Riccardo Agostini GT3 championship leader before sprint finale in Italy
Club racing success for Uwe Alzen in Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy
Audi R8 LMS GT4 leads in four classifications in France and one European class and takes first wins in DTM Trophy
Another two excellent races and best chances for Audi Sport Italia to win the title, a title in club racing in Germany, a victory in New Zealand and two podiums in China – the Audi R8 LMS in the GT3 version is in top form. At the same time, the GT4 version clinched its first two victories in the DTM Trophy. Customers now also lead five different rankings in European racing series with this racing car.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
On course for the title in Italy: In the third of four rounds of the Campionato Italiano GT Sprint, Audi Sport Italia significantly increased its chances of winning the title with two podium results. Riccardo Agostini had come to Monza as leader of the standings with a nine-point advantage and left the traditional circuit on Sunday evening with a 25-point lead. In between, there were three days of hard work: Audi Sport driver Mattia Drudi led the first race from pole position to pit stop in the Audi R8 LMS. The good earlier results, however, earned the team an additional 20 seconds of pit stop handicap time as stipulated in the regulations. Riccardo Agostini then returned to the track in sixth place and stormed forward to third place. In the second race Agostini improved from fifth to third place when he handed over his car to his teammate at the pit stop. This time the grey and yellow R8 LMS had to wait an additional 25 seconds due to the handicap time during the driver change. The 22-year-old Drudi returned to the track and was sixth until a safety car came out. When the race resumed shortly before the end, the talented junior chased up to second place in the only remaining lap of just 5.8 kilometers. He missed the victory by only five tenths of a second and scored 15 points for his catch-up race. While Drudi was absent at the first round of the season due to a clashing event, his teammate scored points at every race. Agostini therefore has every chance of winning the second title for the team of Emilio Radaelli and Ferdinando Geri, which last won the drivers’ championship in 2011, at the finale in Vallelunga on December 6.
Title success for Uwe Alzen: In the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy, the Spirit Race Team Uwe Alzen Automotive has won the overall title. After the cancellation of the final round at the Nürburgring, the former professional driver Uwe Alzen was equal on points with Ralf Glatzel at the top of the table. The German club racing series awarded the title to both drivers after a decision provided for in the regulations also resulted in a tie based on the best individual results. While Uwe Alzen in the Audi R8 LMS started first in each of the eight races and finished first overall in each of them, Glatzel in a touring car won his class in each round and received full points, too. For Audi Sport customer racing it is the second driver’s overall title of the 2020 season with the Audi R8 LMS after the success of Dries Vanthoor/Charles Weerts in the GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup one week before.
Strong end of season: Team IMS finished the South Island Endurance Series in New Zealand with a victory. This was the first victory of the season in this race series for the team, which had been very successful in the past when they clinched the title in the South Island both in 2018 and 2019 with Neil Foster and Jonny Reid. Foster/Reid won the three-hour race in Timaru with a 16.5 second lead. Third place went to another Audi R8 LMS, which was shared by drivers Scott O’Donnell/Andrew Waite from Team Track Tec Racing.
Two podiums in China: Absolute Racing won two trophies at the season finale of the China Endurance Championship. Cheng Congfu and Francis Tija shared an Audi R8 LMS of the Chinese racing team. In the first of the two 150-minute races on the Ningbo circuit 200 kilometres south of Shanghai, starting driver Tija handed over his car to his teammate in seventh place. Professional driver Cheng Congfu improved to third place in the remaining 90 minutes. Gentleman driver Tija also drove the start in the second race and handed over the R8 LMS again in seventh position. Cheng Congfu improved to third place at the beginning of the last hour of the race, when rain set in. The team decided not to change tires. Cheng improved to second place in demanding conditions. Ma Ka Chun is now leading the Audi Sport Asia Trophy with 1,575 points, Francis Tija is third with 1,188 points.
Audi R8 LMS GT2
Audi R8 LMS GT2 launched in China: After the first customers in America and Europe have taken delivery of the Audi R8 LMS GT2 for the 2020 season, interested parties in Asia can now look forward to the model. The Chinese professional racing driver Cheng Congfu gave instructions to potential customers on the details at the Shanghai race track. With 470 kW (640 hp), the Audi R8 LMS GT2 is the most powerful racing car in the Audi Sport customer racing range. It has been specially developed for club racing and is aimed at gentleman drivers. Audi Sport customer racing Asia subsequently exhibited the R8 LMS GT2 in the paddock at the second round of the China Endurance Championship in Ningbo from 16 to 18 October. Other potential customers can get to know the model on a tour of China until November.
