Audi GT3 Customers Lead Standings in Europe and China

  • Audi privateer drivers lead the DTM and GTSC in China
  • Strong performance of the Audi RS 3 LMS on three continents
  • Dakar prototype from Audi at special MAN exhibition

[source: Audi AG]

While Kelvin van der Linde and ABT Sportsline remain at the top of the standings after a challenging weekend in the DTM, the Audi customer teams claimed all the podium places in both races at the GT Sprint Challenge season opener in China.

Audi R8 LMS GT3

A spectacular race to catch up in the dunes: Kelvin van der Linde defended his lead in the DTM standings on the third race weekend at Zandvoort. Starting from sixth place, the South African in the Audi R8 LMS from ABT Sportsline improved to third position on Sunday. He made up a place at the start, and an efficient pit stop brought a further improvement in position. In the second half of the race, an overtaking maneuver finally helped him to his third podium result of the season. The 27-year-old professional leads the championship standings by eight points ahead of Lamborghini driver Mirko Bortolotti, with team-mate Ricardo Feller in third place. ABT Sportsline maintained a nine-point lead at the top of the team standings in Zandvoort. Audi’s customer teams got the season off to a perfect start in the Chinese GT Sprint Challenge in Shanghai. The Climax Racing team won the first sprint race with the Chinese amateur racing driver Lu Wei. Professional driver Andy Deng crossed the finish line first, but dropped back to second place with his team Winhere Racing by HAR after a penalty for a mistake at the start. Third place went to the driver duo Li Dongsheng/Li Donghui from Climax Racing, who won the Master class. All of these drivers, as well as the fourth and fifth-placed teams, relied on the GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS. Andy Deng won the second race ahead of Li Dongsheng/Li Donghui. Third place went to the amateur driver combination of Liu Hangcheng/Hu Haoheng from Climax Racing ahead of another Audi from this racing team. Andy Deng is the first championship leader of the new season with a ten-point lead.

Audi R8 LMS GT4

Trophies on their first appearance: Team Harmony Racing achieved two podium results in their class with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 at the GT Sprint Challenge season opener. David Chen and Bao Junbin achieved second place in the Pro-Am category in their first race together in Shanghai and finished the second race in third place.

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)

1-2 victory in Italy: The Audi RS 3 LMS scored a one-two finish in the second round of TCR Italy in Pergusa, Sicily. Private driver Nicola Baldan from Aikoa Racing won his first race of the season in the TCR Italy. Nicolas Taylor followed one second behind in second place in an identical model from PMA Motorsport. However, the result remains provisional. The original winner, Salvatore Tavano, had received a penalty for failing to maintain the prescribed speed during a restart after a safety car period. The Cupra team concerned has appealed against the penalty. In the second race, Taylor won the rookie classification in fourth place overall. The TCR Italy DSG also competed in its second round at this event. Luca Verdi won the first sprint for racing cars with dual-clutch transmissions in an Audi RS 3 LMS, while Paolo Maria Silvestrini finished third. Silvestrini went on to win the second race ahead of Luca Franca in another Audi. Two Audi privateer drivers were also successful in America. After the fourth of ten events in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Chris Miller/Mikey Taylor remain in first place in the standings out of 28 participants. After three consecutive victories in Mid-Ohio, the American-South African driver combination finished third for the first time this season. Tactical driving to save fuel characterized the four-hour competition. In addition to Miller/Taylor’s lead in the drivers standings, their team Unitronic/JDC-Miller MotorSports is also in first place in the team standings. Audi is ahead of three other brands in the manufacturers standings. In Great Britain, Joe Marshall-Birks took second place in the TCR UK. The Briton in Rob Boston Racing’s Audi RS 3 LMS was only beaten by four tenths of a second by the winner at Oulton Park. A total of three podium places went to Audi customer teams on the second weekend of the TCR China Challenge. Pan Yi Ming from Nkoda HW Racing won the first race in Shanghai ahead of Liu Zi Chen from the 326 Racing Team. Wu Jiu Cheng from the SRC Team won the second sprint.

Audi Sport 

Exhibition in Munich: A Dakar prototype, like the one Audi used to win the world’s toughest desert rally in January, will enrich an exhibition at MAN in June. The commercial vehicle manufacturer has set up a special Dakar exhibition at its MAN Truck Forum truck delivery center in Munich. Visitors can admire MAN’s own service truck, a Fast Assistance Truck from the Q Motorsport team and the Audi prototype there until June 28.

Coming up next week

13–15/06 Le Mans (F), round 3, Le Mans Cup
14–15/06 Hampton Downs (NZ), round 3, North Island Endurance Championship
14–16/06 Vallelunga (I), round 1, Campionato Italiano GT Endurance
15/06 Silverstone (GB), round 3, British Endurance Championship