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Motorsport News Roundup: Audi Sport customer racing

IMSA: Audi motorsport experience for Petit Le Mans Set to Go on Sale
[source: Audi motorsport experience]
Audi of America invites you to join them at Road Atlanta on October 2-3. The Petit Le Mans Audi motorsport experience will offer registered VIP guests access to the Audi mobile event trailer. The event trailer will be located on the upper hospitality shelf with sweeping views of the front straight and turn 1.

Ticket sales begin on August 13, at 8:00 PM EST. More info HERE.

C360R Audi TT RS PWC Side

Pirelli World Challenge: C360R & o34 Motorsport Launch Audi TT-RS GTS Program
[source: C360R]
Long-time Pirelli World Challenge team C360R (Compass360 Racing) today announced further expansion of its Audi racing program to include an Audi TT-RS in the series’ highly-competitive GTS class.

The new No. 78 car will be helmed by current C360R driver Paul Holton, with support from partners AERO Advanced Paint Technology, Spyder apparel and Audi Sport customer racing. As they have for the past five years, the team and driver will fly the colors of their charity of choice, the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

“We’ve been working with Paul since the beginning of the year, as one of our drivers in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge,” remarked C360R Team Principal Karl Thomson. “We also had him do a couple of non-conflicting World Challenge rounds, and were really impressed with his skills behind the wheel.”

Indeed, in just five starts in one of the team’s TCA-class cars, Paul notched three podiums, including a win at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. “GTS is really competitive right now, and I am looking forward to going toe-to-toe with the guys at the front,” enthused Holton.

The move to GTS builds on the team’s growing relationship with Audi, which officially started on-track at Sebring, Florida in March with the launch of their new CTSC ST-class Audi S3 program, and expanded with the recently-debuted Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship. The TT-RS will first compete at the penultimate race of the 2015 World Challenge season, at Sonoma Raceway August 29-30, and will also be at the season finale at Laguna Seca.

Tristan Herbert, Manager, Audi Motorsport and Customer Racing commented, “We are thrilled that C360R is representing the Audi brand in three separate classifications featuring two of North America’s best sportscar racing series: the S3 in Continental ST, TT-RS in PWC GTS, and an Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR GTD class. This proves that Audi has opportunities to display performance and technology at all racing levels.”

034 Motorsport will serve as technical partners for the program, with the 034 shop in Fremont, CA, serving as home base for the two final west coast rounds and Christian Miller being tapped to lead the squad. “We’ve enjoyed working with Christian since winning the ST Championship together in 2009, and we’re really looking forward to continuing that success with him and the talented folks at 034,” said Thomson.

Like the team’s other Audis, the new TT-RS will be clothed in a striking livery featuring AERO paint. “The response we’ve had to our new Audi liveries has been extremely positive,” said C360R Technical Director Ray Lee. “We recently painted our transporters with AERO and continue to be impressed with the quality and finish of the product.”

No. 78 will carry the Children’s Tumor Foundation logo, and will serve as one of the featured cars on the charity’s paddock tour at each race. “The Foundation is grateful to C360R, who have supported us since 2010, and to all our partner teams in the Pirelli World Challenge paddock,” said CTF Racing4Research Director Jill Beck. “Our families in the blue shirts will now have the chance to cheer for Paul, who like all our R4R drivers, is simply wonderful with the kids.”

While the team begins testing the new TT-RS in the coming weeks in advance of its first race, the team will continue to field its championship-winning Honda Civic Si’s in TCA, with the next race being at Mid-Ohio on August 15-16.
NSW Production Sports Car Championship: Victory and podiums in Sydney
[source: Audi Sport]
Audi Sport customer racing teams claimed one victory and podium finishes in the NSW Production Sports Car Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park (Australia), the third race weekend of the season. Barton Mawer won the second sprint race with the #38 Audi R8 LMS entered by Wall Racing, he shared the car with Greg Taylor in the longer third race. Rod Salmon piloted his Audi R8 LMS ultra to second position in the second sprint race and also in the 60-minute race. Fellow Audi Sport customer driver Mark Griffith finished third in his Audi R8 LMS in the first sprint race of the weekend.

IMSA: Video of Prototype Class Leader Taking Out GT Leader Paul Miller Audi R8 LMS at Lime Rock
[source: YouTube]
In a rather unfortunate collision at last weekend’s Lime Rock round of the Tudor United Sportscar Championship, the leading #38 LMPC attempted an aggressive pass on the last turn. Paul Miller Audi R8 LMS driver Christopher Haase staying on his line and with nowhere to go came together with the race leader. Alas, Haase was leading the GT class and also the points battle in that class at the time. The Audi’s retirement from the race was a hard blow for the team.


DMV GTC: Audi customer Team Wins
[source: Audi Sport]
Strong performance in the DMV GTC: At the end of the fifth round of the season at the Hockenheimring, Fabian Plentz and Tommy Tulpe in the Audi R8 LMS ultra won the 60-minute race. For the duo from Team HCB Rutronik, this was the second consecutive victory. When the flag fell, the number 29 sports car had a comfortable advantage of 36.463 seconds. In class, André Krumbach and Dietmar Haggenmüller from Team Spirit Racing managed the leap onto the podium in third place. In each of the two previous sprint races, ‘Maximilian Stein’ took second place in class.


