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Jun 16, 2014 - 06:21 AM
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Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 20/2014
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 06:20 AM
Le Mans News
Audi Motorsport-Newsletter 20/2014

In an interview, Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, talks about the road to the brand’s 13th success at Le Mans. In Norway, Mattias Ekström celebrated a much-noted debut with his new team in the Rallycross World Championship. For the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, Phoenix Racing is presenting new graphics.


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Much-noted Rallycross debut

Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström and his new EKS team have celebrated a much-noted debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. EKS started with two Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the World Championship round at Hell, Norway, which sparked a lot of enthusiasm in the paddock and among the thousands of fans lining the course. Ekström and the reigning Junior World Rally Champion Pontus Tidemand both won one of their four preliminary rounds, but missed the semi-finals of the best twelve drivers by a narrow margin. The next Rallycross World Championship round will be held in Finland on the last weekend in June.

New graphics for Nürburgring 24-hour race

The two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars of Team Phoenix Racing for the Nürburgring 24-hour race (June 21 and 22) are sporting new graphics. The squad from the Eifel region that clinched the first triumph for Audi on the Nürburgring in 2012 again relies on the 2012 winners Marc Basseng (D), Christopher Haase (D), Frank Stippler (D) and Markus Winkelhock (D). They will form new line-ups for the two cars though, sharing the cockpits with Marcel Fässler (CH), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Christian Mamerow (D) and René Rast (D). In addition, Teams Prosperia C. Abt Racing and Audi race experience will each be represented with two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. G-Drive Racing and Twin Busch Motorsports powered by Kumho Tyre are each fielding one car.

‘Maximilian Stein’ successful

‘Maximilian Stein’ clinched a podium result with his Audi R8 LMS on the third weekend of the DMV Touring Car Challenge (DMV TCC) at the Hockenheimring. After taking fourth place in the first race, he clinched second place in his class in the second heat.

A word from Chris Reinke

A long and hard preparation period for the new LMP regulations has been rewarded with victory in the year’s most important endurance race. How demanding was the task?
Of course you can never plan success in a huge sports event. But: we thoroughly prepared for it. It was a huge challenge with respect to the technology, but also regarding the competitors who were also really well prepared. That’s why this 13th victory is particularly valuable.

The regulations this year were designed to result in fierce competition. Were the race cars of the three manufacturers in the LMP1 class similarly fast?
An endurance race is not only about lap times and pure speed. Endurance and team performance are important, but experience and racing luck are crucial too. This weekend was about doing the zero-defect job which all the team members have to deliver. And we arguably managed to do this best. We were the ones to cover the longest distance in 24 hours. That was the thing that counted.

What characterizes the zero-defect job you mentioned?
At the end of the day, you need the best car, the best team and the best drivers at Le Mans. We again had that this year – plus that bit of fortune you always need in life.

For Audi, the program in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) has not been going completely according to plan so far. Have the tables turned now?
We went full speed ahead in the world’s major endurance race. This success is rewarded with twice the number of points. Although Audi does not lead the standings the victory at Le Mans obviously helps in the World Championship as well. There are five more World Championship rounds to go. We’re far from giving up and continue to expect having good chances.

Coming up next week

21/06 Elkhart Lake (USA), round 5, Pirelli World Challenge
21/06 Nürburgring (D), round 3, Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy
21-22/06 Nürburgring (D), 24-hour race
22/06 Spa (B), round 3, French GT Championship
22/06 Snetterton (GB), round 4, British GT Championship
22/06 Jerez (E), round 3, GT Open

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