Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler new Board Member for Technical Development at AUDI AG

Volkswagen CEO and Audi Supervisory Board Chairman Herbert Diess: “We deeply regret that Peter Mertens is stepping down from the Board of Management. We respect the reasons that led to his decision and wish him a full recovery.
Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler is an experienced expert who will continue to advance the transformation of Technical Development.”

Peter Mertens explains his decision in the following words: “Over the past 16 months, we have initiated a comprehensive transformation at Technical Development and started the future orientation of the division. This requires a high level of concentration, which I cannot fully manage in my situation. During this time, my health and my family have priority. I thank everyone at Audi for their commitment, their support and the great cooperation I have experienced during this time.”

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of AUDI AG: “We thank Peter Mertens for his outstanding commitment to our company. We expressly regret having to say farewell to such an innovative and inspiring executive. The entire Audi team wishes him all the very best. His successor as the new Board of Management member, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, must now continue with the consistent focus of the structures and processes of our Technical Development to ensure an employee-friendly transformation, because the know-how of our team is our <em>Vorsprung durch Technik</em>. In this way, Audi will continue to be the technological spearhead of the Volkswagen Group and will continue to set standards for cutting-edge automotive technologies.”

Volkswagen CEO and Audi Supervisory Board Chairman Herbert Diess: “Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler has gained a great deal of experience in his numerous responsible positions at the Group, which will help him to make a start quickly in his new position at Audi. His task will be to continue the transformation of Technical Development and to further advance along the path towards electric mobility.” According to the company’s plans, approximately 2,500 Technical Development employees will additionally be qualified in future fields such as electric mobility, piloted driving, connectivity and future vehicle concepts by the end of 2018.

Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler will take over the Technical Development division on November 1, 2018. He has been employed at the Volkswagen Group since 1986. Rothenpieler’s previous positions include Head of Vehicle Development at Skoda, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at the premium brand Bentley, and Member of the Board of Management for Development at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Since 2016, Rothenpieler has been Head of Group Quality Management at Volkswagen.

Audi wins Red Dot Design Award and German Design Award for digital planning tool

The digital planning assistant (dpa) is a new application for mobile devices such as the iPad. In the future, it will ease the work of product and production planners at Audi. The prototype of this app has now won two prestigious design awards: the Red Dot Design Award in the Communication Design category and the German Design Award.

In the future, the digital planning assistant will offer all Audi production and factory planning employees a shared working platform. For the first time, the app allows access to a uniform database that is always up to date, thus ensuring networked collaboration across various sites and departments. The app automatically calculates and recommends the most economical planning variants and documents decisions transparently. Thanks to the dpa, Audi’s planning will become more efficient and more effective in the future.

The prototype has been developed by an interdepartmental team over the past two years and Audi is already using it in part of the assembly planning for the A3 model in Ingolstadt. The jury members of the two renowned design awards were convinced above all by its intuitively designed user interface, which guides the user to the required information. The project team will receive the Red Dot Design Award in Berlin on October 26, 2018 and the German Design Award on February 8, 2019.

Since the beginning of the year, the project team has been working on a second version of the dpa with support from Audi IT experts. The common goal is to develop an application that is ready for series production and to deploy it throughout Audi in the future. 

Rallycross: U.S. premiere for EKS Audi Sport

Audi driver Mattias Ekström knows the Circuit of the Americas primarily as a race track for Formula One and MotoGP events. “So far, I’ve only seen the rallycross track during a Facebook Live Session of the American championship. It appears to be very compact and should suit our small car well. In addition, there seem to be a number of cool jumps,” says the race driver.

The United States is by no means new ground for Ekström. In 2010, the Swede raced as a guest in the American NASCAR series twice. Last weekend, he competed in the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the Nitro World Games in Salt Lake City.

His teammate, Andreas Bakkerud, has contested a rallycross race at the Circuit of the Americas before. “That was in 2014, as part of the X Games,” says the Norwegian. “It was extremely hot and we had unusually high grip at the start. For all the drivers and teams, developing the best strategy at the start will be a new challenge. I’m looking forward to new fans and a couple of barbecue steaks – after all, Texas is famous for them.”

The shortest track on the World RX calendar with a length of 812 meters is located in the stadium area of the Formula One circuit between Turns 12 and 15, and features a spectacular jump. In addition to the World RX, the American Rallycross Championship (ARX) will be held at the venue. A concert with U.S. rapper and Grammy Award winner Ludacris on Saturday night will be the highlight of a festival that is integrated in the event.

Mattias Ekström and Andreas Bakkerud intend to defend positions two and three in the drivers’ world championship at Austin. Before the last three World RX rounds at Austin, at the Estering (Germany) and at Cape Town (South Africa) EKS Audi Sport is ranked in second place of the teams’ standings.

SPORT1 will air live coverage from Austin on Sunday (September 30) from 8.45 to 10 PM CEST on its main channel. Live streaming at www.sport1.de and coverage on SPORT1+ will begin at 8 PM.

Basketballers of FC Bayern München receive new Audi courtesy cars

In addition to the official car presentation, the team trained by Dejan Radonjic were also treated to a varied programme of events at the Audi Training Center at Munich Airport. Following the welcome formalities and the handing over of the keys, the basketball players from FC Bayern made time for team photos and interviews. After that, it was action all the way, starting with a drive on the off-road course in the new Audi Q3. The highlight of the day was the “Cabrio Challenge”, where pairs of teammates took on the dynamic driving area in Audi convertibles. The challenge for the passengers in the moving cars was to throw balls into the baskets that were set up along the course.

