Successful Season Opener for Audi in GT World Challenge Sprint Cup

Audi R8 LMS GT3
Team Tresor Orange1 took the lead in the Sprint Cup right at the start of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season. The two Audi Sport drivers Mattia Drudi and Ricardo Feller finished second in the first race at Brands Hatch after Drudi had improved from fourth to third position at the start. During the pit stops, Feller took over the cockpit of the Audi R8 LMS and returned to the track in second position. He came closer and closer to the leader. After 42 laps, the Swiss was just 0.616 seconds short of victory. In the second sprint, the Italian-Swiss driver duo stormed to the front from seventh on the grid. Feller sat in the cockpit at the start of the race, gained a position on the track and made an early pit stop. The team’s strategy paid off. Drudi crossed the finish line with a 3.7-second lead after the Saintéloc Junior Team with Christopher Mies had led for a long time before increasing tire degradation left the team with no chance. Drudi and Feller lead the sprint table after the first of five events with a 6.5-point advantage. At the same time, they have an 11.5-point lead in the combined overall standings from Sprint and Endurance.

Audi Sport driver Max Hofer continues his winning streak in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia. After two victories at the season opener and another success at the second event, the Austrian was again at the top of the podium on the third race weekend. Hofer, who had previously shared an Audi R8 LMS with Liam Talbot, competed for the first time on the Phillip Island circuit with Geoff Emery in the Jamec Racing team. In the second race, Hofer was initially in third place. After the pit stops, teammate Emery returned to the track on lap 20 as the new leader. The Australian, who was Australian GT Champion three times in a row with Audi between 2017 and 2019, won by 3.4 seconds after 36 laps. Second place went to Liam Talbot/Fraser Ross in an Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team Shannons Insurance. Max Hofer now leads the Pro-Am standings with 115 points, second is Geoff Emery with 103 points and third is Liam Talbot with 101 points.

Team Absolute Racing stamped its mark on the second round of the GT Super Sprint Challenge at Shanghai with two victories. The Chinese Hu Bo proved once again that the move from the GT4 variant to the GT3 version of the Audi R8 LMS was not difficult for him this season. He secured pole position and won the first sprint by 1.2 seconds. His toughest opponent was his own teammate, who competed under the pseudonym Vincent in an identical model and was in the lead several times fighting against Hu Bo. In the second sprint, Hu Bo beat Ruan Cunfan in a BMW by 3.7 seconds, while Vincent took third place.

Audi R8 LMS #40 (Tresor Orange1), Mattia Drudi/Ricardo Feller

Team IMS secured its third title success in the North Island Endurance Series with the Audi R8 LMS after 2016 and 2017. Jonny Reid and Sam Fillmore won the 3-hour race at Taupo in the Audi R8 LMS of the tradition-steeped team. Reid edged out Mercedes driver Ant Pedersen in the closing stages after the final pit stop to win by 17 seconds. Bill Riding and Steve Brooks secured another title for Audi in the island nation: The two privateer drivers won the Trophy for pure amateur driver combinations in the Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team Wolfbrook.

Audi R8 LMS GT2
Team PK Carsport is competing in its Belgian homeland with the Audi R8 LMS GT2 to defend its title this year. At the Belcar Endurance Championship opener at Zolder, last year’s champions Bert Longin, Stienes Longin and Peter Guelinckx finished second after three hours of racing with a gap of 11.3 seconds.

Audi R8 LMS #75 (James Racing), Geoff Emery/Max Hofer

Audi R8 LMS GT4
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 dominated its class in the second event of the Northern German ADAC Börde Tourenwagen Cup. In the first sprint at Oschersleben, all podium places went to Seyffarth Motorsport. Max Zschuppe finished 18.7 seconds ahead of Finn-Alexander Ellmer-Kiehn, with Bernd Schaible following another five seconds behind. The second race was won by Tobias Erdmann ahead of Sally Erdmann for Seyffarth Motorsport. Third place went to Vivien Schöllhorn in another Audi R8 LMS GT4.

Two Audi customer teams each claimed a podium result in the second round of the GT Super Sprint Challenge. Team HiRacer Racing finished third in the GT4 category with Yang Chunlei in the first race. In the second race, YC Racing with Li Donghang crossed the finish line as the third-best team in this class.

Audi R8 LMS #5 (Absolute Racing), Vincent

Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Tom Coronel managed a very good second race weekend in the TCR Europe. The Dutchman from the Comtoyou Racing team improved from tenth on the grid to sixth position in the first sprint race on the narrow street circuit of Pau in southern France, while teammate Kobe Pauwels as the best driver of an Audi RS 3 LMS clinched second place ahead of Isaac Smith from Volcano Motorsport. In the second race, Coronel started from pole position and was undeterred by the onset of rain while one of his teammates was involved in an accident. After a brief safety car period, Coronel remained in front at the restart.

Teammate Victor Davidovski, who was his best chaser, lost all chances due to a puncture. Hyundai driver Dušan Borković then followed the leading Audi with a gap of less than half a second but could not find a way past. Coronel thus collected full points for the second time this year. Third place went to Frenchman John Filippi in another Audi RS 3 LMS. In total, Comtoyou Racing thus won three of the first four sprint races. In the standings, Coronel now moved 13 points clear of team-mate Filippi after both drivers had come to the second event level on points.

Audi RS 3 LMS #34 (Comtoyou Racing), Tom Coronel

Lachlan Mineeff in the Audi RS 3 LMS achieved the best result by an Audi customer at the second round of TCR Australia. The Australian was in second position after 16 laps at Phillip Island in the first of three sprints with the Forza Brakes Motorsport team.

Masanobu Kato was the best of three Audi drivers in the field on the first race weekend of the TCR Japan. The Japanese driver finished third in the first sprint race at Suzuka in the Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by Audi Team Mars.

Audi RS 3 LMS #14 (Forza Brakes Motorsport), Lachlan Mineeff