Four Audi customer teams in France

A new challenge with changed regulations: four Audi customer teams – including the 2014 runners-up – will start the new French GT Championship season at Lédenon next weekend (April 18 to 19).

The Audi teams with a total of seven sports cars will be meeting two other marques in France. A modified race format promises additional suspense. The two races per weekend will be extended from 60 to 90 minutes, except for the race weekend at Le Mans featuring three 60-minute races. For the first time, three instead of the previous two drivers have to take the wheel – two driver changes are prescribed per race. The seven events on the calendar include challenging French tracks such as Le Mans, Magny-Cours, Le Castellet and Val de Vienne, plus two foreign races at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) and Navarra (Spain).“France is one of the most important European markets for Audi,” says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Being represented again with such a strong line-up of customer teams in this highly competitive Championship supports our brand.”

The runners-up in the 2014 Championship, Team Sébastien Loeb Racing, are fielding two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. In 2014, the outfit of the record World Rally Champion competed in the French GT Championship with Audi for the first time and was immediately in contention for the title. Mike Parisy and Henry Hassid, with a gap of just two points, only had to admit defeat in the season finale. Parisy is racing in the 2015 season again. His new team-mates are David Hallyday, a seasoned campaigner, and Philippe Gaillard. Three young drivers, who will be battling to win the new ‘Junior Challenge,’ will be at the wheel of the second Audi R8 LMS ultra. “Last year, we just barely missed the title, so we’re especially motivated for the new season,” says Sébastien Loeb.

The experienced squad of Saintéloc Racing with three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars and Teams Speed Car (one Audi R8 LMS ultra) and Tech Auto by Exclusive Cars (one Audi R8 LMS) complete the line-up of the four rings in France. The Audi customers are independently fielding their 560-hp GT3 race cars but can rely on expert support by Audi Sport customer racing for set-up and maintenance.

The Audi customer teams in the 2015 French GT Championship

Audi R8 LMS ultra #3 (Sébastien Loeb Racing)
Christian Bottemanne (F), Christophe Hamon (F), Lonni Martins (F)

Audi R8 LMS ultra #5 (Sébastien Loeb Racing)
David Hallyday (F), Philippe Gaillard (F), Mike Parisy (F)

Audi R8 LMS ultra #7 (Speed Car)
Laurent Cazenave (F), Claude Degremont (F), Rémy Deguffroy (F)

Audi R8 LMS ultra #22 (Saintéloc Racing)
Gilles Lallement (F), TBA, TBA

Audi R8 LMS ultra #23 (Saintéloc Racing)
Jean-Paul Buffin (F), TBA, TBA

Audi R8 LMS ultra #24 (Saintéloc Racing)
Romain Monti (F), Pierre Sancinena (F), Valentin Simonet (F)

Audi R8 LMS #30 (Tech Auto by Exclusive Cars)
Julien Goujat (F), Florent Petit (F), TBA

Calendar

18–18/04 Lédenon (F)
02–03/05 Le Mans (F)
06–07/06 Spa-Francorchamps (B)
04–05/07 Val de Vienne (F)
29–30/08 Magny-Cours (F)
26–27/09 Navarra (E)
24–25/10 Le Castellet (F)

More responsibility for the up-and-coming drivers in the Audi Sport TT Cup

The Audi Sport TT Cup entrants are challenged in diverse ways – not only as race drivers, as they can choose some of the settings on the race cars themselves. Upon the publication of the regulations for the new Audi one-make cup, these options have now been established in detail.

