Motorsport Newsletter 21/2012: Audi driver is guest of Flying Bulls
- Edoardo Mortara enjoys aerobatic flight in Red Bull helicopter
- Miguel Molina tests Audi e-bike Wörthersee
- Audi provides official cars at Le Mans 24 Hours
Audi driver Edoardo Mortara not only caused a stir on track at the DTM at Spielberg: The 25-year-old was given the opportunity to enjoy an aerobatic flight in a helicopter in the skies above the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.
Test run on two wheels: DTM racer Miguel Molina had the opportunity to test the new Audi e-bike Wörthersee at the Red Bull Ring. The innovative two-wheel prototype combines Audi’s core competencies design, ultra, e-tron and connect. The frame and the link fork that guides the rear wheel are made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). A report featuring the test run of the DTM star will be published in the next issue of Audi’s magazine “Dialoge” (“Dialogs”).
Skiing stars in the DTM car: The two Austrian ski stars Kathrin Zettel and Klaus Kröll visited the DTM race at Spielberg. They met with two-time DTM Champion Mattias Ekström and were treated to a ride in the Audi DTM race taxi across the Red Bull Ring with Daniel Abt at the wheel.
Happy birthday: Last Wednesday, Austrian racing legend Dieter Quester celebrated his 73rd birthday. On Sunday, the native of Vienna piloted an Audi R8 LMS across the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg for sponsor Red Bull.
Guest on ServusTV: On Monday after the DTM race at the Red Bull Ring, Mattias Ekström will travel directly to Salzburg. At partner Red Bull’s Hangar-7, the Audi factory driver is expected as a studio guest of Servus TV.
Meeting of the Le Mans legends: On the fringes of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco, Tom Kristensen and Jacky Ickx met for a double interview for the Audi Sport magazine “Adrenalin” that will be published next week. A total of 14 victories make them the most successful drivers of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. “I was two years old when Jacky clinched his first Le Mans victory – and 15 when he achieved his last triumph,” relates Kristensen, who replaced Jacky Ickx in 2005 as the Le Mans record winner – no problem for the Belgian, who says, “Records are made to be broken. That’s why I was happy for him when he improved my best mark. I’m very much hoping for him to be able to add further victories to his record. That’s definitely possible, as Audi pursues motorsport with great passion.”
Green Racing: Under the motto of “Le Mans makes cars green,” the organizer of the Le Mans 24 Hours assembled four new vehicle concepts for a photo opportunity on the test day. In the presence of the new ACO President Pierre Fillon, Dieter Gass, Head of Racing Commitments at Audi Sport, presented the Audi R18 e-tron quattro as the first diesel hybrid vehicle at Le Mans.
Karting fun: Tom Kristensen, Romain Dumas and Benoît Tréluyer accepted an invitation by the organizer ACO on the day before the Le Mans test day. At Circuit Alain Prost, the three Audi factory drivers together with a group of journalists competed against each other in race karts on Saturday. As the best Audi driver, Tom Kristensen ultimately finished in fourth place.
Official fleet: Audi is again providing a whole fleet of official vehicles to the Le Mans organizer ACO this year. 22 cars will be deployed to La Sarthe ranging from the Q5 and Q7, the S6 Avant and RS 5 through to the R8 V10. The attractive models will be used as the safety car and for the medical and fire-fighting teams plus as rescue vehicles.
Front row: During the group photo shoot of this year’s Le Mans field, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro attracted major attention in the front row. When this year’s Miss 24 Heures du Mans, Clémence Potier, posed alongside Audi’s hybrid sports car the photographers quickly agreed on the shot that was the most popular picture taken that afternoon.
Nordschleife runs: Following Audi’s historic victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours fans can look forward to further runs of the Audi R8 LMS ultra and the winning team on the Nordschleife: Team Phoenix Racing is planning to field two R8 LMS ultra cars at each of the remaining VLN Endurance Championship rounds. Marc Basseng/Frank Stippler and Luca Ludwig/René Rast are planned as the regular drivers. The next round will be held on June 23.
