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Feb 03, 2014 - 06:14 AM
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Six Audi Customer Teams At Bathurst
Posted by: newsla on Feb 03, 2014 - 06:05 AM
Sports Cars
Six Audi Customer Teams At Bathurst


Six Audi customer teams will start at Bathurst next weekend. Rahel Frey speaks about here premiere at the 12-hour race. With Sébastien Loeb, Audi Sport customer racing has gained a prominent new customer.

 

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Audi customer teams ready for ‘down under’

The countdown to the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia), one of the classic international endurance races, has started. Six Audi customer teams field examples of both the Audi R8 LMS and ultra versions on the famous Mount Panorama between 7 and 9 February – with some prominent drivers in the cockpits. GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock supports his team mates Eric Lux and Mark Patterson at United Autosports. Rahel Frey, René Rast and reigning FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoor compete for Phoenix Racing. The team of Mark Eddy and Marc Cini relies on the experience brought along by Christopher Mies (winner with Audi 2011 and 2012). The former touring car World Champion Rob Huff also travels to Australia, where he shares an Audi R8 LMS ultra with Rob Holland and Roland Pritzker at Rotek Racing. Team owner Rod Salmon races with Warren Luff and Jason Bright. Dean Koutsoumidis, Dean Grant, Michael Loccisano and Dean Fiore complete the R8 sextet. The race starts at 6:15 a.m. local time on Sunday.

Sébastien Loeb opts for Audi R8 LMS ultra

Audi Sport customer racing has gained a prominent new customer. In the third year of its career in GT sport, the race team of nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb relies on the Audi R8 LMS ultra for the first time. With his privateer team ‘Sébastien Loeb Racing’ (SLR) the Frenchman finished the French GT Championship and the FIA GT Series as the overall runner-up last year. For 2014, Loeb has again planned an extensive GT program and is taking two cars for it.

Lotterer and Vanthoor inspire Brussels

The two Audi drivers André Lotterer and Laurens Vanthoor were the stars of the motor show in Brussels last week. Double Le Mans winner Lotterer, who grew up in Belgium, busily signed autographs and posed for photographs on the Audi stand together with fans around the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Local hero Vanthoor, FIA GT Series Champion in the Audi R8 LMS ultra, visited the exhibition a few days later.

Benoît Tréluyer debuts on ice

Audi factory driver Benoît Tréluyer is not only fast in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro but also in an electric vehicle on ice. The two-time Le Mans winner celebrated his debut in the French ‘Trophée Andros Electrique’ ice racing series at Lans-en-Vercors and set an impressive third-fastest time in the final qualifying session. Tréluyer finished each of the two races in sixth place.

A word from ... Rahel Frey

Next weekend you’ll be celebrating your personal premiere at Bathurst with the Audi customer team Phoenix Racing. What are your expectations of this debut?
I’ve never been to Australia before and don’t know the country or the race track at Bathurst. That’ll be tremendously exciting and an absolutely new challenge I’m very much looking forward to. But it won’t be a walk in the park. The competition is fierce and there are a lot of local heroes who know the track like the back of their hand. That means we’ve got to get used to the track on location as quickly as possible.

You’ve known the Phoenix squad for a long time. Does that help?
Obviously, I’m happy to be seeing familiar faces from my DTM days in Australia. I’m running in a likeable top team that has previously won this classic endurance race. Plus we’re a very strong driver squad. Laurens Vanthoor and René Rast are very successful in the Audi R8 LMS ultra around the world. I feel very comfortable in the R8 as well and was able to clinch a few successes in the Chinese Audi R8 LMS Cup. But my team-mates will probably teach me a few more things. If I can keep up with them at Bathurst I will have achieved my goal. After all, team-mates are always the best benchmark.

How did you prepare for the start of the new motorsport year?
My preparation already started last year. Through intensive strength training I managed to gain a bit of weight. The additional job as an instructor for the Audi driving experience was helpful too as regular driving practice. And of course I watched many onboard videos in preparation for Bathurst and really played the PlayStation a lot. Honestly: I feel fitter than ever before. Ready for Bathurst.

Where else will we be seeing you this season?
The events have not been finally decided yet. But it’ll definitely be in an Audi R8 LMS – that’s the most important thing for me. I’m already looking forward to the next challenges with Audi.


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