“Our drivers are 21 years old on average. It’s important to us that they learn all the elements of motorsport at an early stage,” says Rolf Michl, the Project Leader of the Audi Sport TT Cup. “And besides driving on the race track, this includes the ideal preparation of the race car before each round.”
Every participant can independently have various components changed by the mechanics’ teams. This includes adjusting the front and rear stabilizer, the traction control system TCS and the differential settings in three defined modifications, for optimal traction of the race car at the front axle. In addition, the drivers can determine the tire inflation pressure within defined boundary values via their defined assistants.
Upon approving the regulations,* the German Motorsport Association (DMSB) has created the boundary conditions for the new Audi one-make cup. Furthermore, the FIA has confirmed the Audi Sport TT Cup as an international racing series. “This has been an important step for us,” says Project Leader Michl. “As a result, the up-and-coming drivers from 13 countries are allowed to be classified with their relevant nation.” In a national series of the DMSB, all drivers would have had to compete under the German flag.
The 18 permanent entrants have already made two choices with significant personal relevance. The car numbers have not been assigned in numerical sequence. Instead, the drivers have been able to freely select them along the lines of major racing series such as Formula One and the DTM. In addition, the drivers could choose the colors of their race cars – a novelty. In addition to catering for personal preferences, this makes it possible for them to accommodate the requirements of their sponsors who are allowed to advertise on the hood. The drivers had the choice between white, black, yellow and blue. Red is reserved for guest entrants.
The field of the 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup with car numbers and car colors**
#3 Rdest, Gosia (PL) – car color: black
#7 Hofbauer, Christoph (D) – blue
#8 Thong, Shaun (HK) – blue
#9 Önder, Kaan (TR) – yellow
#11 Amweg, Levin (CH) – white
#14 Caygill, Josh (GB) – yellow
#17 Møller Madsen, Nicolaj (DK) – yellow
#26 Peitz, Dominik (D) – blue
#27 Marschall, Dennis (D) – black
#33 Lindholm, Emil (FIN) – white
#40 Coleselli, Marc (A) – white
#43 Kisiel, Jan (PL) – yellow
#45 Lappalainen, Joonas (FIN) – blue
#49 Landy, Sebastian (USA) – blue
#50 Hezemans, Loris (NL) – white
#55 van de Poele, Alexis (B) – white
#89 Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Mikaela (S) – black
#92 Marklund, Anton (S) – black
* Download of the regulations at www.audi-motorsport.com/de/en/tt-cup.html
** Subject to change

Strong new partner for Audi Sport

Audi Sport has a new partner in the DTM: Teufel Audio. The logo of the Berlin-based hi-fi specialist will be featured on Miguel Molina’s Audi RS 5 DTM in the 2015 season. Intensive tests at Oschersleben, starting this Tuesday, are rounding off Audi Sport’s pre-season preparations.

At Hockenheim, where the season opens on the first weekend in May, Audio Teufel based in Berlin will start racing on the DTM tracks with its logo emblazoned on the Audi Sport Audi RS 5 DTM of the Spaniard Miguel Molina. Audio Teufel is a hi-fi manufacturer that exclusively sells its product range directly via www.teufelaudio.com and a flagship store in the heart of Berlin.

“It speaks for Audi and the DTM that we’ve been able to gain another renowned company as a partner for our DTM commitment,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “We were pleased to change the graphics of Miguel’s RS 5 DTM again for this partnership.”

“Teufel, Audi and the DTM, that’s simply a perfect fit!” says Sebastian Drawert, General Manager Marketing at Audio Teufel, in commenting on the cooperation. “We share the same passion for intensity, and both of us are not just interested in having customers but aim to win fans.”

The number ‘17’ Audi will be seen sporting its new red-black outfit for the first time at Hockenheim. This Tuesday, the final official pre-season track tests will start at Oschersleben. The CASTROL Edge Audi RS 5 DTM of Edoardo Mortara, the Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM of Mattias Ekström, the AUTO TEST Audi RS 5 DTM of Timo Scheider and the Audi Financial Services Audi RS 5 DTM of Youngster Nico Müller, who most recently set the fastest time in the test at Estoril, will be participating in the tests.

As at Estoril, all eight Audi drivers will be taking turns at the wheel of the four Audi RS 5 DTM cars at Oschersleben. Following a brief rollout on Monday, the tests will he held from 9.00 to 13.00 and from 14.00 to 18.00 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The grandstands and the paddock will be open to spectators on all three test days.

