Absolute Racing celebrates victory at Sepang
At the season finale of the Asian Le Mans Series hosted at Sepang in Malaysia, Christopher Mies, Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picariello triumphed as the victors in the GT class with an Audi R8 LMS from Audi Sport customer racing team Absolute Racing. The trio of drivers started the three-hour-race from pole position. Despite the lead being lost in the early running, it was regained in the closing stages of the race. Mies, who was at the wheel during the final stint, put in very fast lap times and closed the gap to the leader, taking the lead shortly before the end of the race.
Audi drivers fit for 2016 start of the season
Sports and teambuilding at the traditional Audi Winter Camp: For six days, the Audi factory drivers from the DTM and WEC, the team directors and Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Dieter Gass (Head of DTM) and Chris Reinke (Head of LMP) jointly prepared for the challenges of the 2016 season on the Canary island of Lanzarote. Under the direction of Audi Sport legend Tom Kristensen and supervision of team physician Dr. Vincenzo Tota, the Audi squad completed an intensive sports program which included cycling, core training, soccer, swimming and tennis. In addition to the sports program, the entire squad was involved in other activities focused on teambuilding.
Adrien Tambay on the podium in ice races
DTM driver Adrien Tambay has mastered yet another challenge in the Trophée Andros. At the fifth round in Lans-en-Vercors, the 24-year-old Frenchman, behind the wheel of an A1 quattro, finished on the podium in third position in both of the finales of the Elite Pro class races. The driver from Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is currently ranked third in the drivers’ standings.
International Motorsports clinches two podium successes in New Zealand
Audi Sport customer racing team International Motorsport celebrated two podium results during the second weekend of the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing at the Hampton Downs circuit in Waikato. Neil Foster piloted his Audi R8 LMS ultra to second place overall in both the 30-minute and 60-minute races.
Unique driving experience for football star Mario Götze
Mario Götze enjoyed a unique driving experience on the occasion of the Hahnenkamm Alpine skiing event in Kitzbühel: Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström showed the FC Bayern München soccer star how a car can be driven on the limit on snow and ice. Götze initially sat on the passenger seat before getting behind the steering wheel himself – to start in an Audi RS 3 Sportback*, before stepping up to a powerful near 580 hp Audi S1 EKS RX quattro from the FIA Rallycross World Championship. “The car is absolutely incredible,” raved the football ace. “It was cool to drive such a car myself. It was even more impressive when Mattias drove. You immediately see the difference between a professional and a normal driver.”
Allan McNish in rally cockpit
A new experience for Allan McNish: Before the start of Rallye Monte Carlo, the three-time Le Mans winner had the opportunity to sit in a Volkswagen Polo R WRC – albeit, contrary to his usual place, on the passenger’s side. During VIP taxi rides along the Grand Prix circuit in Monaco, the former Audi factory driver experienced the world championship winning car as Andreas Mikkelsen’s co-driver and met with Mikkelsen’s teammates Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala.
HCB-Rutronik Racing with two Audi R8 LMS cars
In the 2016 season, Team HCB-Rutronik Racing will be competing in the DMV GTC and the DMV GTC 60 Minutes with two Audi R8 LMS cars. As drivers, the two Germans Tommy Tulpe and Fabian Plentz will be at the wheel of a new Audi R8 LMS and an Audi R8 LMS ultra.
United Autosports in 2016 again with Audi in GT Cup
Audi Sport customer racing team United Autosports adds to its GT3 program in 2016. The team will return with its Audi R8 LMS ultra to compete in four rounds of the GT Cup Championship in Great Britain. As was the case in 2015, Phil Burgan will again drive the Audi in the British series. United Autosports also plans to enter the official ACO Le Mans GT3 support race on June 18th with Burgan to be joined behind the wheel by Zak Brown.
JBR Motorsport in ADAC GT Masters
The new Audi customer team JBR Motorsport & Engineering based in Kirchheim (Germany) will be competing in the ADAC GT Masters with an Audi R8 LMS in the 2016 season. In addition, the squad headed by team boss and engineer Jörn Becker is planning a commitment in the DMV GTC.
A word from … Mattias Ekström
Two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström enjoyed an action packed week: from the Audi Sport Winter Camp on Lanzarote directly to the Hahnenkamm ski race in Kitzbühel.
You escaped the winter at the winter camp on Lanzarote. How was you trip in the summer?
The winter camp was a little shorter than usual, but more intensive. Even so, we had a lot of fun with the funny games and while doing our sport. Of course it was great to meet all my teammates again in a relaxed atmosphere after the winter break.
From the warmth of Lanzarote you traveled directly to the cold in Kitzbühel – quite a contrast …
The Kitzbühel week is always something special for me. It’s great fun watching the ski races. This year we also staged the Audi quattro SuperQ, in which eight fantastic athletes drove the Audi RS 3 Sportback* and our rallycross car on snow and ice. It was an incredible experience and it was interesting to see how the athletes improved and the ambition they develop during the competition. It was an all round successful event.
How will things continue in 2016 with your private rallycross team EKS RX?
We are currently at the stage of developing the car and planning the budgets – and also planning the schedule because my priority is and remains the DTM. I try to drive as much rallycross as possible. I hope that we can clarify everything by the end of February. I have a good feeling at the moment. We made good progress with the car and consequently good foundations for a successful season. With Ken Block joining the series a popular new opponent has arrived, who will make the rallycross world championship even more interesting.
How do preparations look for the new DTM season, which starts at the beginning of May at Hockenheim?
A test is on the agenda at the end of February in Spain, and there is another test before Hockenheim. The regulations don’t allow much testing and the technology in the car is ‘frozen.’ Which means at the moment my energy is reserved mainly for training and planning the season. The Audi RS 5 DTM was very good last year, which is why I am confident for 2016.
One of the highlights in Kitzbühel is always the Audi Night. Which stars did you meet?
It’s great fun to meet superstars like Jason Statham or Gwyneth Paltrow. Lena Gercke and Maria Höfl-Riesch were sat at my table. My idols are definitely the sports heroes like the eight athletes that participated in our Audi quattro SuperQ. For me, people like professional cyclist Danny MacAskill are just extraordinary.
Coming up next week
30–31/01 Daytona (USA), round 1, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship