source: Audi AG
- Four victories for the Audi R8 LMS GT3 in Asia, Europe and New Zealand
- Excitement in the TCR Europe after tenth victory of the season for the Audi RS 3 LMS
- Ski ace Marcel Hirscher chauffeurs guests in the Audi R8 LMS GT2
Audi Sport customer racing celebrated remarkable achievements on the fourth weekend in September. The second win of the season in the DTM, a success at the conclusion of the GT World Challenge Asia, a fourth triumph in a row in New Zealand and the first victory of the season in the Le Mans Cup together with a one-two-three in the TCR Europe were among the highlights.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Strong performance in the mountains: At the seventh round of the DTM at the Red Bull Ring, Team ABT Sportsline managed a convincing performance in difficult conditions. In the first race on the rollercoaster track in Austria, Kelvin van der Linde had secured second place on the grid, but initially fell back a few positions after the start on a wet track. Thanks to a perfect pit stop and tire strategy, the South African took the lead and celebrated his first win of the season. His Swiss teammate Ricardo Feller, who had used the wrong tires in qualifying, stormed from 26th on the grid to third position. Before the finale at Hockenheim, Feller is 31 points behind in third place in the standings, while ABT Sportsline is second best of 14 teams. Ricardo Feller is thus one of a group of four riders who still have a chance of winning the title, and his squad is competing for the team title.
Victory in Asia: For Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute, the 2023 season in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia powered by AWS ended with an overall victory. Audi Sport Asia Junior Yu Kuai and Andrew Haryanto prevailed in the first race at the sixth event of the series on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. Amateur driver Haryanto took the lead from grid position one. The Indonesian maintained the top position even during two restarts after yellow phases before handing over the Audi R8 LMS to his Chinese driver colleague. In a field of 30 race cars with a number of clearly more experienced contenders, the rookie driver remained flawless and crossed the finish line with a 1.8-second advantage. The Chinese driver pairing of Cheng Congfu and Sun Jingzu, who also piloted an Audi R8 LMS from Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute, won the race series’ China Cup after six rounds ahead of three other driver pairings.
Victory under difficult conditions: Team International Motorsport recorded its fourth win of the season in the New Zealand Endurance Championship. Sam Fillmore and Jonny Reid managed to make up ground in the fourth race at Teretonga. Their Audi R8 LMS had to complete a drive-through penalty in the first quarter of an hour of the race due to an error by the pit crew. When rain set in during the rest of the race, the two New Zealanders remained faultless and fought their way back to the front. After three hours of racing, they won the South Island round by 12.5 seconds. At the same event, another privateer driver, Adam Julian, took part in a one-hour race in an Audi R8 LMS and finished in second position.
First win of the season in the Le Mans Cup: Team Steller Motorsport best handled the challenges of the fifth round of the Le Mans Cup at Spa in the GT3 category. No fewer than four safety car deployments and a full-course yellow phase repeatedly interrupted the rhythm of the 110-minute race. Mark Cole and Sennan Fielding shared the Audi R8 LMS of the British squad and moved up to second place after the final safety car period. Just 0.8 seconds behind, the GT3 sports car crossed the finish line in second place. After the initially winning Honda received a penalty for not braking clearly enough in the full-course yellow phase, Steller Motorsport recorded its deserved first win of the season.
From tenth on the grid to the podium: On the sixth weekend of the International GT Open in Monza, Team Eastalent-Racing managed a convincing first race. Privateer driver Simon Reicher started the race on a wet track from tenth on the grid, improved by one position, but lost two places again by the fourth lap. By the time of his pit stop after 19 laps, the Austrian had moved back up to eighth place. Audi Sport driver Christopher Haase then took over the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS and improved continuously. On the third last lap he was still fourth, then third and on the last lap he moved up to second place. Haase/Reicher are third in the standings before the finale at Barcelona with a gap of only four points to the top.