The on-track action starts in earnest at Hockenheim from April 30 to May 3. “That’s when we’re going to see where we really stand,” says the two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström. “Nobody is going to put their cards on the table before then. That’ll make it even more exciting for the fans to watch the first qualifying session and race of the year live on location.”

Tickets for the DTM Festival at Hockenheim, at which the new Audi Sport TT Cup will celebrate its racing debut and the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) will make a guest appearance as well, are available on www.audi-motorsport.com.

AUDI AG: March best month in the company’s history

A start of the year made to measure for AUDI AG: With around 438,250 units sold, the brand’s global sales increased in the first quarter by 6.1 percent compared with the same period 2014 – with growth in all regions. The successful start to the year was also helped by the March results. With a plus of 4.4 percent to around 177,950 cars, Audi delivered more automobiles in a single month than ever before. This means that the company with the Four Rings has registered an increase in sales for 63 months in a row.

“Our new record in the first quarter makes for a successful start into the new year, and we intend to continue this trend throughout the rest of the year,” says Luca de Meo, Board Member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “In the second half of the year our new Audi Q7* will also start contributing to these figures in Europe. The initial response by customers and dealers has been very good, and orders are already exceeding our expectations – even before the model has hit the showrooms.”

During the first three months of the year, sales primarily increased for the A3 family* (+43.8%), the Audi Q3* (+9.6%) and the Audi A6* (+8.1%). The demand for the full‑size category model grew especially in Germany, up 19.0 percent since the beginning of 2015. The new generation of the A6 has also been available in the United States since March and will provide an additional boost in third largest A6 market.

Overall, Audi deliveries have climbed in the U.S. by 13.8 percent to 40,098, despite the lingering winter. The success story of the previous months also continued in March, with a growth of 20 percent. The Audi Q5* was again the bestseller in the United States and a growth driver with 3,934 units – an increase of 17.2 percent. Sales were also clearly in the double‑digits in other major markets: For example, Audi unit sales in Brazil increased in March by 63.9 percent.

In Europe too, Audi recorded the best first quarter in its history. Despite the continually strained economic conditions in some markets, the automaker managed to slightly increase its number of deliveries compared with the first three months of 2014 and exceed the 200,000 mark in unit sales (+3.4% to around 207,250 units). Especially important drivers were Germany (+10.2% to 73,208 units) and Spain (+7.0% to 12,322 units), where the overall market, although still well below the pre‑crisis level of 2007, exhibited a constantly positive trend. SUVs in particular strengthened brand business, up by 22.8 percent to 2,830 units sold. In March, Belgium presented the highest growth rate among the ten largest European markets for Audi. Deliveries were up by 12.6 percent to 4,115 units.

Audi sales have increased in the Asia‑Pacific region by 7.6 percent to around 162,150 since the beginning of the year. Among the major Asian markets, South Korea has led the growth momentum of the Four Rings. Here sales figures rose by 58.5 percent to 3,894 units in March, a plus of 34.9 percent to 9,194 units sold since the beginning of the year. Australia has also brought Audi a double‑digit rise in sales. Between January and March, the company delivered 15.3 percent more vehicles to customers than during the same period in 2014. In China, Audi also significantly exceeded its result from the previous quarter (+7.1%) with 133,316 deliveries. In March sales of the brand in China increased by 1.5 percent compared with the same month in 2014.

Sales AUDI AG In March Cumulative
  2015 2014 Change from 2014 2015 2014 Change from 2014
World 177,950 170,452 +4.4% 438,250 412,848 +6.1%
Europe 90,650 88,750 +2.2% 207,250 200,353 +3.4%
  – Germany 27,902 27,226 +2.5% 73,208 66,458 +10.2%
  – UK 29,140 28,068 +3.8% 45,783 43,671 +4.8%
  – France 5,703 5,425 +5.1% 14,609 14,581 +0.2%
  – Italy 4,518 4,516 0% 12,596 12,537 +0.5%
  – Spain 4,491 4,088 +9.9% 12,322 11,519 +7.0%
  – Russia 2,630 3,758 -30.0% 6,132 8,286 -26.0%
USA 17,102 14,246 +20.0% 40,098 35,228 +13.8%
Mexico 1,077 1,040 +3.6% 3,195 3,075 +3.9%
Brazil 1,460 891 +63.9% 4,014 3,115 +28.9%
China
(incl. Hong Kong)
48,356 47,636 +1.5% 133,316 124,520 +7.1%

