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Jan 27, 2014 - 06:49 AM
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Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 2/2014
Posted by: newsla on Jan 27, 2014 - 06:45 AM
American Le Mans Series News
Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 2/2014

Hot-rodding on ice: As part of the program surrounding the Ski World Cup race in Kitzbühel, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen chauffeured slalom ace Marcel Hirscher and FC Bayern star Bastian Schweinsteiger around an ice and snow course. A wet track was encountered by the Audi DTM drivers during three-day tests at Portimão, Portugal.


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Tom Kristensen meets Schweinsteiger and Hirscher

Action-packed variety for Tom Kristensen in the preparation stage for the new motorsport season: The Audi factory driver visited the Ski World Cup race in Kitzbühel, as did the DTM drivers Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström. At an Audi driving experience event on snow and ice, the record Le Mans winner and world sports car champion met slalom ace Marcel Hirscher and FC Bayern star Bastian Schweinsteiger, and chauffeured the athletes around the specially prepared course.

Allan McNish honorary guest in London

The British Motor Sports Association (MSA) welcomed Allan McNish as honorary guest at the annual ‘Night of Champions’ awards ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in London last Saturday. The Scotsman presented numerous trophies to budding British motorsport talents. Furthermore, he was awarded a silver champion’s shield for his successful career during which he recently celebrated scooping his third Le Mans victory with Audi Sport in addition to winning the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) title. “I’m delighted to receive a prize from the RAC again after more than 30 years, and I’m proud now to be able to present young aspiring race drivers with prizes,” said McNish.

Tom Kristensen race driver of the year in Denmark

Tom Kristensen has been voted ‘race driver’ of the year in his native Denmark for an amazing seventh time. The Audi factory driver was presented with the accolade by the Danish Auto Sport Union in Copenhagen on Thursday night. “This award means a lot to me,” said the nine-time Le Mans winner and reigning World Endurance Champion. “2013 was the most successful season in my career – and I would like to particularly thank Audi, my team and my team-mates Loïc (Duval) and Allan (McNish) for it.”

Trophy presentation in Wiesbaden

The German Motorsport Association (DMSB) recognized Audi on the occasion of the ‘Gala of Champions’ at the ‘Kurhaus’ in Wiesbaden for its numerous sporting successes in 2013. DMSB President Hans-Joachim Stuck presented Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, with a trophy for winning the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Audi Sport Team Phoenix was honored as the DTM Championship-winning team. Team Director Ernst Moser also accepted the accolade on behalf of Mike Rockenfeller. Following a strenuous PR ‘marathon’ as a result of his title win, the DTM Champion treated himself to a few weeks of vacation in the USA before contesting the Daytona 24 Hours next weekend. In a video message, ‘Rocky’ expressed his thanks to the DMSB.

Audi pleased with DTM test despite difficult conditions

This was not the way Jamie Green, Miguel Molina, Edoardo Mortara and Timo Scheider had expected things to go: In three-day track tests at Portimão, Portugal, the DTM drivers experienced difficult conditions on the first two days, as rain that kept setting in interfered with continuous testing. The track tests in Portugal primarily served to test components for the 2014-specification Audi RS 5 DTM. Despite the adverse conditions Audi completed more than 2,900 kilometers in total – Green and Mortara alone, exerting a major effort on the last day, contributed 1,400 kilometers – and was pleased with the results.

Dieter Gass at Daytona 24 Hours

Before the 24-hour race at Daytona (USA), Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport, attended a meeting of the Steering Committee that was formed in mid-2013 by the organizers of the DTM, the Super GT in Japan and the IMSA. The aim is to develop common Technical Regulations to enable races with DTM vehicles on all three continents starting in 2017. Gass stayed in Daytona after the meeting to watch the race of the four Audi customer teams Fall-Line Motorsports, Flying Lizard Motorsports, GMG Racing and Paul Miller Racing.

Audi of America provides safety car at Daytona

For the second consecutive time, Audi of America is providing the official safety car for the 24-hour race at Daytona (USA). The IMSA relied on a brilliant-black Audi R8 V10 to lead the field into the new era of U.S. sports car racing on Saturday at exactly 14:04 local time. At the invitation of Audi of America, some 300 guests – including Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America – watched the first race of the new Tudor United SportsCar Championship (TUSCC).

Allan McNish ambassador for Audi Sport

Allan McNish made his debut in a new role at the Daytona 24 Hours. In addition to other responsibilities, the reigning World Endurance Champion and Le Mans winner has assumed the role of an ambassador and representative for Audi Sport with a focus on U.S. racing. McNish won the American Le Mans Series with Audi in 2000, 2006 and 2007.

Audi Sport customer racing China cooperates with BRT

With support by Audi Sport customer racing China the Chinese Brothers Racing Team (BRT) will be fielding an Audi R8 LMS ultra for the Chinese ‘Franky’ Cheng Congfu in European GT races in the 2014 season. Audi Sport customer racing China is aiming to support the development of motorsport in China through the cooperation, which also includes fielding a total of four R8 LMS cars in the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Asia.

New Audi customer team in the Blancpain Endurance Series

Audi Sport customer racing is pleased to welcome a new squad. The U.K. Parker Racing team will be fielding an Audi R8 LMS ultra in the Blancpain Endurance Series in the 2014 season, with the Britons Ian Loggie, Chris Jones and Julian Westwood as drivers. “Audi is the most successful brand in endurance racing. We’re thankful for having been included in the Audi family,” says team principal Stuart Parker.

A word from … Timo Scheider

After seven years with ABT Sportsline, you’ll be competing for Audi Sport Team Phoenix in 2014. How difficult was it to part with the team?
It was really hard, I’ve got to admit. I personally said goodbye to the guys and in my little speech kept swallowing and fighting back tears. We experienced many unique moments and emotions over the past years, including some highlights like my first victory and my two titles of course. Everything I’ve achieved in the DTM I owe to Audi and the Abt squad.

What are your expectations after switching to the Championship winning team?
I decided to take this step together with Audi because I believe that a new beginning with new people, new energy and a clear mind will be good for me. The guys at Phoenix have proven that they belong to the top teams in the DTM. And I think that both sides are looking forward to what’s ahead with really eager anticipation.

In the Champion, Mike Rockenfeller, you’ll have one of the strongest of all possible team-mates at your side …
Mike and I’ve known each other for a long time, we’re from the same region and get along well. Still, I’m determined to compete with him on the race track and, if possible, beat him. I’m looking forward to this competition, and so is he.

This weekend, you were a guest at the Ski World Cup in Kitzbühel – a welcome change?
Yes, those were great days. I was very happy about the invitation by Audi and got to meet a lot of fantastic athletes at the events between the World Cup races.

What does your further preparation for the season look like?
Training is the order of the day at the moment. I’m spending the winter in Kitzbühel this time and have put together a full program for myself there. In February, I’m going to meet all the Audi drivers at our joint training camp, plus I’ve got appointments with the team and, finally, there’ll be the first track tests. I can hardly wait to be sitting in the race car again.

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