- Eleven Audi R8 LMS GT3 in sprints and endurance races, at least twelve at Spa
- Brand’s customer teams also aim to defend titles in GT2 European Series
- GT4 European Series on course for growth with strong Audi teams
Source: Audi AG
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS will remain a central pillar in European GT racing in 2023 with a comprehensive program of Audi Sport customer racing teams. A total of 23 Audi R8 LMS cars in the three categories GT3, GT2 and GT4 are registered for various race series that are part of the platform of promoter SRO.
“Spread across these categories, our customers won a total of ten titles in the SRO series last year,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “What we’re particularly pleased about is that with Comtoyou Racing and CSA Racing we’re welcoming two teams to GT3 racing for the first time who are now expanding their previous programs with Audi Sport in TCR and GT4. At the same time, several teams are once again strengthening their previous year’s efforts.” Audi will meet seven other manufacturers in the GT3 category this year.
In 2023, the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS will again comprise five rounds each of the Endurance Cup and five of the Sprint Cup as well as an overall classification from both classifications. Only GT3 race cars may take part in these competitions. In the Sprint Cup with two one-hour races per weekend, the Belgian squad Boutsen VDS will compete for the first time with two Audi R8 LMS cars. Comtoyou Racing from Belgium, an up-and-comer from the TCR class, and Saintéloc Racing from France will contest the competitions with three Audi cars each. Team Tresor Orange1 is fielding one Audi, Tresor Attempto Racing two R8 LMS. The latter three race cars are being prepared by Arkin Aka’s team in Hanover. Likewise, the Italian-German partnership is also tackling the endurance season with three race cars in this team formation. Boutsen VDS and Saintéloc Racing, each with two GT sports cars, and Comtoyou Racing with three Audi cars have also signed up for the endurance distance. A car from the French team CSA Racing, previously an Audi customer in GT4 racing, completes the line-up of eleven Audi R8 LMS cars. Audi Sport customer racing supports the teams with the ten Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi, Ricardo Feller, Christopher Haase, Simon Gachet, Max Hofer, Gilles Magnus, Dennis Marschall, Christopher Mies, Patric Niederhauser and Frédéric Vervisch. Regularly, the endurance races last three hours. In addition, there is a 1,000-kilometer race at Le Castellet as well as the Spa 24 Hours as the season highlight. There, the Uno Racing Team from China brings a twelfth R8 LMS to the grid.
On two of these race weekends, the Fanatec GT2 European Series will also thrill the public, following a different calendar for its remaining four rounds. With six so-called “Sunshine Circuits” in Western and Southern Europe, SRO is offering the teams a special attraction this year. This season, two customer teams will enter the 470 kW (640 hp) Audi R8 LMS GT2 and face the opposition in two 50-minute races per weekend. Audi’s customers won all classifications last year. PK Carsport from Belgium will enter an Audi as Pro-Am champion to defend its title. LP Racing from Italy was last year’s Am champion and now enters the race with three Audi cars. In addition to privateer drivers, Audi Sport driver Pierre Kaffer will also be fielded there. For the first time, the age limit of 40 years has been abolished in the GT2 European Series, so that not only the “gentlemen” who are usual in this market segment can participate. Seven manufacturers have now homologated high-performance race cars for the GT2 category.
In the GT4 European Series, the signs are pointing to growth. Instead of seven so far, eight Audi R8 LMS GT4 cars from four French customer racing teams are now registered. The total number of all entrants also continues to grow from 37 in 2021 to 50 last year and now 52. Saintéloc Racing as the defending champion in the Silver category for drivers and teams is preparing three Audi cars. The experienced squad from France has won titles at French or European level in every year since the Audi R8 LMS GT4 was released for the 2018 season. Teams Fullmotorsport and Speedcar have each entered two of the production-based coupes from Germany. Fullmotorsport has claimed a total of six titles with the Audi R8 LMS in the past two years. CSA Racing is preparing another Audi for this racing series. At six events – always together with the GT World Challenge – the GT4 European Series holds two one-hour races each weekend with driver changes. Teams from ten nations compete there with the production-based sports cars from nine brands.
The teams and drivers in Monza
Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup
#9 Boutsen VDS, Adam Eteki/Alberto di Folco/Aurélien Panis
#10 Boutsen VDS, Andrea Cola/César Gazeau/Roee Meyuhas
#11 Comtoyou Racing, Christopher Haase/Gilles Magnus/Frédéric Vervisch
#12 Comtoyou Racing, Sam Dejonghe/Loris Hezemans/Finlay Hutchison
#21 Comtoyou Racing, Nicolas Baert/Max Hofer/Maxime Soulet
#25 Saintéloc Junior Team, Simon Gachet/Christopher Mies/Patric Niederhauser
#26 Saintéloc Junior Team, Erwan Bastard/Grégoire Demoustier/Paul Evrard
#40 Tresor Orange1, Mattia Drudi/Ricardo Feller/Dennis Marschall
#66 Tresor Attempto Racing, Kikko Galbiati/Andrey Mukovoz/Dylan Pereira
#99 Tresor Attempto Racing, Alex Aka/Pietro Delli Guanti/Lorenzo Patrese
#888 CSA Racing, Erwin Creed/Arthur Rougier/NN
Fanatec GT2 European Series
#1 PK Carsport, Peter Guelinckx/Stienes Longin
#18 LP Racing, Michael Doppelmayr/Pierre Kaffer
#67 LP Racing, Anthony Beltoise/Henry Hassid
#88 LP Racing, Mattia di Giusto/Stéphane Ratel
GT4 European Series
#3 Team Speedcar, Robert Consani/Benjamin Lariche
#14 Saintéloc Junior Team, Anthony Beltoise/Cyril Saleilles
#42 Saintéloc Junior Team, Grégory Guilvert/Christophe Hamon
#45 Fullmotorsport, Sacha Bottemanne/Lonni Martins
#46 Fullmotorsport, Noam Abramczyk/Romain Vozniak
#67 Saintéloc Junior Team, Marc López/Paul Petit
#83 Team Speedcar, Fabien Boeri/Hugo Roch
#111 CSA Racing, Gaël Castelli/Alexandre Cougnaud