Class win for team Waimarama Kizuna at Fuji 24 Hours
Aleksej Dudukalo in TCR Russia with Audi back in title fight after victory
Success in classes for Audi R8 LMS ultra in Eastern Europe
For the third time in a row, a team from Audi Sport customer racing dominated the Fuji 24 Hours in Japan. The Audi RS 3 LMS achieved its fifth victory in a competition over this distance worldwide. Further successes of the TCR racing car and the GT3 model complete the first weekend in September of Audi Sport customer racing.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Third consecutive win in Fuji: The Super Taikyu Series began with the biggest challenge of the year, the only 24-hour race on the calendar of the Japanese sports and touring car series. In heavy rain and with the race interrupted for several hours, the Audi RS 3 LMS prevailed in the TCR class for the third time since 2018 on the demanding course within sight of Mount Fuji. The Waimarama Kizuna Racing team relied on a driver sextet. „Kizuna“, Katsumasa Chiyo, Hironobu Yasuda, Riki Okusa, Naoya Yamano and Toshihiro Yoshida took the lead early on, kept their rhythm even through ten safety car periods and had lapped one time their pursuers from Honda at the finish after 498 laps. After Audi Team DreamDrive had won the TCR class in each of the last two years in this 24-hour race, Yoshikazu Shimura and his team Waimarama Kizuna Racing dominated now for the first time. The team from the Japanese city of Kawasaki was not the only Audi team to return home with a trophy from the season opener. Audi Team Mars completed Audi Sport’s good result with third place. The 24-hour track record for Audi’s entry-level touring car thus rises to five victories: Following class wins in Dubai (2017) and Fuji (2018 and 2019), this was the second triumph in a single season, as Belgian team AC Motorsport was unbeatable in Dubai in January. Audi Sport customer teams now lead the two official TCR series in Japan: Waimara Kizuna Racing is ten points ahead of its nearest rival in the endurance classification, while Audi Team Hitotsuyama is also ten points ahead in the sprint race series.
Back in the title fight: Aleksej Dudukalo experienced a rollercoaster of emotions with a positive end in TCR Russia. The private driver of the Lukoil Racing team had qualified for sixth place on the grid in the first race on the fifth race weekend of the series and crossed the finish line in seventh place. The Russian started the second sprint in Smolensk from fourth position on the grid. After two opponents from the front row collided in the first corner, Dudukalo took his chance, found a gap and took the lead. While a positional battle raged behind him, the Russian in the Audi RS 3 LMS extended his lead to 13 seconds. After 18 laps, he celebrated his second victory of the season, after he had scored his first success at the beginning of the season also at the Smolenskring. The Audi privateer thus improved from fourth place in the standings to second place with two events remaining.
Two second places in Brno: At the third round of the Eset V4 Cup, Sandro Soubek once again managed to climb on the podium at the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic. The Austrian, who had previously achieved two third places at the Slovakiaring at the first attempt, improved to second place in the first sprint at Brno in his Audi RS 3 LMS. Although the Audi Sport customer team Team Mair Racing Osttirol only entered the popular Eastern European racing series in the second round, Soubek took third place in the standings before the final race in a field of 22 classified participants. At the same event there was another trophy for an Audi customer team. The Horňák-Aditis team achieved second place in its class in the one-hour endurance race of the Masaryk Racing Days with the Czech Radim Adámek and the Slovak Miro Horňák.
Trophies in Assen: At the second round of the Belcar Endurance Championship two trophies went to the Audi customer team QSR Racing School. In both the one-hour race and the subsequent two-hour race at Assen in the Netherlands, Joël Uylebroeck, Muth O’Neill and Olivier Bertels in the Audi RS 3 LMS took second place.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Four podium places for the Audi R8 LMS ultra: The proven first generation of the Audi R8 LMS remains successful in the hands of customers. In the Central European Eset V4 Cup, Daniel Skalický took second place in the first sprint in the GT3 class at the third round in Brno. His Czech compatriot and teammate Petr Kačirek won his class in the second sprint, while Skalický won the GT3 class in the one-hour endurance race, thus further extending his lead in the standings. At the second round of the French hill climb championship, Ronald Garcès took second place in his class – also in an Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Coming up next week
11–13/09 Magny-Cours (F), rounds 3 and 4, GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup
11–13/09 Nürburgring (D), rounds 3 and 4, GTC Race
11–13/09 Zolder (B), rounds 3 and 4, TCR Europe
11–13/09 Magny-Cours (F), rounds 3 and 4, GT4 France
11–13/09 Nürburgring (D), rounds 5 and 6, DTM Trophy
11–13/09 Watkins Glen (USA), round 5, Trans Am
12/09 Teretonga (NZ), round 1, South Island Endurance Championship
12–13/09 Zolder (B), rounds 1 and 2, FIA WTCR
12–13/09 Motegi (J), round 4, Super GT
12–13/09 Usce (SRB), rounds 9 and 10, FIA CEZ
13/09 Vallelunga (I), rounds 3 and 4, Coppa Italia Turismo