“The event was a great success for Audi and the FC Bayern team. We are proud of our successful partnership with the basketball team and plan to offer further attractive events for the players and trainers away from the basketball court – just like today’s event at Munich Airport,” declared Norbert Schrofner, Head of Event and Sport Marketing at AUDI AG. “We wish the team well for the start of the new season, both at national and international level.”

For the players and trainers, who had just arrived back from a warm-up tournament in Zadar (Croatia), the day ended with a cavalcade on the dynamic driving area in their new cars. Like last year, the basketballers of FC Bayern München will be getting around in the Audi A4 Avant. “That was a really fun day,” commented Marko Pesic, manager of FC Bayern Basketball. “The driver training organised by Audi was a great way for the boys to get a good feel for the car and its handling.”

Viewers and fans were able to experience the action on their phones or tablets. With moderator Sascha Bandermann in front of the camera, both the car hand-over and the subsequent programme of events were streamed live on Facebook. The new season begins for the reigning German champions on Friday 29 September with an away game in Ulm. On Wednesday 3 October, the team will play its first home match in Munich’s Audi Dome. As well as the league competition, FC Bayern Basketball will also be returning for the first time Sport Communication Dr. Elke Bechtold Tel.: +49 841 89-36193 E-mail: elke.bechtold@audi.de www.audi-mediacenter.com Audi MediaInfo 2/2 since 2013/14 to the EuroLeague, the highest and most prestigious level of competition in basketball. This is already the 7th season of Audi’s courtesy car partnership with the basketball players. 

Audi Sport customers celebrate titles in Germany, Asia and Sweden

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

Perfect Monza weekend: Jean-Karl Vernay achieved a top result with the Leopard Lukoil Team at round six of the TCR Europe. Pole position and two race wins were the best possible result. Of particular note: due to the reversed grid lineup, the Frenchman had to take up the second race from P10 on the grid. This didn’t stop the 30-year-old Audi Sport driver from sweeping into the lead in the Audi RS 3 LMS after just three laps. Although Vernay had missed out on contesting the second race weekend of the season in May due to conflicting race commitments, he currently ranks second in the points. Heading to the finale in Barcelona in October, he lies 19 points behind Mikel Azcona from Spain, with 55 points up for grabs. Another Audi driver was thrilled to clinch an early title. Driving an Audi RS 3 LMS for the Pit Lane Competizioni team, Giovanni Altoè from Italy won the DSG Challenge for race cars with dual-clutch transmissions. 

Second win of the season in Scandinavia: Tobias Brink achieved the second win of the TCR Scandinavia season in the Audi RS 3 LMS. At the sixth and final event of the year, the Swedish driver took up the second race from pole position. On the Mantorp Park circuit, he claimed an unchallenged lights-to-flag victory with a 3.1-second advantage for his team Brink Motorsport. 

Third in the championship: Scoring third place, Niels Langeveld concluded the ADAC TCR Germany as the best Audi driver, while his team Racing One achieved third in the team category. The Dutchman finished second in the final race at the Hockenheimring. In the Rookie Challenge, the 17-year-old Max Hesse from Baden-Württemberg beat five competitors this season driving for his team PROsport Performance. Like Langeveld, he drove an Audi RS 3 LMS.

Victory on the Nordschleife: The Møller Bil team from Norway notched up its third straight class victory with the Audi RS 3 LMS in the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring. The driver trio Atle Gulbrandsen/Kenneth Østvold/Håkon Schjærin won round seven of the endurance race series after four hours with a three-minute advantage. With two races left on the calendar, the Norwegians have moved up the ranks to sit second in the TCR category and are now just 0.59 points shy of the leader. 

Podium result in Japan: At round five of the Super Taikyu Series, the Birth Racing Project squad collected a trophy. Sharing the cockpit of an Audi RS 3 LMS, the four drivers Hirobon/Yossy/Daisuke Yamawaki/Kouichi Okumura achieved third place in the TCR category on the circuit of Motegi after five hours of racing. 

Overseas season begins: After an eleven-week summer break, the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup will start its overseas season this coming weekend in China. The interim balance of the Audi RS 3 LMS drivers: Seven podium places from the first six race weekends, including two victories thanks to Jean-Karl Vernay. Lying fifth overall in the points, the Frenchman is also the best Audi driver. With two victories from the TCR Europe under his belt, he travels to China full of motivation. His Audi Sport colleagues Frédéric Vervisch and Gordon Shedden rank eleventh and twelfth on the FIA-WTCR points table. The privateers Nathanaël Berthon, Denis Dupont and Aurélien Panis have all scored points in the fiercely contested touring car championship. In the team classification, Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team is in fourth place, the Audi Sport Team Comtoyou lies eighth and Comtoyou Racing ranks tenth. The next round will be contested on the Ningbo racetrack around 200 kilometers south of Shanghai on the last weekend in September, followed a week later by the round on the city circuit of Wuhan, 900 kilometers further inland. 

Coming up next week

28–30/09 Barcelona (E), rounds 9 and 10, GT4 France

29/09 Mirabel (CDN), rounds 11 and 12, Canadian Touring Car Championship

29/09 Mike Pero Motorsport Park (NZ), round 2, South Island Endurance Championship

29/09 Santa Cruz do Sul (BR), round 5, Campeonato Brasileiro de Endurance

29–30/09 Ningbo (CN), rounds 19 to 21, WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup

29–30/09 Barcelona (E), round 5, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup

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