Audi Sport GmbH to be managed in the future by Oliver Hoffmann and Julius Seebach

Julius Seebach has been appointed to the management of Audi Sport GmbH as of May 1. At Audi since 2015, he was initially responsible for strategy and powertrain control in the Technical Development division. In 2017, he successfully introduced model-series management at Audi Sport and has since been in charge of the RS 4/RS 5 and RS 6/RS 7 Sportback series. Previously, the industrial engineer and MBA was at Porsche, where he was involved in various projects of the Panamera model series and in powertrain development. Together with Oliver Hoffmann, Seebach will manage the business of the wholly-owned Audi subsidiary in the future.

As of May 1, Oliver Hoffmann will hold two management positions at the Audi group: Head of Technical Development at the Neckarsulm site and Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Transformation means becoming even more effective and innovative,” emphasizes Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. “By combining both positions with Oliver Hoffmann as an experienced expert, we are strengthening Neckarsulm as a technology location and at the same time securing its future viability.” Hoffmann’s previous career positions include quality management at Automobili Lamborghini and at Audi’s plant in Győr, Hungary, as well as the development of the V10 high-performance engines of the Audi R8.

The former Managing Director, Michael-Julius Renz, is leaving the company within the framework of an age regulation. With his international experience, he has made a significant contribution to the growth of AUDI AG and the Audi Sport brand. A graduate in business administration, he has held various management positions at AUDI AG over the past 25 years. The company thanks Renz for his dedicated and successful work. Before taking over as Managing Director of Audi Sport at the beginning of 2018, he was President of the Audi Sales Division China, where he was responsible for sales and the brand’s presence in one of the most important markets. Previously, Renz had been in charge of Sales Europe and Central Marketing for the Audi brand, among other things. 

Audi RS 3 LMS with victories in Germany, America and Japan

Audi R8 LMS GT4

Second place on Nordschleife: Team Giti Tire Motorsport by WS Racing in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 clinched a trophy at the Nürburgring. In round three of the VLN Endurance Championship, Tim Breidbach/Bernd Hoemberg/Thomas Leyherr in poor weather conditions scored second place in the SP8 class among six entrants.

Third place in Virginia: On the second race weekend of the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX, Team Rearden Racing celebrated a trophy win. Vesko Kozarov and Jeff Burton in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 finished third in race two. In the separate East classification, Andy Pilgrim and Adam Poland in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Team Doghouse Performance finished runners-up.

Audi Sport customer racing

Official Cars from Audi Sport for the ADAC: Audi Sport in 2019 again provides the Official Cars for the ADAC GT Masters and other series held as part of the supporting program. At the season opener at Oschersleben, Audi Sport handed the new generation of the models over to ADAC. They include three new Audi R8 Coupé V10 quattro cars with special equipment made available to race control as the Safety Car and Leading Car. Audi Sport has been Official Car Partner of the ADAC GT Masters since 2011.

Coming up next week

02–04/05 Barbagallo (AUS), round 2, Australian GT Championship

02–04/05 Barbagallo (AUS), round 2, Australian GT Trophy Series

03–04/05 Knutstorp (S), rounds 1 and 2, TCR Scandinavia

03–04/05 Knutstorp (S), rounds 1 and 2, GT4 Scandinavia

03–04/05 Fuji (J), round 2, Super GT

03–04/05 Zhuhai (CN), rounds 3 and 4, Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup

03–05/05 Yeongam (ROK), rounds 3 and 4, TCR Asia

03–05/05 Mid-Ohio (USA), round 3, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

03–05/05 Mid-Ohio (USA), round 3, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

03–05/05 Hockenheim (D), rounds 1 and 2, Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup

03–05/05 Vallelunga (I), rounds 1 and 2, Campionato Italiano GT Sprint

03–05/05 Vallelunga (I), round 2, TCR DSG Endurance

04–05/05 Zhuhai (CN), rounds 1 and 2, TCR China

04–05/05 Brands Hatch (GB), rounds 1 and 2, Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup

04–05/05 Brands Hatch (GB), rounds 3 and 4, GT4 European Series

05/05 Transilvania Motor Ring (RU), round 2, Romanian Endurance Series

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The moment of truth for the new Audi RS 5 DTM

With eight cars, Audi is the strongest brand in the field in terms of numbers. During the final pre-season tests at the Lausitzring, the new Audi RS 5 DTM with its more than 610-hp two-liter four-cylinder turbo engine was the fastest car. Even so, nobody ventures a prediction before the first 2019 DTM race.

“No-one knows where they stand,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “Qualifying on Saturday will provide an initial indication. But even then we won’t know who will be the best over the racing distance. More than ever before in the DTM, tire management and the driver will be crucial in the race.”