Audi Sport customer racing
Audi trio in Goodwood: Goodwood SpeedWeek from October 16 to 18 this year replaced the cancelled traditional events Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival. As a unique interactive event, it brought the fascination of racing home to the spectators in a live stream. Audi Sport customer racing presented itself with several models at this year’s event in the south of England. The Scottish racing driver Gordon Shedden drove the GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS and achieved the best time trial result of a GT driver in 1.17,392 minutes. In its green hell lievry, the racing car corresponded exactly to the start number 1, which had been on the grid at the Nürburgring 24 Hours three weeks earlier. The correspondingly painted special edition for the road could also be admired in Goodwood. The nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen made racing hearts beat faster with the 640 hp top racing model Audi R8 LMS GT2.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
First victories for Audi in the DTM Trophy: Team Hella Pagid – racing one celebrated its first victories with Audi in the DTM Trophy in Zolder on the fifth race weekend. In the first qualifying session, Lucas Mauron had secured the pole position in front of the new champion Tim Heinemann in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 with a margin of 90 thousandth of a second. After the start of the first race, the Swiss driver with Brazilian roots lost first place to Nico Verdonck, who then led the field for 13 laps. In the 14th lap privateer Mauron overtook his opponent and won after 20 laps with a lead of 1.2 seconds. The second race also started for Mauron in first place. This time the 22-year-old young driver stayed in front and won after 20 laps with a five second lead. This means that the international season record of Audi’s production-based GT4 racing car is 16 victories and a total of 42 podium places.
Tension in France: After the fourth of five rounds of GT4 France, Audi’s customer teams set course for several titles. While Eric Debard/Simon Gachet in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Saintéloc Racing achieved the best individual result with third place in the second race at Albi, their team increased their lead at the top of the Pro-Am team classification to 19 points. In the Pro-Am drivers’ championship, Fabien Michal/Gregory Guilvert are 47 points ahead of their pursuers, while the two champions from previous years are in third place in the overall standings. Another Audi customer team leads the Am classification: Pascal Huteau/Christophe Hamon have an 18-point lead in the amateur class. Their team Fullmotorsport is the best of twelve teams in the Am team classification. The decisive round will be the Lédenon event on November 8.
Advantage increased: At the fourth round of the GT Cup Open Europe, Baporo Motorsport increased its lead in the drivers championship in the Am class. In the first race at Spa, Manel Cerqueda and Daniel Díaz-Varela in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 took second place after a lap-long duel and several overtaking manoeuvres in the fight with eventual winner Aldo Festante. In the second race the Andorran and the Spaniard crossed the finish line again in second place. Before the finale of the pan-European race series in Barcelona, they lead the amateur class by 17 points and are second in the overall standings, 14 points behind.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Two endurance victories in China: Team MMK Racing was unbeatable at the finale of the China Endurance Championship at the Ningbo circuit. Zhang Zhendong, Mi Qi and Zheng Wancheng won the two 150-minute races in the Audi RS 3 LMS from pole position each. Third place also went to a private team from Audi. Team PMU Leo achieved the result with Huang Weifu, Wu Yifan and Liu Qi. The private pilots were supported by Qiu Wentao in the first race and Yang Xiaowei in the second. Wu Yifan is currently second in the Audi Sport Asia Trophy after the race weekend in Ningbo.
A weekend of success for Track Tec Racing: The Audi customer team Track Tec Racing ended the South Island Endurance Series season in New Zealand with the best possible result. Dennis Chapman celebrated his first class victory in the one-hour race in Timaru, ahead of Debbie Chapman in another Audi RS 3 LMS. In the subsequent endurance race, Rowan Shepherd/Lochlainn Fitzgerald-Symes were unbeatable for the second time in a row. They also drove for Track Tec Racing in another RS 3 LMS and finished six laps ahead after three hours of racing.
Championship lead maintained: Comtoyou Racing started the fourth round of the FIA WTCR under difficult conditions. In Hungary, the Belgian team’s three Audi RS 3 LMS had 80 kilograms of compensation weight on board after two previous victories due to regulations. The best individual result in the three races was the tenth place of Gilles Magnus in the second sprint at the Hungaroring. With an 84-point lead, the Belgian continues to lead the rookie classification of the racing series.
Twice on the podium: Audi customer team QSR Racingschool continues its series of podium results in the Belcar Endurance Championship. At the Zolder circuit, the Belgians Joël Uylebroeck/Olivier Bertels took second place in their class in the Audi RS 3 LMS in each of the two 105-minute races. After a victory at the season opener, they have now claimed five second places in a row.
Coming up next week
22–24/10 Spa (B), rounds 9 and 10, TCR Europe
22–25/10 Spa (B), round 3, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge
23–24/10 Pukekohe (NZ), round 2, North Island Endurance Series
23–25/10 Shanghai (CN), rounds 5 and 6, TCR China
24–25/10 Hungaroring (H), rounds 7 and 8, TCR Eastern Europe
24–25/10 Hungaroring (H), rounds 7 and 8, Eset V4 Cup
24–25/10 Hungaroring (H),rounds 10 and 11, FIA CEZ
24–25/10 Suzuka (J), round 6, Super GT
25/10 Imola (I), rounds 7 and 8, Coppa Italia Turismo