source: Audi Sport
- Second title in succession for Xu Jia in China and Luis Monzón in the Canaries
- Leopard Lukoil Team wins TCR Benelux with Jean-Karl Vernay
- Class title and second place for Audi customer teams on the Nordschleife
The winning streak continues: On the penultimate weekend in October, customers on two continents again clinched titles and class victories with Audi Sport customer racing.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Successful title defense in China: The Kings customer team has won the China GT Championship for the second consecutive time. In Shanghai, Xu Jia in an Audi R8 LMS successfully defended last year’s title. He shared the cockpit with Belgian Alessio Picariello for whom this marked the first title in this championship. As early as in race one, the driver duo produced the championship decision on clinching a victory from pole position. In race two, the team achieved second place. Consequently, in total, the Audi customer team won nine of the ten races it participated in.
Second consecutive title in hillclimb racing: Luis Monzón was once again not to be beaten in the Canary Islands in 2018. In the finale in Fuerteventura, he scored his sixth victory this season in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. As a result, the Spaniard, like last year, won the Canary Islands Hillclimb Championship title with Team Auto-Laca Competición.
Class victory in the Eifel: In the finale of the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, the new evolution of the Audi R8 LMS experienced its second appearance. Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport entered the race car that has not been homologated yet in the SP-X class. Marcel Fässler and Frédéric Vervisch won this classification with a 4.36-minute advantage. In addition, Frank Stippler recorded a class title. The Audi Sport driver who drove an Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing this season won the championship in the SP9 Pro class this year ahead of 89 other professional drivers.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Title and runner-up finish for Leopard Lukoil Team: In Barcelona, Leopard Lukoil Team experienced a strong finale of the TCR Europe and the TCR Benelux. Although, due to the regulations, Jean-Karl Vernay’s Audi RS 3 LMS with a weight of 1,315 kilograms was the heaviest car in the field and therefore not in contention for podium positions in the overall classification, the squad closed its maiden European season in Audi’s TCR touring car with two top places. Frenchman Vernay who lives in Luxembourg won the Benelux classification in both sprint races which earned him the TCR Benelux title even though he was forced to skip the first of five events. In addition, Leopard Lukoil Team won the teams’ classification. At the same time, the races were also counted in the TCR Europe. Although Vernay had to skip an event there as well, he finished the season runner-up in the field of 50 entrants behind Spaniard Mikel Azcona, the runner-up from the 2017 Audi Sport TT Cup.
Three-fold success in Italy: On the race weekend of the Gruppo Peroni Race at Misano, there were three reasons to celebrate. In the Coppa Italia Turismo, Eric Brigliadori won both sprints in an Audi RS 3 LMS of Team BF Motorsport. At the same event, another Audi competed in an endurance race. In round five of the 3 Ore Endurance Champions Cup, Team Tecnodom scored a class win. The two Italians Jonathan Giacon and Luca Rangoni won the TCR class in an Audi RS 3 LMS after three hours of racing with a three-lap advantage.
Second place on the Nordschleife: Team Møller Bil from Norway ended the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring season by scoring a second place. Håkon Schjærin/Atle Gulbrandsen/Kenneth Østvold in an Audi RS 3 LMS finished on podium of the TCR class in the finale. As a result, the three Norwegians have been determined as the 2018 runners-up in the TCR classification of the series in which 42 entrants are classified.
To Japan with momentum: The six Audi drivers are traveling to round nine of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup at Suzuka highly motivated. Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team is arriving with Gordon Shedden and Jean-Karl Vernay who previously celebrated his third victory this season at Wuhan, China, and since then has won his first title in an Audi RS 3 LMS in the TCR Benelux. His teammate is Gordon Shedden who recorded his first pole position and first victory this season at Wuhan. Frédéric Vervisch from Audi Sport Team Comtoyou on clinching second place at Wuhan celebrated his sixth podium finish in the FIA WTCR. In addition to the three Audi Sport drivers, three privateers are racing an Audi RS 3 LMS. Vervisch’s teammate, Denis Dupont, most recently at the two events in China clinched two third places within the space of one week and in doing so showed his best performance this season. Nathanaël Berthon from Comtoyou Racing, having placed third in race two, returned from Wuhan with his first trophy as well. Finally, his teammate, Aurélien Panis, scored points in China for the ninth time this year. However, the Grand Prix circuit in Japan holds a challenging task in store for the drivers: Due to the regulations, the Audi RS 3 LMS has to compete with the highest compensatory weight of 60 kilograms there which means that it will tip the scales at 1,325 kilograms.
Coming up next week
25–28/10 Buriram (THA), rounds 7 and 8, Thailand Super Series
26–28/10 Laguna Seca (USA), round 4, Intercontinental GT Challenge
26–28/10 Mugello (I), rounds 13 and 14, Italian GT Championship
26–28/10 Portimão (P), rounds 7 and 8, TCR Portugal
26–28/10 Sydney (AUS), rounds 7 and 8, GT-1 Australia
27/10 Nova Santa Rita (BR), round 6, Campeonato Brasileiro de Endurance
27–28/10 Suzuka (J), rounds 25 to 27, WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup