor Audi and hope they are successful in also appealing to the interests of a new target group for the works of Wagner by supporting this type of artistic innovation,” said Katharina Wagner, Artistic Director of the Bayreuth Festival.

“With ‘Black Mountain’ we have added a progressive element to our sponsorship of the Bayreuth Festival. We are giving creative artists freedom to completely reconstruct Richard Wagner’s Parsifal. The result is a high-caliber work of art that introduces various generations to Wagner’s work in a modern way,” said Wayne Griffiths, Head of Sales Germany at AUDI AG. “In addition, Audi will be appearing for three weeks in Berlin’s gallery scene with the supporting exhibition ‘Black Mountain X Fragments’.”

Audi Motorsport Newsletter 22/2016

VLN: Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi win for Land-Motorsport

In extremely difficult conditions with fog and heavy rain, Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport celebrated its 20th victory in the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring. Christopher Mies and Connor De Phillippi, who had started the race in an Audi R8 LMS from pole position, were running in second place up to the final stage. In the last 30 minutes of the four-hour race, Christopher Mies with consistently fast lap times took the lead and crossed the finish line as the winner with more than a two-minute advantage.

Audi customer team on podium at Le Castellet

A podium place was achieved by Filipe Albuquerque, Rodrigo Baptista and Blancpain GT rookie Jan Magnussen in round three of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup season at Le Castellet, France. The trio had started the six-hour race from grid position 20 in an Audi R8 LMS of Belgian Audi Club Team WRT. With a strong and impeccable recovery and a good strategy Albuquerque, Baptista and Magnussen went on to claim third place.

Prominent guests visit DTM at the Norisring

During its DTM home round at the Norisring, Audi welcomed numerous well-known guests. Slalom ace Fritz Dopfer and soccer player Dominik Kohr from FC Augsburg would not miss the opportunity of chauffeuring several Audi DTM campaigners during the driver parade. Conversely, it was TV host Oliver Pocher who got to enjoy a ride in the Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. Also at the venue in Nuremberg were actor Frederick Lau, Bundesliga player Josip Drmic and YouTuber Tom Shuffle.

Employees and partners support Audi at Norisring

During the DTM home round at the Norisring, Audi Sport teams and race drivers enjoyed support in large numbers. More than 1,000 Audi employees kept their fingers crossed at the venue. From the Schaeffler Group, some 1,000 employees traveled to the Norisring as well and gave Mike Rockenfeller a special welcome. The company based in Herzogenaurach is one of Audi’s partners in the DTM. The Hoffmann Group was present at the Nuremberg city street race as well. Some 900 employees of the tool specialist rooted particularly for Jamie Green in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM.

Audi Sport Team Rosberg visits Hoffmann Group

Before the race weekend at the Norisring, an interesting visit was on Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s agenda. The DTM team took a tour of the logistics center for tools of the Hoffmann Group in Nuremberg, which is regarded as the largest and most modern one of its kind in Europe. Up to 60,000 items per day are processed there. Team Director Arno Zensen was obviously impressed following the tour of the 36,000-square meter warehouse. “The dimensions are remarkable. In addition, we were fascinated by the voice-controlled order picking technology being used here. The visit was a great opportunity in every respect,” said Zensen whose team is fielding the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Jamie Green.

Nico Müller gains first sailing experience in Audi ultra Cup

During his visit to the “Kieler Woche” sailing event, Nico Müller gained racing experience on unfamiliar terrain: The DTM driver competed in the fourth edition of the Audi ultra Cup with a J/70 keel boat for the “Audi Sport” team. Together with Le Mans record holder Tom Kristensen, Max Christiansen from FC Ingolstadt 04 and helmsman Oliver Schwall, the Swiss sailed in a thrilling regatta and finished runner-up. “Despite there not being much wind, it was quite exhausting. I had a lot of fun and I would love to come back and take part again, if the opportunity arises,” said Müller.

