Audi RS 3 LMS top again in the Baltics and on course for title in TCR Europe
René Rast and Audi retain title chances in the DTM
Marcel Hirscher thrills DTM guests at the Red Bull Ring during taxi rides
Audi Sport customer racing has already clinched the 27th championship title with the RS 3 LMS thanks to a customer team in Latvia. Excellent championship positions ahead of the finale are also held by teams in TCR Europe and in New Zealand GT3 endurance racing, while the DTM finale also offers title chances for the four rings.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Second title in a row in the Baltic States: Ivars Vallers secured the championship win in the TCR class at the finale of the Baltic Touring Car Championship BaTCC. The Latvian scored two second places in the two sprints at the fourth race weekend in Riga in the Audi RS 3 LMS. That was enough for him to decide the TCR standings in his favor ahead of VW driver Kestutis Stasionis. Over the course of the season, Vallers clinched three TCR sprint wins with the production-based touring car. For Audi, it was the second consecutive title in the Baltic States after Valters Zviedris had been the best driver last year. Ivars Vallers had started the season in a first-generation Audi RS 3 LMS and switched to the Audi RS 3 LMS gen II of the LV Racing team during the year. In 2022, customers have already won three TCR drivers titles with Audi and are in promising positions in other racing series. Since 2017, the Audi RS 3 LMS has recorded 27 drivers titles worldwide.
Third win of the season for Franco Girolami: At the penultimate round of the TCR Europe, Franco Girolami celebrated his third victory in the Audi RS 3 LMS. The Argentinean from Comtoyou Racing won the second sprint at Monza with a razor-thin advantage of three tenths of a second ahead of Cupra driver Klim Gavrilov. Girolami already overtook two rivals on the way to the first corner, one lap later he also passed the leader Gavrilov and stayed in front until the black and white checkered flag after twelve laps. Ahead of the finale at Barcelona in October, the Audi privateer has extended his lead in the standings to 89 points.
Successful switch: Jessica Bäckman switched from a Hyundai to an Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by Team Comtoyou Racing on the fifth and penultimate race weekend of the ADAC TCR Germany. In the first race at the Sachsenring, the Swede, who had started second, initially dropped back to fifth place but fought her way back up to third. In the second sprint, Bäckman started from third place and improved to second. The Dane Martin Andersen won the title early in Saxony. But with her current second place in the standings after four victories so far this season, the 25-year-old Audi privateer put in a remarkable performance and relegated eleven rivals to places in the championship standings.
Unexpected victory in New Zealand: James Penrose experienced ups and downs on his way to class victory at the second round of the South Island Endurance Series. The New Zealander had led the one-hour race at Teretonga in the Audi RS 3 LMS until a safety car period. However, he then received a drive-through penalty for overtaking a rival during this caution period. As a result, he dropped back to fifth place. Later, another safety car period neutralized the race. With 90 seconds to go, Penrose overtook the man in front of him in the battle for second place. However, the provisional winner Warren Black, who also drove an Audi, received a penalty at the finish due to a misconduct at the restart and dropped back to third position. As a result, Penrose won for Team Track Tec Racing with a one-and-a-half-minute lead over Hyundai driver Scott O’Donnell.
Two podium results in China: The 326 Racing Team was the best Audi customer team in the TCE class at the second round of the China Endurance Championship. The driver trio of Bai Yaxin, Liu Zichen and Wu Yifan finished second in their class in the Audi RS 3 LMS from the back of the grid after 150 minutes of racing. Third place on the Zhuzhou circuit went to the driver team Feng Xiaolin/Hu Heng/Wang Rui from the Redline Pointer team in another Audi RS 3 LMS.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
René Rast catches up: At the seventh of eight DTM rounds, Audi Sport driver René Rast made up valuable points in Austria. He had arrived at the Red Bull Ring in third place in the standings with a 34-point deficit and returned with a gap of only twelve points. The three-time DTM Champion managed the fastest time in qualifying in the Audi R8 LMS even though he only started the first race in fourth place on the grid due to a previous penalty from Spa. The 35-year-old professional made the best of his situation and advanced to second position as early as on the first lap, which he maintained until the finish. While Rast is third in the drivers standings, ABT Sportsline is second in the team standings. Audi comes to the finale at Hockenheim in two weeks’ time as the second best of six manufacturers with a single point behind.
