New Challenge for Audi Sport in Japan

[source: Audi Sport]

  • Debut for Audi Sport customer racing at Suzuka
  • Three teams with five Audi R8 LMS cars on the grid
  • Japanese Grand Prix circuit one of the world’s most challenging tracks

Audi is leading the drivers’ and teams’ classification of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and now faces a new task: From August 24 to 26, the young racing series will visit the circuit at Suzuka in Japan for the first time. The track 400 kilometers southwest of Tokyo with its combinations of turns that are unique in the world is a popular and challenging one.

Leader of the standings Audi is in a special situation: The Dutchman Robin Frijns has been continuously leading the standings ever since the beginning of the season in February. However, he has to skip the third of four Intercontinental GT Challenge rounds because the Audi factory driver will be racing in the Audi RS 5 DTM the same weekend in round seven of the DTM at Misano (Italy). Five drivers of an Audi R8 LMS, each with 25 championship points to their tally, are trailing Frijns in third place: privateer Stuart Leonard and the four Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase, Dries Vanthoor, Frédéric Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock. “This is a new challenge for us,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The situation with Robin was clear from the beginning of the season. We distributed our drivers trailing him in the standings to three race cars supported by us in order to make optimum use of our chances. At the same time, we want to extend our lead of the standings in the manufacturers’ classification.” In the field of five manufacturers, Audi has a seven-point advantage over Mercedes-AMG.