Fascinating motorsport at Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the south of England, spectators experienced sheer motorsport flair. At the tradition-steeped British event, five-time Le Mans winner Frank Biela drove the Audi V8 quattro DTM in which he had won the DTM 25 years ago. Together with Audi Sport Ambassador Emanuele Pirro and Oliver Jarvis, who took third place in the Le Mans 24 Hours last weekend, he signed autographs and posed for pictures. The popular Pink Floyd drummer and car enthusiast Nick Mason drove an Auto Union Type C, the most successful model of the Auto Union Silver Arrows before World War II. DTM star Mattias Ekström’s rallycross team was represented at Goodwood as well. As Ekström was racing in the DTM at the Norisring at the same time, the Briton Andrew Jordan drove the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro.

Emotional farewell to Leena Gade

After the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi Sport Team Joest said goodbye to their long-standing race engineer Leena Gade. The British engineer has guided Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer three times to a Le Mans win, one world championship title and a total of ten race wins in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. She now switches to another brand within the Volkswagen Group. Ralf Jüttner, team director of Audi Sport Team Joest, thanked her with an extraordinary present: Leena Gade received the team’s 2011 Le Mans winner’s trophy. This was the first year that she won the endurance race for Audi with her driver combination. That race was exceptional as the winning margin of the only finishing Audi was a mere 13.854 seconds.

Representatives of Audi at FIA Sport Conference

Audi driver Lucas di Grassi, race engineer Leena Gade and the two long-standing Audi drivers Allan McNish and Emanuele Pirro were invited to speak at the FIA Sport Conference. In the Centro Congressi of Turin’s Lingotto district, the representatives of Audi shared their opinions on the past, present and future of motorsport in front of an eager and packed audience. They welcomed several hundred delegates from sports clubs from all over the world who continued the conference in plenary sessions and various seminars.

Race drivers root for teams in UEFA EURO 2016

One round-of-16 match in the UEFA EURO 2016 had special significance for the drivers from the Audi Sport TT Cup. The Pole Gosia Rdest and the Swiss Yves Meyer jointly watched the duel of their countries on television. Following victory of the Polish team on penalties Rdest was delighted. “I’ve been watching the European Championship with great interest and am very happy about victory for Poland,” said Rdest for whom the day thus ended on a positive note. In race one of the Audi Sport TT Cup at the Norisring, the 23-year-old was forced to retire after an accident in which she was not at fault.

Triple commitment for EKS

Mattias Ekström’s team had commitments at three venues this weekend. At the Norisring, the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, Mattias Ekström and Toomas Heikkinen visited the AUTO BILD MOTORSPORT Lounge. From there, Heikkinen directly traveled on to the Kieler Woche where the Finn took guests of Audi’s for rides in the near-600-hp rallycross car. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the British touring car campaigner Andrew Jordan drove an S1 of Team EKS.

Lucas di Grassi wins in Audi Sport TT Cup

On the challenging city street circuit in the Franconian metropolis, the young talents delivered top-class motorsport as part of the DTM’s supporting program. In race two on Sunday, four drivers battled for victory up to the finish line. In the end, Lucas di Grassi won with his wealth of experience. As the Brazilian was classified in the guest entrants’ group, Joonas Lappalainen, in second place, celebrated victory in the race – not a new experience for the Finn. In his triumphs in the 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup at the Hockenheimring, the 18-year-old saw the checkered flag behind guest entrants René Rast and Marco Bonanomi in both rounds and, as a result, secured the respective victories as well.

In round one on Saturday, Dennis Marschall had kept the upper hand. The young German who had started from pole position kept a cool head at all times in temperatures of about 30 degrees centigrade and clinched success in commanding style. “That was a fantastic weekend,” says Project Leader Philipp Mondelaers. “We not only saw superb motorsport in the Audi Sport TT Cup once more but, in Lucas di Grassi and Bundesliga coach Michael Henke, had two outstanding celebrities in our field as well.”