Victory in the final meters: Sam Fillmore and Jonny Reid in the Audi R8 LMS clinched their second consecutive victory in New Zealand’s South Island Endurance Series. Until a few minutes before the end of the 3-hour race at Teretonga, it looked as if Reid would have to admit defeat to his opponent Daniel Gaunt in the McLaren. But then the leader ran out of gas, cut the course across a grassy area and through pit lane, and eventually rolled out. Fillmore and Reid have thus doubled their lead in the standings from five to ten points ahead of the finale.
Third place at the Sachsenring: Audi Sport driver Dennis Marschall and his teammate Kim-Luis Schramm were delighted with their second-best result of the season at the sixth round of the ADAC GT Masters. The driver duo had started the first race at the Sachsenring from third place. Over the course of 60 race minutes, the two drivers in the best of eight Audi R8 LMS maintained their position in the field even after the pit stop. At the race weekend in Saxony, the young drivers from Team Rutronik Racing thus managed to jump from ninth to fifth place in the standings. This currently makes them the best Audi driver pairing in the ADAC GT Masters.
Podium after comeback race: In the second round of the China Endurance Championship, the FAW Audi Racing Team managed a nice catch-up. After a technical problem Chris Chia was forced to start the race at Zhuzhou from the pit lane instead of from second place on the grid. Amateur driver Chia improved to fourth place. He then handed over the Audi R8 LMS to Audi Sport Asia professional driver Cheng Congfu during the pit stop. After Audi Sport Asia Junior Yu Kuai retired, Cheng moved up to third place 30 minutes before the end of the two-and-a-half-hour race, which he held until the finish. Teammate Chris Chia thus further extended his lead as the leader of the Audi Sport Asia Trophy standings.
Skier thrills guests: Marcel Hirscher drove an Audi R8 LMS as a race taxi at the seventh round of the DTM at the Red Bull Ring. On the 4.3-kilometer undulating track in Styria, the guests who won a ride got an incomparable impression. At the side of the former overall World Cup winner and Olympic gold medalist, they experienced the circuit in an original GT3 sports car like the ones Audi DTM racers also drive. As a special gesture, Audi Sport customer racing mounted a pair of skis on the rear of the ten-cylinder sports car for the ex-ski racer, who is popular with many fans.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Best race weekend for Heide-Motorsport: Thiago Vivacqua continues to impress with his performances in the DTM Trophy. In his debut season, the Brazilian in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 already finished on the podium four times in the first five events. On the sixth race weekend at the Red Bull Ring, he surpassed his previous best performance. As in the season opener at the Lausitzring, he managed second place in the first race. Ninth on the grid meant a difficult starting position in the second sprint. But Vivacqua made up four places on the first lap and improved to third place by the time he crossed the finish line. The South American thus collected 37 points for Heide-Motorsport in Austria – more than previously this season. In the standings, he moved up from fourth to third place.
Coming up next week
28/09–01/10 Road Atlanta (USA), round 10, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
30/09–01/10 Mantorp Park (S), round 6, TCR Scandinavia
30/09–02/10 Barcelona (E), round 5, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup
30/09–02/10 Barcelona (E), round 6, GT4 European Series
30/09–02/10 Hockenheim (D), round 5, GTC Race
30/09–02/10 Hockenheim (D), round 6, Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy
30/09–02/10 Singapur (SGP), round 3, Thailand Super Series
01–02/10 Autopolis (J), round 7, Super GT