Fuel consumption of the models named above:

Audi A3:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.3 – 1.5;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 194 – 35

Audi Q3:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.4 – 4.4;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 198 – 114

Audi Q5:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 8.5 – 4.9;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 199 – 129

Audi A6:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 9.6 – 4.2;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 224 – 109

Audi Q7:
Fuel consumption combined, l/100 km 8.3 – 5.7;
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 193 – 149

Audi wins WEC opener at Silverstone

Audi Sport managed a dream start of the 2015 motorsport year. In the season opener of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer took victory after a thrilling six-hour race in which the lead kept changing and was fiercely contested.

If the 6-hour race in the United Kingdom provided a foretaste of the season, motorsport fans can look forward to an exciting WEC year. Audi, Toyota and Porsche fought a three-way battle with numerous overtaking maneuvers and door-to-door fighting for positions from almost start to finish. When the checkered flag fell, the number ‘7’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car was running in front and decided the race in its favor with a 4.610-second advantage. The sister car of Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis took fifth place following two unscheduled pit stops.“Congratulations to Marcel, André and Ben, who delivered fantastic motorsport for six hours today,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “This victory is a dream start of the season and a great reward for the whole squad for the hard work last winter. At the same time, this success motivates us even more for the great challenges awaiting us the next few weeks. The weekend at Silverstone has also shown that we could be facing what may be the most thrilling and fiercely contested WEC season ever.”

At the beginning, events in the race did not seem to augur well for car number ‘7.’  As the correct gear could not immediately be engaged, Benoît Tréluyer, who had started from position five, lost a lot of ground and had to battle his way forwards again through half of the field on the first laps. After two and a half hours, André Lotterer took over driving duties from Marcel Fässler and 30 minutes later the lead in the race. “A perfect day for Audi and for our team,” said Lotterer. “We were under pressure from the first to the last lap and could not afford to slip. We managed to do this and the team did everything right at the pit stops and with the perfect strategy. Now, we’re going to take this momentum with us to Spa and to Le Mans.” The gripping duel between Marcel Fässler and Porsche driver Neel Jani across many laps in which the two Swiss overtook each other several times per lap, was particularly impressive.

For the number ‘8’ sister car, a top result seemed to be within reach as well. But two repair stops in which the rear bodywork had to be replaced following contact with a rival and the fixings of the front hood subsequently had to be fastened, cost Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis about seven minutes and, as a result, all chances of clinching a podium place. After starting from the second row, the Brazilian-French-British trio had to settle for fifth place. “A fantastic day for Audi, but obviously the three of us are somewhat disappointed,” said Oliver Jarvis. “Still, we have positive impressions: a thrilling race and the first victory for our new R18 e-tron quattro – this whets our appetite for the WEC season.”

Fans will not have to wait long for the next appearance of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. In just three weeks from now (May 2) round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship will be held at Spa-Francorchamps (B). For Audi, the race on the famous circuit in the Ardennes marks a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the season’s pinnacle event, the Le Mans 24 Hours. To prepare for Le Mans, Audi Sport Team Joest  will be fielding the third hybrid sports car, designated as number ‘9,’ that will be driven by Filipe Albuquerque (P), Marco Bonanomi (I) and René Rast (D).

Race results

1 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 201 laps
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) +4.160s
3 Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (Toyota) +14.816s
4 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) -1 lap
5 di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) -4 laps
6 Rusinov/Canal/Bird (Ligier-Nissan) -16 laps
7 Yacaman/Derani/Gonzalez (Ligier-Nissan) -17 laps
8 Dalziel/Sharp/Heinemeier Hansson (HPD-Honda) -18 laps
9 Leventis/Watts/Kane (Dome-Nissan) -23 laps
10 Bruni/Vilander (Ferrari) -29 laps