Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing with car number 125 established itself in the group of the front runners in the second half of the race, too. Consequently, the Germans Christopher Haase, Christopher Mies and Markus Winkelhock, who had started from seventh position, on the challenging Grand Prix circuit in Japan improved once more compared with the qualifying sessions. Up until the tenth hour of the race, they were running in second before refueling during the last pit stop took too long and caused the team to drop to seventh position. As a result, three different brands and four different driver teams have won the first four rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. A third team celebrated a finish after ten tough hours of racing as well: the local Audi Team Hitotsuyama with Alessio Picariello, Richard Lyons and Ryuichiro Tomita, following an early drive-through penalty and a slow puncture, crossed the finish line in 17th position.
The fourth racing event of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup held as part of the supporting program, in which the best in the standings have moved closer together before the finale as well, and launches of RS models by Audi Japan on the local market rounded out the impressive appearance by Audi Sport customer racing in front of 51,000 enthusiastic spectators in Japan.
Now the worldwide endurance racing fans can look forward to a thrilling title decision. For the first time, the Intercontinental GT Challenge will visit Africa this year. The 9-hour race at the circuit of Kyalami on November 23 will decide if Audi, after two victories in the drivers’ and three in the manufacturers’ classifications since 2016, will be able to claim its sixth title in this racing series.
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