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Q&A: Markus Winkelhock on This Weekend’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring


The Nürburgring 24 Hours are held next weekend. You compete in an Audi for the third year in succession. What’s important in this race and how do you prepare for it? 
“It’s all about a well-balanced driver line-up, a good team, spending as little time as possible in the pits and taking as few risks as possible. My team mates are excellent and the Phoenix team has already won this race twice. I’ve personally done a lot of endurance training such as cycling and jogging. The race gets physically and mentally tiring towards the end, but I feel well prepared.”

You claimed a podium finish in the overall standings and won the GT3 class first time out as Rookie two years ago, last year you were second in the GT3 class. What is your goal this time around? 
“The Audi R8 LMS ultra is an excellent race car which I love driving. Our competitors now also increasingly turn to the GT3 class which is well represented with 30 cars. It goes without saying that we would like to be on the podium with Audi. And if there is a chance then we also aim to fight for first place.”

A week ago you had an all-round successful weekend under the banner of two group brands. In the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup you started from pole position and won the race. You were also on duty for Audi in the race taxi. 
“I really enjoyed the weekend in the Lausitz. I raced in the Scirocco R-Cup without any pressure whatsoever and had absolutely no idea whether I would finish fifth, tenth, 15th or twentieth. Exactly 36 years after my father had won his first circuit race in the Scirocco-Cup, I now also celebrated victory – a great feeling. To drive the Audi race taxi as well and to see the Audi family again rounded off perfectly an already top weekend.”

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