Series of Successes for Audi Customer Teams in Europe, South Africa and the USA
source: Audi AG
A total of six victories for the Audi R8 LMS in three continents
Audi RS 3 LMS wins two TCR races and holds the top three positions in the standings before the finale in Canada
Two victories for the Audi RS 3 LMS in Eastern Europe
While Filip Salaquarda continued his winning streak in the Eset Cup in Eastern Europe with the Audi R8 LMS, the GT3 sports car was also successful in South Africa and the USA. Four victories of the Audi RS 3 LMS complete a good weekend for Audi Sport customer racing.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Impressive performance at Most: Filip Salaquarda continued his winning streak in the Central European Eset Cup on the fourth race weekend. The Czech won the one-hour endurance race in his home country on the Most circuit at the wheel of his Audi R8 LMS with a commanding 54.1-second advantage. Even the onset of rain did not unsettle the 39-year-old Audi privateer. In both sprints there was no way past Salaquarda either. He won the first race with a margin of 29.6 seconds. In the GT3 class, another Audi driver finished on the podium: Petr Kačirek from Team Duck Racing secured third place in an R8 LMS. In the second sprint, Salaquarda crossed the finish line 34.1 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Kačirek was again third in his class. After his fourth consecutive victory, Salaquarda leads the endurance championship by 44 points with two rounds to go. In the sprint standings, he is 31 points ahead of the runner-up after seven wins in eight races so far.
First win of the season in America: Johnny O’Connell celebrated his first victory in the sixth round of GT America powered by AWS. The American had started from third place in the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team SKI Autosports on the street circuit of Nashville. Qualifying had been cancelled due to heavy rain, so the second free practice session had served as the basis for the grid. Right at the start, O’Connell overtook an opponent. When Jason Daskalos in the Mercedes touched a wall while lapping, O’Connell took the lead and built up an advantage of 7.5 seconds to the finish. In the second race, he was narrowly beaten for second, 1.1 seconds behind.
Two wins in South Africa: Team Ultimate Outlaws enjoyed a perfect third race weekend in the South African GT Championship. Michael Stephen won the first event on the Aldo Scribante circuit by 35.7 seconds. In the second race, the number 24 Audi R8 LMS even lapped its nearest rival twice in the course of one hour.
First podium result in Japan: The fourth round of the Japanese Super GT race series turned out to be the most successful weekend so far for Team LeMans. On the demanding Fuji circuit, Yoshiaki Katayama/Roberto Merhi/Seiya Jin started the race from fifth place on the grid. In the last of 93 laps, the privateer team’s Audi R8 LMS overtook two opponents to secure third place in the GT300 classification.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Double success in Canada: Audi driver Justin Di Benedetto celebrated two TCR class wins in the Sports Car Championship Canada powered by Michelin. After finishing second in the first race at the Trois-Rivières circuit, the Canadian prevailed in the second race by 7.3 seconds. It was the second win of the season for the privateer from Team Di Benedetto Racing. Second place went to Richard Boake, driving a Blanchet Motorsports Audi. In the third race, Di Benedetto managed another victory from the first grid position with a lead of just two tenths of a second. At times Honda driver Gary Kwok had led, but he fell back behind Di Benedetto on the penultimate lap. Third position was secured by Dean Baker in a Baker Racing Audi, who thus also remains the leader of the standings. He has a 48-point lead over Audi brand colleague Di Benedetto. Richard Boake follows in third place with a gap of three points. The title will be decided at the finale at Bowmanville on the first weekend in September.
Two victories in the Czech Republic: Team Aditis Racing returns from the joint TCR Eastern Europe and Eset Cup race weekend in Most with two winners trophies. In the one-hour Eset Endurance race, Czech Radim Adámek and Pole Bartosz Groszek prevailed in the Audi RS 3 LMS with a one-lap lead in the TCX class. In the subsequent first race of the TCR Eastern Europe, the team achieved its first victory of the season in this sprint race series. Petr Fulín won from pole position with a 2.1 second lead on his first start for the team. In the second race, Giacomo Ghermandini secured third place as the best of four Audi privateers in the field. The Italian drove an Audi RS 3 LMS of the Lema Racing team.
Making up ground in America: Mikey Taylor and Chris Miller in the Audi RS 3 LMS fought a thrilling battle for victory with an Alfa Romeo team in the eighth round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. Starting from third place, Miller took the lead after the start at Road America, but later dropped back to fourth position during the pit stop. Mikey Taylor regained two positions in the final 34 minutes of the two-hour race. The duel with Team KMW Motorsports’ Alfa kept the crowd on its toes. In the end, several competitors had to conserve their fuel supply to avoid another pit stop, including the Unitronic/JDC Miller MotorSports Audi team. Taylor secured second place, 8.2 seconds behind, while several competitors stopped without fuel. As a result, Miller/Taylor and their team moved up to second place in the drivers and teams standings after eight of eleven rounds, while Audi is second in the manufacturers standings.
Podium finish at city race: TCR Denmark hosted its fourth event at the Copenhagen Grand Prix. Best Audi privateer in the three sprints on the street circuit, which were marked by accidents and caution periods, was Mike Halder. The German finished third in the first race in the Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by TPR Motorsport.
Coming up next week
11–13/08 Queensland (AUS), round 4, TCR Australia
11–13/08 Queensland (AUS), round 5, GT World Challenge Australia
11–13/08 Assen (NL), round 5, Supercar Challenge