Thanks to Nico Müller: Audi wins again

Following “Forza Italia” with Edoardo Mortara’s victory on Saturday, it was “Hopp, Schwiiz!” on Sunday. In his 36th DTM race, the youngest Audi factory driver celebrated his first ever victory in the DTM. In front of an impressive crowd of 123,500 spectators (throughout the weekend), the Swiss at the wheel of his Playboy Audi RS 5 DTM delivered an impeccable performance on Sunday. Having started the race from grid position three, he improved to second place right in turn one. Subsequently, Müller put pressure on pole sitter Tom Blomqvist and overtook the BMW also thanks to a quicker pit stop. In the final stage, Müller controlled the pace and kept his cool even when a safety car period shortly before the finish ruined his advantage of 2.5 seconds.

“Winning my first DTM race for Audi here at the Norisring of all places is simply an incredible feeling,” said Müller, for whom two Bunnies of his sponsor, Playboy, kept their fingers crossed on Sunday as well. “Following the disappointing result yesterday, we made the right changes to the car. My RS 5 DTM was fantastic today and my pit stop was super-fast. Thank you to Audi Sport, thank you to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline and thank you to everyone who believed in me – first and foremost Dieter Gass! I’m overjoyed!”

Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, was happy for his protégé as well: “Nico (Müller) drove like an old hand today and showed why we took him on board at Audi. Nico has had a strong season so far and has now crowned it with his first victory in the DTM. That we’ve been able to win both races at the Norisring following a 14-year barren spell is fantastic. Obviously, it’s a shame that we lost a few points today. But we’re not going to let this spoil our partying mood in any way.”

With Saturday’s winner Edoardo Mortara in the Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM in position eight only one other Audi driver finished Sunday’s race in the points. The Italian trails the new front runner, Marco Wittmann (BMW), in second place of the standings with a two-point deficit. The teams’ standings are led by Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. In the manufacturers’ classification, Audi is in second place with a 34-point deficit.

Finally! Audi wins at the Norisring

With that, the Italian from Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline not only made thousands of Audi fans lining the city street circuit around Nuremberg’s Dutzendteich lake cheer. At the wheel of his Castrol EDGE Audi RS 5 DTM, he took the lead of the overall standings again as well and is the first driver to have won two DTM races this year. “Winning at the Norisring as an Audi driver is simply fantastic,” Mortara said after the hot battle at temperatures of about 30 degrees centigrade in the shade. “It was a difficult race because I had pressure from behind the whole time. That makes me all the happier.”

Jamie Green, on taking second place in the Hoffmann Group Audi RS 5 DTM of Audi Sport Team Rosberg, even perfected an Audi one-two. In a photo finish, the Briton crossed the finish line, trailing his brand colleague by just 0.531 seconds and 0.372 seconds ahead of Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta. “Obviously, I’d have liked to still attack Edo (Mortara), but I felt that was too risky because the rearward gap wasn’t very large,” said Green. “I didn’t want to jeopardize Audi’s victory.”

The Audi squad had laid the foundation for this triumph in qualifying. With Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green and Edoardo Mortara in grid positions two, three and six, three Audi RS 5 DTM cars started Saturday’s race from the first three rows.

In the first third of the race, it was initially Mattias Ekström who gave Audi fans rise to dream of victory. In his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM, the Swede fought duels with the two leading Mercedes-Benz cars. In an attempt to bump Robert Wickens from second place, on braking into turn one on lap 20, a collision occurred between Ekström and Wickens which caused Ekström to slide into the leader, Christian Vietoris. “I feel incredibly sorry for Christian,” said Ekström. “He was totally faultless in getting entangled in the tussle between me and Wickens.”

“That Mattias (Ekström) wouldn’t do anything like that on purpose should be clear to anyone,” said Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “We’d have preferred to celebrate our first Norisring victory since 2002 in a slightly different way. But ‘that’s racing.’ The collision between Wickens and Ekström was a racing accident of the kind that frequently happens at the Norisring. Eki has often thrilled us with his overtaking maneuvers. This time, it went wrong, which wasn’t his fault alone. We wouldn’t even be discussing it at all if it hadn’t affected a third driver, Christian Vietoris, who was not involved in the maneuver.”