Podium result in the Eifel: Frank Stippler secured pole position for Team Scherer Sport PHX in the eighth round of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie for the fourth time this year. The Audi Sport driver defended his lead in the Audi R8 LMS until the first pit stops. Afterwards, the Audi dropped back to third place. Even the onset of rain didn’t faze Stippler and driver colleague Vincent Kolb and they ended a lengthy drought in third place after 28 race laps.
A trophy at Sebring: At the eighth round of the GT America powered by AWS race series, Johnny O’Connell scored a podium finish at Sebring. The American steered the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team SKI Autosports to third place over the course of 20 laps in the second race at the traditional Florida circuit.
Audi R8 LMS GT2
Still in contention: Team PK Carsport did not receive the hoped-for reward for a strong performance at the fourth round of the Belcar Endurance Championship. At Oschersleben, Stienes Longin exceptionally shared the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS GT2 with his father Bert Longin after regular driver Peter Guelinckx was unable to compete due to business commitments. Initially, Stienes Longin engaged in a spectacular battle for position with a Porsche competitor before Bert Longin took over the Audi and built up a 15-second lead by the time of the second pit stop. He then noticed a change in driving behavior. The team discovered a defect in a support of the rear wing as the cause. Longin maintained the lead despite the aerodynamic disadvantage, especially in fast corners. Five minutes before the end, however, race control forced the team to make repairs. The yellow Audi then returned to the track and crossed the finish line still in third place, 58.5 seconds behind.
Celebrity chauffeur: At the seventh round of the DTM at the Red Bull Ring, guests in the Schaeffler Innovation Taxi were able to enjoy a famous driver. Austrian Marcel Hirscher, former skiing gold medal winner, drove the Audi R8 LMS GT2 with the innovative steer-by-wire steering system.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Suspense in the title fight: In the TCR Europe, the tension in the championship decision is rising ahead of the finale. No less than five Audi privateer drivers are in the top five positions in the race series, but Tom Coronel’s lead has shrunk significantly on the sixth weekend at Monza. The Dutchman from Team Comtoyou Racing had come to Italy as the leader of the standings with a gap of 37 points. After an eleventh and a third place, his cushion is currently only ten points because teammate Kobe Pauwels has clearly caught up. The Belgian celebrated his fifth win of the season in the first sprint in Monza. Thanks to his pursuers and teammates Nicola Baldan and Viktor Davidovski, the Audi RS 3 LMS managed a one-two-three finish. Coronel, on the other hand, recorded a retirement and thus only had a one-point advantage in the standings. In the second race, Nicola Baldan, who started from position eight, finished as the best Audi driver in second place ahead of Tom Coronel. Victory went to Honda driver Ruben Volt. In the current season, the Audi RS 3 LMS has won ten of the twelve sprints in the TCR Europe.
Fifth victory of the season for the Audi RS 3 LMS: The Audi RS 3 LMS remains the benchmark in the TCR class of the Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie. In the process, Team Møller Bil Motorsport won its class for the fourth time this season. Anders Lindstad/Kenneth Østvold/Håkon Schjærin crossed the finish line first with a three-lap lead at the eighth round of the race series.
Three second places in the Baltic States: At the fifth round of the BaTCC at Riga, Latvia, Tomas Urbonavicius was on the podium three times. The Lithuanian finished second in each of the two sprints in his Audi RS 3 LMS. In the subsequent four-hour race, he shared the cockpit in the acitool.com by DMK Racing team with Deividas Sakalauskas and again recorded a second-place finish.
Second place in New Zealand: At the fourth round of the New Zealand Endurance Championship, Warren Black was the best of three drivers of an Audi RS 3 LMS. The New Zealander finished the one-hour race at Teretonga in second place in his class.
Coming up next week
29–30/09 Jyllandsringen (DK), round 7, TCR Denmark
29/09–01/10 Estoril (P), round 2, TCR Spain
29/09–01/10 Barcelona (E), round 5, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup
30/09–01/10 Barcelona (E), round 6, GT4 European Series