The new turbo engines deliver some 100 horsepower more than the previous naturally aspirated V8 engines – resulting in clearly higher loads acting on the tires that have remained unchanged compared to last year. At the same time, the number of tire sets per car and race weekend has been reduced from eight to seven. For the two qualifying sessions and the two races, only five tire sets are now available.

These are not the only changes in the 2019 DTM. By means of the “Push-to-Pass” system a short-term 30-hp boost can be accessed for overtaking maneuvers in the race. In addition, the drivers have to get used to the modified aerodynamics of the Class 1 race cars whose most conspicuous characteristic is a much wider rear wing. With the new turbo engines, the standing start will be significantly more difficult, especially since the parking brake has been banned and it is not so easy anymore finding the ideal point for preloading the clutch.

“The first race of the season is always special,” says Mike Rockenfeller, who has been an Audi driver in the DTM since 2007. “With the turbo engines and the many other new things we have in the car, the racing will be even more exciting this year. I’m really looking forward to it.”

For the seasoned race driver, the 4.574-kilometer circuit is the best DTM track on the calendar. “It’s no coincidence that we’ve been seeing the most thrilling DTM races at Hockenheim in recent years. The track layout is perfect for overtaking maneuvers. An absolute highlight for me was Sunday’s race at last year’s season opener when I fought to the front from midfield. The duels were simply fantastic.”

With the long Parabolika and the subsequent hairpin turn, the Hockenheimring features one of the most spectacular sections of the entire DTM season. With DRS, a top speed of some 280 km/h is expected there. Speed in the following right-hand turn is less than 60 km/h. “You’ve got to slow the car down nearly to stopping,” says Rockenfeller. “That in itself is tricky and due to the large run-off areas, everyone will take a full risk.”

For Rockenfeller, the greatest challenge is the first turn after the start and finish, which is driven at a speed of about 190 km/h. “Especially in qualifying, you’ve got to get everything right there or else you’ll easily lose two or three tenths of a second,” says the Audi driver.

Top international clubs play for the Audi Cup

The tradition started exactly ten years ago: the first Audi Cup was held in 2009 as part of the celebrations for Audi’s 100th birthday. Since then, the Cup has become one of the best-known and most prestigious pre-season tournaments in Europe. FC Bayern have won the trophy three times, while FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid have each held the top spot once.

The latest line-up could hardly get any better: Bayern, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe, and Tottenham have among them brought home more than 90 league titles combined, more than 50 cup titles, and 19 Champions League titles, and the current season is not even over yet. “It’s great to see that the Audi Cup has been a firm fixture for new-season preparations among top international clubs for the last ten years now,” says Bram Schot, chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG. “This year’s participants not only promise two exciting days for all football fans, but they also provide an excellent example of how partnerships with Audi work in practice.” Bayern, Real Madrid, Fenerbahçe, and Tottenham, who joined the group in 2018, are all part of the Audi partner association.

The two semi-final games will be played on Tuesday, July 30. The first game of the tournament will see Real Madrid face Tottenham Hotspur, before FC Bayern and Fenerbahçe Istanbul go head to head later in the evening. The losing teams will play for third place on Wednesday, July 31, before the winners meet for the final. Kick-off is at 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. respectively, games will last 90 minutes, and – if necessary – be followed directly by a penalty shootout. “We are thrilled that the 2019 Audi Cup will again take place at the Allianz Arena,” says Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of the Executive Board at FC Bayern München AG. “The four teams promise exciting games and two brilliant days for our fans.” The spectators will be able to watch all four teams play on both days. Tickets are available now at Day tickets start at €25. Two years ago, there were 123,000 spectators at the Allianz Arena on both days.

  • Participants of the Audi Cup, as long as none of the teams are playing in the second qualification round of the Europa League, which will be held at the same time.

Third podium result for Audi Sport in 2019 FIA WTCR

Gordon Shedden, who had harvested points at all three races of the opening round in Morocco, looked on track to claim more points in Hungary. Putting in a spirited charge, the Scot from Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport went home empty-handed from the second round: The three-time BTCC champion had taken up the race from 25th on the grid and was running in eleventh place when he was shunted from the track by a tough maneuver and had to retire. Thus, Shedden earned no points in Hungary. The newcomer Niels Langeveld also had no chance to claim points – 18th place in the third race on the Hungaroring was the best result for the Dutchman.

“Last year, Hungary was our toughest weekend with our drivers earning only 17 points between them,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Our harvest of 54 points in 2019 was more than three times better. And the milestone of now 20 podium finishes for the Audi RS 3 LMS in just over a year is remarkable in such a fiercely competitive series as the FIA WTCR.” 

In just two weeks, the world cup will be held on the Slovakiaring, with the fourth event contested a week later in Zandvoort, Netherlands. 

Additional information

Basic information Audi Sport customer racing 2019 including driver biographies
2019 FIA WTCR Media Booklet
2019 FIA WTCR photos 
2019 FIA WTCR results

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