source: Audi AG
- Third overall title for Neil Foster/Jonny Reid in the Audi R8 LMS
- Start of ADAC Racing Weekend with five GT3 victories by Audi teams
- Audi Sport Asia Trophy announced for the third year in succession
Just one week after a title win in China, Audi Sport customer racing records another championship success: Team IMS won the 3-hour endurance championship in New Zealand. A dominant performance by the Audi customer teams at the first ADAC Racing Weekend in Germany with the GTC Race and Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy racing series as well as successes in France, Italy, Japan and Eastern Europe round off the track record.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Third championship win since 2018: New Zealand’s Team International Motorsport (IMS) once again prevailed in the nationwide endurance championship. Once a year, the best teams from the separately held “3-Hour Endurance Championships” for the North and South Islands of New Zealand compete in a joint competition, the New Zealand Endurance Championship. For Gentleman driver Neil Foster and his teammate Jonny Reid, the 3-hour race at Hampton Downs 80 kilometers south of Auckland was the first race in nine months. The two New Zealanders found a perfect rhythm in the Audi R8 LMS despite the long break. Reid pulled away from pursuer Andrew Waite by 24 seconds in the closing stages after a safety car intervention. The runner-up was also at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS from Team IMS, which he shared with Sam Fillmore. Neil Foster and Jonny Reid had already won the national endurance title in New Zealand together in 2018 and 2019 in an Audi R8 LMS.
Audi R8 LMS undefeated in GTC Race: Audi Sport customer racing’s customer teams remained undefeated at the opening weekend of the GTC Race series at Oschersleben. In the 60-minute endurance race Jusuf Owega prevailed with a 21-second advantage over his brother Salman Owega. Both drove an Audi R8 LMS of the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport team. Rutronik Racing secured third place. Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock shared the Audi R8 LMS with steer-by-wire steering with Finn Zulauf. The up-and-coming driver, who is only 17 years old, won a contest for a GT3 drive of the racing series and benefits from Markus Winkelhock’s professional support this season. Dino Steiner/Max Hofer from Aust Motorsport completed the result to a quadruple victory for Audi. The subsequent first sprint race also went to Jusuf Owega. Salman Owega followed 6.6 seconds behind, with third place going to Finn Zulauf. In the second sprint race Max Hofer managed a narrow victory ahead of Jusuf Owega with a margin of just two tenths of a second. Markus Winkelhock followed in third, with Salman Owega in fourth place after 18 laps.
Strong start for Uwe Alzen: For former professional racer Uwe Alzen, the 2022 season in the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy got off to a turbulent start. The German returned to the pits on the opening lap in changeable weather and swapped the rain tires of his Audi R8 LMS for slicks. In the course of three laps, the 54-year-old stalwart overtook all other competitors on a drying track. After 26 minutes of racing, he had gained a one-lap advantage to the finish. In the second race, Alzen prevailed again and did not let himself be irritated by a hailstorm on the last lap while several pursuers spun on the slippery track. The Audi privateer, who has won the series in the past two years, thus made a convincing start in defending his title.
Four trophies in Hungary: Two Audi customer teams enjoyed a successful first weekend in the Eset Cup Series at the Hungaroring. The Polish driver duo Stanislaw Jedlinski/Krystian Korzeniowski won the 60-minute endurance race in Olimp Racing’s Audi R8 LMS by 1:24 minutes. In the first sprint race, Jedlinski finished second in the GT3 class ahead of Czech Petr Kačirek, who drove an Audi R8 LMS fielded by Team Duck Racing. In the second sprint race, Jedlinski was again the best Audi privateer in a field of 16 competitors in third place in the GT3 class.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Victory and second place: Oschersleben was worth the trip for Audi driver Jürgen Hemker. At the beginning of the season, the privateer driver won his class in the Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy in the first sprint race by 7.4 seconds. In the second race, he steered the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Team Konrad Motorsport to second place.
Class victory in club racing: The Audi R8 LMS GT4 recorded two class wins in the second round of the Norddeutscher ADAC Börde Tourenwagen Cup. Finn Alexander Ellmar-Kiehn won his classification in the first race, while Lars Ellmar-Kiehn was ahead in the second sprint with Seyffarth Motorsport. In the final two-hour Endurance race, both drivers managed to take joint overall victory with a two-lap lead.
Podium at the start of the season: Three Audi privateer drivers registered for the season opener of the GTC Race series in the GT4 class, which has grown again compared to last year with eleven participants. Max Zschuppe recorded his best result at Oschersleben, finishing third in the second sprint race. The 23-year-old from Saxony competed for Team Seyffarth Motorsport. He already knows the Audi R8 LMS GT4 from previous years when he competed in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Audi privateer wins season opener: Bartosz Groszek managed a perfect start to the TCR Eastern Europe season. The Pole had clinched pole position at the Hungaroring in the Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by Team Aditis Racing. Just after the start, he briefly lost the lead, which he immediately regained. Until the finish, the Audi privateer was under pressure from pursuer Mat’o Homola, which he withstood, however. After 13 laps, Groszek clinched his first victory of the season with a lead of 5.2 seconds.
Confident performance in Japan: Masanobu Kato put in a convincing performance on the first race weekend of the TCR Japan. Starting from fourth place, the Japanese overtook two opponents in front of him on the Fuji circuit and moved ever closer to the leader Hirobon. On the final lap, Kato in the Audi RS 3 LMS of Audi Team Mars pushed past his rival and was two tenths of a second ahead of the Cupra driver at the finish. After his first victory, Kato leads the Saturday standings of the race series by four points. On Sunday, he finished third as the best of three Audi drivers.
First success in Italy: Ruben Fernandez was pleased with a strong start to the season in the Coppa Italia Turismo. The Spaniard won the first sprint race at Mugello in the Audi RS 3 LMS by 3.2 seconds. In the second sprint race, the driver of the Autoclub RC2 Valles team clinched second place in the Italian club racing series.
Class victory in France: Team Clairet Sport proved its endurance racing prowess on the second race weekend of the Trophée Tourisme Endurance. Stéphane Ventaja/Loïc Dupont won the T4 class as the runners-up overall in the Audi RS 3 LMS. After four hours of racing, the French privateers thus left powerful GT sports cars from Porsche, Ligier and Lotus behind them on the Val de Vienne circuit.
Audi Sport customer racing
Third season for the Audi Sport Asia Trophy: For the third time in succession, Audi Sport customer racing Asia is offering a sponsorship program for amateur drivers in Asia. Race drivers who contest races with an Audi R8 LMS in the GT3, GT2 or GT4 version or an Audi RS 3 LMS and have an FIA Bronze ranking are automatically eligible for points. In total, the program offers 100,000 euros in spare parts credits. Last year, the Audi Sport Asia Trophy set a record with 63 participants. Events taken into account include the GT World Challenge Asia, the Thailand Super Series, the China GT Championship, the GT Super Sprint Challenge, the China Endurance Championship and the Macau Grand Prix.
Coming up next week
15–17/04 Sonoma (USA), round 2, GT America
15–17/04 Sonoma (USA), round 1, GT4 America
15–17/04 Bathurst (AUS), round 3, TCR Australia
16–17/04 Okayama (J), round 1, Super GT
16–18/04 Nogaro (F), round 1, GT4 France
16–18/04 Oulton Park (GB), round 1, British GT
16–18/04 Oulton Park (GB), round 1, TCR UK