Press release

Ingolstadt, 2012-05-20

Motorsport Newsletter 19/2012: Grand appearance of Audi racers in Graz

  • Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay will be guests at DTM Pre-Event
  • Audi R8 e-tron does demo laps on the Nordschleife
  • Meeting of the Le Mans legends in Monaco

The Audi racers are not suffering from boredom between the DTM races at Brands Hatch and Spielberg – and there were numerous interesting stories on the fringes of the Nürburgring 24 Hours as well.

Grand appearance: The two Audi racers Miguel Molina and Adrien Tambay will be featured  guests at the DTM Pre-Event in Graz that will serve as a prelude to the DTM race to be held at the Red Bull Ring from June 1 to 3. The program also includes DTM demo drives in the city center of Graz and a reception hosted by the mayor including the signing of the “Golden Book of the City of Graz.” On the day before, the two Audi drivers will attend a grid girl selection contest. Adrien Tambay will subsequently get to enjoy a hot air balloon ride across the apple orchard region, while Miguel Molina will be signing autographs on the occasion of the film premiere of “Men in Black 3” at the Cineplexx theater in Graz.

University lecture: Before the DTM Pre-Event in Graz Miguel Molina, Adrien Tambay  and Markus Michelberger, Timo Scheider’s race engineer, will visit the “FH Johanneum” university in Graz to give first-hand explanations of the Audi A5 DTM’s technology. The university visit initiated by Audi’s partner Red Bull had already been a resounding success last year.  

Soccer fever: The dramatic Champions League finale between the two Audi partners FC Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC was a big subject at the DTM at Brands Hatch as well. The Audi racers watched the captivating match on a large screen at the Audi Team & Media Hospitality. The Audi Communications team handed out scarves of the two soccer clubs.

Golfing with the pros: Rahel Frey and Timo Scheider will be visiting the UniCredit Ladies German Open presented by Audi from May 24 to 27. At Golfpark Gut Häusern near Munich Scheider will participate in the Pro-Am tournament and the Player’s Night.

Formula 1 guest: DTM rookie Adrien Tambay will visit the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco together with his father on Thursday and Sunday. The Frenchman contested a total of 114 Formula 1 races from 1977 to 1986.

Sporty program: Mattias Ekström is recharging his batteries after the DTM weekend at Brands Hatch. The Swede will be spending a whole week on a personal fitness program.

Grand appearance at home round: Audi Sport Team Phoenix has its home base directly at the Nürburgring. While part of the team was working at the DTM race at Brands Hatch the other part was involved in the 24-hour race in the Eifel. There, the team welcomed 80 guests who watched the appearance of the two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars.

Victory in Spain: At the second race of the Iber GT Championship Jarama, Spain, Team Novadriver celebrated a victory. The Portuguese Cesar Campaniço triumphed together with his Finnish team-mate Mikko Eskelinen in the Audi R8 LMS ultra with a 50-second lead. After two of five race weekends, Campaniço and Eskelinen are leading the championship with a one-point advantage.

Focused on the future: The 2nd ADAC RWE eKorso at the Nürburgring also saw two electrically powered vehicles from Audi on track. A prototype of the R8 e-tron sports car and an A1 e-tron approved for road use drove almost silently around the Nordschleife prior to the start of the 24-hour race.

Social commitment: Christian Mamerow has a heart for children. For 10 euros, fans could have their photo or a logo depicted in the advertising areas of the side blades of the Audi R8 LMS ultra at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The racer donates one euro from each ten collected to the Kinderlachen e.V. organization, a charity for seriously ill children.

Visit from Asia: Rene Koneberg, Head of Audi Sport customer racing China, visited the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. One of the two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars of the Audi race experience advertised the new Audi R8 LMS Cup in China with a conspicuous dragon design at the Eifel marathon.

A chip off the old block: At the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the number “3” Audi R8 LMS ultra was supported by Andreas Singer. The 30-year-old race engineer whose main job is that of an academic assistant at the Stuttgart University is starting to continue a proud family heritage in motorsport. He is the son of Norbert Singer, who as an engineer played an instrumental part in all 16 Le Mans victories of Porsche, Audi’s sister company in the VW Group.

Many kilometers: Allan Simonsen and René Rast not only contested the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in the Audi R8 LMS ultra. On Saturday, René Rast also competed in a Porsche Carrera Cup race which he finished in third place after having started from tenth. Allan Simonsen contested two races in the British GT Championship that were held in the Eifel as well.

Exclusive group: Before the start of the 24-hour race a high-caliber Audi sports parade drove around the Nürburgring. Audi partner companies and customers of the brand piloted 15 vehicles from the R8 family, including the particularly fascinating R8 GT and R8 Spyder models, in the Audi Drive Away event.

Meeting of the Le Mans legends: Jacky Ickx and Tom Kristensen, the two most successful Le Mans racers of all time, will meet on Friday as part of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for a double interview focused on the fascination of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Audi brand. Ickx drove an Auto Union Type C at the historic Grand Prix in Monaco held two weekends ago.

A word from  ... Werner Frowein   

What does the triumph at the Nürburgring 24 Hours mean for you as long-standing managing director of quattro GmbH and for Audi?
“Everything! We worked toward this for three years and won the class three times. Our biggest remaining wish, though, was to celebrate overall victory. I’m overjoyed about the fact that this worked out. It’s such a great team achievement. We simply worked together incredibly well. For me personally, this victory has made a dream come true.”

How do you rate this victory today in relation to your success as a mechanic 42 years ago?
“You can’t compare them at all. Back then, I was a race mechanic and we had a totally different world. By the way, there were only two drivers per car in those days. In my case, the racers were Hans-Joachim Stuck and Clemens Schickentanz. The only thing these two successes have in common is, well, first place.”

Why did it take so long to achieve your second triumph?
“You can’t put together the course of a 24-hour race on the drawing board in advance. There are always unforeseen problems. We could see that today in the case of our competitors. That’s why you need to develop, test and try out a lot of things in such a project. We had exactly the same problems which our competitors had today on occasion in the past too. And we analyzed and worked on them.”

What significance does this victory have for the Audi R8 product?
“It’s a huge opportunity to properly market this fantastic product.

Coming up next week

May 24 DTM press conference at the Olympiapark in Munich with Rahel Frey
May 27 Sepang (MAL), round 1, GT Asia
May 27 Marcel Fässler’s 36th birthday
May 27 Navarra (E), round 3, FIA GT1 World Championship
 and FIA GT3 European Championship
May 27 Phillip Island (AUS), round 2, Australian GT Championship
May 27 Curitiba (BR), round 2, Brazilian GT Championship

– End –

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Motorsport Newsletter 19/2012
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