Spa 24h: To the Racetrack with the Audi Sport Racing Bike
[source: Audi Sport]
Christian Mamerow thoroughly enjoyed himself on the Audi Sport Racing Bike at the Spa 24 Hours, where he cycles from his hotel to the racetrack. With a weight of only 5.8 kilograms, the extremely lightweight carbon-bicycle is a very practical travel companion. “I am a very enthusiastic cyclist,” says Mamerow, who is participating in the endurance classic with an Audi R8 LMS entered by Audi Sport Team Phoenix. “Not only do I train by cycling, but I also use my bike for my daily commute in the city.”


Spa 24h: Audi Sport TT Cup Driver Nicolaj Møller Madsen meets Audi’s Danish Spa 24 Hours duo
[source: Audi Sport]
Nicolaj Møller Madsen continues to lead the social buzz ranking of the Audi Sport TT Cup. As an acknowledgement, Audi has invited the Dane to visit the Spa 24 Hours. There, the leader of the Audi Sport TT Cup met up with his fellow countrymen Nicki Thiim and Benny Simonsen. Thiim contested the Spa 24 Hours in the Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team Phoenix while Simonsen raced in an R8 LMS ultra for Team Parker Racing.


Spa 24h: Belgian celebrities visit Spa
[source: Audi Sport]
Audi Sport Team WRT had some special female guests during the 24 Hours of Spa. Former tennis player and current TV host Marlène de Wouters and Alizée Poulicek, Miss Belgium 2008, visited the pits of the Belgian team during the race. Charles-Henri Bonnet, the chairman of the Belgian Audi Club, offered the Belgians an exclusive look behind the scenes during the long distance classic.


Spa 24h: High Demands on Audi Sport customer racing
[source: Audi Sport]
Rarely before did the Audi Sport customer racing staff have to perform so many tasks as at the Spa 24 Hours. Apart from the sheer number of race cars, the task list was also increasingly complex. In addition to the six previous generation R8 LMS ultra cars, four new Audi R8 LMS cars had to be cared for as well. A total of 10 GT3 race cars run by five teams were looked after by 14 employees of Audi Sport customer racing in the areas of parts logistics and customer racing consultancy. Three semitrailers were loaded with 5,000 different parts in the respective quantities. Each truck transported around tens tons of spare parts – from screws to bodywork. In addition, mechanics, engineers and other staff were on site. The employees in charge of customer relations also welcomed clients from Asia and Australia at Spa, including race drivers Steven McLaughlan and Marc Cini.

Bentley Race Review from Spa 24 Hours
[source: Bentley Motors]
Despite showing potentially race-winning pace at the TOTAL 24 Hours of Spa this weekend, the two Continental GT3s of Bentley Team M-Sport were both forced to retire from the endurance marathon. However, the #84 car of Bentley Team HTP successfully completed the race, placing P5 in class.

The opening hours of the race were run in extremely wet conditions, with the #8 car of Maxime Soulet, Maxi Buhk and Andy Soucek starting from P5 and the sister #7 car of Guy Smith, Steven Kane and Andy Meyrick starting P9. The bad luck started early, as the cars were forced to pit under several long safety car periods, only to be held at the end of the pit lane each time – costing minutes and dropping the #7 car down to P32. However, both cars utilised impressive pace, frequently setting the fastest lap times of any car in the field, to climb up the order and back in to the top 20.

Shortly before 23:00 local time, Andy Meyrick in car #7 made an overtaking move past a slower competitor at Les Combes, only to be forced off the dry line and on to the wet part of the track and then the wet grass, losing control of the car and hitting the barrier. The car was unable to return to the pits under its own power, and had to retire. Andy was taken to the circuit medical centre and then to a local hospital for medical checks, but has been given the all-clear.

The #8 car continued an impressive turn of speed, alternating between P2 and P5 as out-of-sequence pit stops were taken as night fell. As dawn approached at 05:00, and with Maxi Buhk in the car and challenging for P4, a sudden electrical failure left Max stranded on-track. With no way to recover the car, Bentley Team M-Sport were forced to resign to their first ever double-retirement.


Q&A: Romolo Liebchen Looks Back at Spa 24h

The Head of Audi Sport customer racing about the podium success in the Spa 24 Hours.

Your teams have clinched two podium places at Spa, plus Audi has won the ‘Coupe du Roi’ manufacturers’ title. A reason to rejoice?

We definitely have reason to rejoice on this race Sunday. Obviously, we competed to win. But in the battle with many strong rivals we don’t have to be sad about positions two and three either. The ‘Coupe du Roi’ trophy underscores the performance of the Audi brand in a field of eleven manufacturers and 57 race cars. The customers who watched our performance at the venue confirmed to us how attractive the new Audi R8 LMS is as well. Its performance capability is beyond debate. All four new cars finished the race, with two of them on podium.

You have completed an important stage in the development of the second-generation Audi R8 LMS with your team. What are the next steps?

Our new race car has clinched a victory, a second and a third place in endurance racing in the space of ten weeks now – split between the two toughest 24-hour races for GT3 models in Europe. This has set an important milestone. Following an in-depth analysis of the race cars from Spa, we’re going to establish the final specification for sprint and endurance races. In September, the production of the new Audi R8 LMS for our customers will be launched, followed by marketing the car.

In sporting terms, the Spa 24 Hours were challenging. Your teams and drivers delivered a tremendous performance. Your assessment of this year’s running of the race?

It was a competition of the type you wish for. A large and high-caliber field on a legendary track, plus the team performance by Audi Sport Team WRT and Audi Sport Team Phoenix as well as the showing by our customers – that was high-class racing. Sincere congratulations also to Team Parker Racing, which as a customer team clinched victory in the Am category on its own power. We’ve experienced a good weekend.

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