For the second time in a row, the Audi R8 LMS clinched a 12-hour endurance victory in the 24H Series. Several European Audi customer teams in GT4 and TCR racing secured the lead in the standings with their race successes.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Audi Sport customer racing remains unbeaten in the 24H Series powered by Hankook European Series. After Team Haas RT won the Mugello 12 Hours in March, the Saintéloc Junior Team now decided the Spa 12 Hours in its Audi R8 LMS in its favor. It was the first success of Sébastien Chetail’s squad in this endurance racing series. The French driver trio Erwan Bastard/Antoine Doquin/Paul Evrard had a 1.57-minute advantage over the Porsche of the pursuers at the finish. The team strategists of the Audi privateer squad had cleverly used a Code 60 phase about one and a half hours before the end of the race to overtake the previously leading Porsche of Herberth Motorsport. As a result, the Saintéloc Junior Team also leads the team standings.
Two other Audi customers attracted attention during the twelve hours: In qualifying, Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch for Team Haas RT was the fastest man in the field. For the first ten laps, the Belgian team’s Audi R8 LMS also led the race before Team Scherer Sport PHX took the lead for seven laps. Then the Saintéloc Junior Team took over first place for two laps. During the remainder of the 12-hour competition, 18 lead changes followed between the GT3 sports cars of four manufacturers.
Team Climax Racing scored a podium result for Audi Sport customer racing at the season opener of the China Endurance Championship. The Chinese driver trio Liu Hangcheng, Wang Zhongwei and Xu Zheyu crossed the finish line in second place after two and a half hours of racing in the Audi R8 LMS. Track temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius characterized the weekend at the Tianjin International Circuit.
Audi R8 LMS GT2
The Audi R8 LMS GT2 recorded two class podiums in the second round of the Campeonato de España Resistencia at Portimão. Pablo Yeregui Ybarra/Daniel Carretero Ortega from the Club Deportivo DAGO team finished second in the GPX class in the first 50-minute race at the Portuguese circuit. They finished the second race over the same distance in third place.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Christophe Hamon and Grégory Guilvert managed a flawless second race weekend in the FFSA GT4 France race series. In a strong field of a total of 36 GT4 race cars, they finished second in both one-hour races at Magny-Cours in the Audi R8 LMS GT4. As at the season opener, the French driver duo from Saintéloc Racing was in front in the Pro-Am classification. As a result, Hamon and Guilvert have always secured full points in their class and now lead the Pro-Am standings with a 47-point advantage. Likewise, Saintéloc Racing leads the Pro-Am team standings by 44 points.
Team Veloso Motorsport returned from the season opener of the Portuguese Supercars Endurance race series at Portimão with two trophies. Jorge Rodrigues/Patrick Cunha were the third-fastest driver pairing in the field in both 45-minute races in the Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
At the second round of the TCR Italy, Franco Girolami recorded two results in the top field in a strong starting field of 34 competitors. Last year’s European Champion steered the Audi RS 3 LMS of Team Aikoa Racing to second place in the first race at Misano. With his pursuer Denis Babuin in third place, a second of a total of 14 Audi privateers achieved a position on the podium. Fifth place in the second race was enough for the Argentine Girolami to lead the standings after the first third of the season with a 28-point advantage over Hyundai driver Marco Butti.
The second round of the TCR Italy DSG for race cars with dual clutch transmissions was a complete success for Audi’s customer teams. Vedat Ali Dalokay from Bitci Racing Team AMS won the first 30-minute contest at Misano in the Audi RS 3 LMS. He was followed by two Audi cars from RC Motorsport with Luigi Gallo and Carlotta Fedeli. In the second race, the customers even managed a quintuple victory: Dalokay won ahead of Fedeli, Filippo Barberi and Paolo Palanti from Aikoa Racing and Luigi Gallo from RC Motorsport.
Jac Constable celebrated his first victory with the Audi RS 3 LMS in the TCR UK. The Briton from the Rob Boston Racing team had qualified for pole position on the second race weekend at Croft. In the first race, a 0.8-second advantage was enough for him to win after 18 laps. In the second race, his teammate Joe Marshall was best of seven Audi privateers. From sixth place, the Briton improved to third position within 25 minutes.
At the season opener of the Norwegian sports and touring car series Racing NM, Marius Solberg Hansen put in an excellent performance. He won the first and second sprints on the Vålerbanen circuit in an Audi RS 3 LMS ahead of some more powerful GT sports cars. In the third sprint he scored second place. Hansen thus has a 20-point lead in the standings after the first of five events.
The Wolf-Power Racing team finished second in its class at the second round of the 24H Series powered by Hankook European Series. Jasmin Preisig and Ivars Vallers shared the Swiss team’s Audi RS 3 LMS in the Spa 12 Hours.
At the first round of the China Endurance Championship at Tianjin, two privateer teams celebrated podium results with the Audi RS 3 LMS. The PAR Racing Team with drivers Zhang Dasheng/Wen Fei finished in second place after two and a half hours of racing ahead of the Audi of the 326 Racing Team with Zhao Di/Zhu Shengdong/Lai Jingwen.
Paulo Silva/Daniela Marques celebrated two good class results in the first round of Supercars Endurance. In the first race, the driver pairing from Team PD Auto clinched third place in the TCR category, while in the second race they managed second position in the Audi RS 3 LMS.
Felipe Steyer and Henry Visconde recorded a podium success at the second round of Endurance Brasil. The driver duo crossed the finish line in the Audi RS 3 LMS as the runners-up in their class on the Goiânia circuit.