Two Victories For Audi Sport customer racing In Macau
source: Audi Sport
Jean-Karl Vernay and Frédéric Vervisch in an Audi RS 3 LMS each win a race in FIA WTCR
Challenging race for Audi R8 LMS in FIA GT World Cup
Audi’s tally in Macau increases to eight victories
Audi Sport customer racing returns from the race weekend in Macau with remarkable results. With two victories in the finale of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup Audi, from a historical perspective, has now clinched a total of four touring car victories on the city circuit since 1996. This makes the touring cars with the four rings equally successful as the Audi R8 LMS that was unbeatable in GT sports car races in Macau on four occasions since 2011 but had no chance for victory in the FIA GT World Cup this year.
Macau proved to be a perfect track for the Audi RS 3 LMS: In spite of its compensation weight of 60 kilograms the TCR touring car was completely in its element on the city circuit. In the first of three races, Jean-Karl Vernay from fourth on the grid stormed to the front of the field by taking advantage of the good aerodynamics of the production-based model for overtaking maneuvers on the long straight. The Frenchman from Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team with an advantage of half a second celebrated his fourth victory this season. The second race was equally exciting. Frédéric Vervisch had mounted the podium six times this season and at the finale achieved his breakthrough with Audi Sport Team Comtoyou in race two. From third on the grid he advanced to the front and won with a 1.7-second advantage. Audi has a remarkable track record in the inaugural season of the FIA WTCR: At ten events, the Audi RS 3 LMS clinched 17 podium finishes including six victories. Each of the three Audi Sport drivers, Jean-Karl Vernay, Frédéric Vervisch and Gordon Shedden, has won at least once. Vernay, as the best driver of an Audi RS 3 LMS, in the end took fifth place in the standings. With Filipe Souza in the first and Kevin Tse in the second and third race in Macau an Audi was the best “wild card” entrant in each of the races at the finale.
“Congratulations to Jean-Karl, Frédéric and to our WTCR teams on their strong showing in Macau,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The FIA WTCR with seven marques and many very seasoned drivers was fiercely competitive. The fact that every one of our permanently entered privateers, Nathanaël Berthon, Denis Dupont and Aurélien Panis, regularly scored points during the season underlines the qualities of the driver, team and race car.”
In tackling the dual challenge in Macau, Audi had a tougher time in the FIA GT World Cup with the Audi R8 LMS. The attempt to finish on podium again after four victories since 2011 and second place last year failed. Neither Robin Frijns and Dries Vanthoor from Audi Sport Team WRT Speedstar nor Christopher Haase from Audi Sport Team Rutronik were able to continue their previous successes this season. Every one of them in 2018 had achieved a major international endurance racing victory with the Audi R8 LMS. As early as in qualifying in Macau, positions seven to nine for Frijns, Haase and Vanthoor had shown how difficult their task would be. There was practically no overtaking opportunity on the narrow 6.12-kilometer city circuit. In the qualification race, the trio saw the checkered flag in positions six to eight. A day later, Frijns finished the final race in fifth place, trailed by Christopher Haase. Dries Vanthoor achieved position eight. Even so, Audi looks back on a positive tally this season of the GT3 sports car that will be replaced by a new evolution next year: Twelve overall drivers’ titles have been clinched by drivers around the world in the GT3 sports car to date, plus 17 classification victories in other classes.