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Start Of The Season For Audi At Daytona
Posted by: newsla on Jan 20, 2014 - 06:28 AM
Grand Am News
Start Of The Season For Audi At Daytona

The GTD version of the Audi R8 LMS will celebrate its race debut next weekend at the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA). A total of six Audi R8 LMS ultra cars have been entered for the 12-hour race at Bathurst (AUS). Audi Sport and Tom Kristensen received prestigious awards. And more than one million fans are following Audi Sport now on Facebook.


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Audi with strong line-up to Daytona

Five Audi R8 LMS and four high-caliber customer teams – Audi Sport customer racing is well equipped and ready to start the new GT season this coming weekend at the 24 hours at Daytona. The opening race of the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSCC) marks the premiere of the Audi R8 LMS (GTD) at the same time, which alongside Fall-Line Motorsport and GMG Racing is fielded for the first time by the new Audi customers Flying Lizard Motorsports and Paul Miller Racing. The US endurance classic is broadcast live into 335 million households worldwide. In the USA, Fox TV reports live from Daytona from 14:00. For this reason, the start was deliberately brought forward by an extra 20 minutes to 14:10 local time (20:10 CET). Additional information is available online at www.imsa.com.

Six Audi R8 LMS ultra cars at Bathurst

A total of six Audi R8 LMS ultra cars will be tackling the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia) on February 9 – some of them with prominent line-ups. Among others, GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock will be competing for United Autosports. Rahel Frey, René Rast and the reigning FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoor will be running for Phoenix Racing. Christopher Mies will be augmenting the squad of Mark Eddy and Marc Cini. The former World Touring Car Champion Rob Huff is forming the spearhead at Rotek Racing. Two other R8 LMS ultra cars will be fielded by the teams of Rod Salmon and Dean Koutsoumidis. Audi won the endurance race at Mount Panorama in 2011 and 2012.

One million fans for Audi Sport on Facebook

The Facebook page of Audi Sport is enjoying rapidly growing popularity. On January 10, the one-millionth fan clicked the ‘Like’ button. Particularly since the first publication of the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro on December 8, 2013, ‘Likes’ went up by leaps and bounds. Since then, the number of fans has doubled within only a little less than four weeks. The ACO, the organizer of the Le Mans 24 Hours, has a reason to celebrate this week as well. The Facebook page of the French endurance classic, in which Audi has clinched an amazing twelve victories, reached the 200,000 mark.

Danish sports award for Tom Kristensen

Tom Kristensen was presented with the BT Guld Award. The Danish Audi driver was recognized with the tradition-steeped sports accolade of his home country for his ninth victory in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. The BT Guld Award has been presented since 1930. The winner is annually selected by Denmark’s leading athletes. Kristensen, after 2001 and 2002, was recognized for the third time. The FIA World Endurance Champion donated the 25,000 Danish crowns of his prize to the Allan Simonsen Mindefond, a foundation that assists the family of Allan Simonsen who was killed in an accident at Le Mans last year.

Hat trick for Audi V6 TDI

Motorsport experts from around the globe are united in their opinions once again: the innovative V6 TDI powering the Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the world’s best race engine. A 50-person jury from the British specialist magazine Race Engine Technology nominated the 3.7-liter power unit as ‘Race Engine of the Year’ for the third time in succession. Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi accepted the prize on behalf of Audi Sport at the Autosport Engineering Show in Birmingham.

Great honor for Ulrich Baretzky

Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport, was the recipient of the ‘Racing Engine Designer of the Year’ award at the RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium. Baretzky has been working for 20 years at Audi Sport on groundbreaking ideas for the future – and with success: under his supervision, the V6 TDI engine was designed that powered the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, with which Audi celebrated its twelfth victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 100th win in Le Mans Prototypes at the WEC race at Austin in 2013. “This prize is a great honor for me and we have the perfect teamwork at Audi Sport to thank for this,” explained Baretzky in Birmingham.

First appointment after retirement

Allan McNish and Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen started the new sports car season by visiting the Autosport International Show. They gave innumerable interviews and signed hundreds of autographs for two days at the world’s largest motorsport exhibition. McNish used the first public appearance of the year to talk about his new role at Audi Sport. “I’ve been a member of the Audi motorsport family for many years, and after retiring from racing I will be closely linked with the Audi brand,” explained the Scotsman. In addition, fans were able to admire the Audi R18 e-tron quattro that was triumphant at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC in 2013.

Audi technicians attend motorsport conferences

With Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development, and Thomas Laudenbach, Head of Electric, Electronic and Energy Systems, two Audi Sport technicians participated in the highly select motorsport conferences in Great Britain. Baretzky chaired a two-day discussion about the future of motorsport at the RACE TECH World Motorsport Symposium in the Birmingham City University. Baretzky and Laudenbach subsequently shared their expert knowledge during the Low Carbon Conference and Innovation Showcase at the Birmingham Exhibition Centre. The main subject was the success of alternative drive concepts in motorsport and in mass production.

A word from ... Markus Winkelhock

This coming weekend you compete in the 24 hours of Daytona in an Audi R8 LMS fielded by the new Audi customer team Flying Lizard Motorsports – do you still think about the memorable final lap last year?
That we lost victory last year while leading with only about 200 meters to the finish was obviously unlucky and extremely annoying. However, everything starts afresh this year and I’m looking forward to my second outing in the 24-hour race at Daytona. The prospects look good: car, team and team-mates suit each other perfectly. In this constellation, we have a good chance of fighting for victory.

How well are you getting along with the new US version of the Audi R8 LMS?
I’m very familiar with the Audi R8 LMS and know how it handles on the race track. It is quick and is very easy to drive. During the traditional test days at Daytona, I had no problems getting to grips with the new GTD car. Even though we have to make do without ABS and traction control, we nevertheless found a very good set-up together. I’m convinced that the Audi R8 LMS will as usual prove its reliability in the endurance race.

Only two weeks after the 24 hours of Daytona, the next challenge looms at the 12 hours of Bathurst. Are you looking forward to your first outing in Australia with the United Autosports team?
Very much so. I’ve never been to Bathurst before and can’t wait for the race. To prepare, I’ve already watched a few onboard videos in the internet and am well impressed. At several points you have to drive very close to the wall, it goes uphill and downhill and you could sometimes think that you are racing on a street circuit or the Nordschleife. Bathurst is certainly well worth a visit.

Coming up next week

25/01 24 Hours of Daytona (USA)

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