Podium at Silverstone: At the wet second round of the Blancpain Endurances Serie at Silverstone, Great Britain, Andrea Piccini, Edward Sandström and Laurens Vanthoor in the Audi R8 LMS ultra after a flawless race took second place in front of their team-mates Stéphane Ortelli, Christopher Mies and Christopher Haase. The two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars fielded by Team WRT had entered the race from grid positions 22 and twelve and shown a strong recovery.
Success for Lee: New winner at the second race weekend of the new Audi R8 Cup in China. The HongKong Chinese Marchy Lee clinched victory in the first race after having started from position three on the grid. Despite rising temperatures and a longer safety car period Lee kept cool and won in front of Adderly Fong and Zhang Sun. In the second race Marchy Lee was leading again but was touched by his immediate rival Alex Yoong in an overtaking maneuver and lost a lot of places. As a result, victory went to Adderly Fong, who extended his championship lead to 13 points.
Leading laps in the USA: At the fifth round of the American Grand-AM Series at Detroit the Audi R8 GRAND-AM entered by Team APR Motorsport recorded its first leading laps. Jim Norman was the front runner in Friday’s free practice. His team-mate Dion von Moltke led the race for four laps. He then touched a track barrier, lost four laps and ended the race after 72 laps in eleventh place in the GT class.
Double victory in Portugal. César Campaniço and Carlos Viera celebrated another success in Portugal. At the Portuguese Circuit Racing Cup at Portimão that was also part of the Iberian GT Superstars Trophy the Portuguese duo in the Audi R8 LMS of the Novadriver Total team was triumphant in the first race thanks to a good pit stop strategy. In the second heat, Campaniço and Viera were victorious as well.
A word from ... Arno Zensen
Before the triumph at the Red Bull Ring Team Rosberg celebrated its last victory in the DTM that was called ITC back then in 1996. Are the two successes comparable?
“It’s always great to win but these two triumphs are very different indeed. We had just entered the ITC and won very soon afterward. In the ‘new’ DTM we had to compete with used cars for many tough years. But I knew during all those years that there is a racing god who would give us our chance one day. And I was right. After such a long trial it’s obvious quite a special success.”
A special success – also because the DTM is more competitive than ever?
“On BMW’s return, the level in the series has been elevated yet again. The races are extremely close and Audi’s start into the season could probably have been better. But everyone at Audi Sport worked extremely hard in order to be in contention again at the far front of the field – and it worked out. Naturally, I’m particularly happy for Audi Sport Team Rosberg to have clinched the first victory of the new Audi A5 DTM. This shows the potential which the team has but also the potential of the car and of Audi Sport as a whole. For one thing is clear, you can only prevail in the current DTM if everyone works together for the same aim.”
How much momentum does the triumph at the Red Bull Ring provide for the next races?
“A huge amount. Triumphs always spur you on. But they also cause the pressure to rise. As a team and as Audi Sport on the whole, we showed that we can win. We want to – and have to – continue this now.”
The victory at the Red Bull Ring was something special also with respect to your own motorsport biography ...
“Here at Spielberg my motorsport career as a formula racing instructor started. I lived there for almost ten years – so you can almost call this a home victory.”
Who was the first person to congratulate you after winning at Spielberg?
“After Edo’s (Mortara) pole premiere it was Keke Rosberg. After the victory, he didn’t even try to reach me by phone. He saw all the commotion and excitement on television. My cell phone was simply flooded by congratulations. Just in the 30 minutes after the checkered flag had fallen 129 text messages and e-mails arrived.”
Coming up next week
Jun 09 Lexington (USA), round 6, GRAND-AM
Jun 09 Rockingham (GB), round 3, British GT Championship
Jun 10 Sepang (MAL), round 3, Super GT and round 2, GT Asia
Jun 10 Slovakia Ring (SK), round 4, FIA GT1 World Championship
Jun 10 Mugello (I), round 2, Italian GT Championship
Jun 10 Sachsenring (D), round 3, ADAC GT Masters
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