Press release

Ingolstadt, 2012-07-01

Motorsport Newsletter 25/2012: 24-hour winners visit Norisring

  • Marcel Fässler and Markus Winkelhock piloted their winning cars
  • “Audi Sport” app now available as Android version as well
  • Mies, Haase and Ortelli clinch first victory of the season in Blancpain Series

Audi’s home race at the Nuremberg Norisring attracted numerous guests to the Dutzendteich Lake.

Soccer meets motorsport: The training facility of 1. FC Nürnberg is just a stone’s throw away from the race track. Some of the players took advantage of this proximity to visit the DTM. Raphael Schäfer and Timothy Chandler, among others, came to see Audi. Regular guests of the four rings and thus present in Nuremberg as well: the 1990 world soccer champions Andreas Brehme and Karl-Heinz Riedle.

First victory of the season: Christopher Mies, Christopher Haase and Stéphane Ortelli clinched the season’s first victory for Audi at the Blancpain Endurance Series at Le Castellet, France. The trio from the Belgian W Racing Team had shown a strong recovery in the Audi R8 LMS ultra after starting from 15th place on the grid. One hour before the end of the three-hour race, Stéphane Ortelli took the lead.

Now also available for Android: Right in time for the DTM season’s pinnacle event at the Norisring the popular “Audi Sport” iPhone app is now available as an Android version as well. The app with information, photographs, videos, live reports and numerous other features about the DTM, World Endurance Championship and customer sport can be obtained free of charge from Google Play.

Goodwood thrill: Audi factory driver Tom Kristensen enjoyed his appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. At this tradition-steeped event, the eight-time Le Mans winner piloted the Lotus 98T in which Ayrton Senna had clinched two victories and eight pole positions in the 1986 Formula One season. “An honor to have the privilege of driving this car,” said the pleased Dane.

World record: The R8 e-tron set the best time for production vehicles with electric drive on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Markus Winkelhock piloted the all-electric high-performance sports car around the 20.8-kilometer circuit in 8m 09.099s.

Postponement: The 90th International Hill Climb at Pikes Peak will not take place on July 8 as planned. Devastating wildfires around Colorado Springs make running the tradition-steeped race in the United States impossible at the moment. 25 years after his record drive in the Audi Sport quattro S1 Pikes Peak, Walter Röhrl was to climb the peak again in a demonstration drive.

Intermediate stop to see some of his greatest fans: On the way to the Norisring, Mike Rockenfeller stopped at the headquarters of the Schaeffler Group in Herzogenaurach. The Audi racer whose Audi A5 DTM is sporting the colors of the automotive supplier this season had the opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes of the development department and met with a large number of employees during an interview and subsequent autograph session.

Tickling their taste buds: To get into the mood for the race in the Franconian metropolis Rahel Frey, Timo Scheider and Filipe Albuquerque visited the world-famous Nuremberg “Bratwursthäusle.” The three Audi factory drivers were even allowed to join the chefs at the grill and cooked tasty Nuremberg sausages for the members of the media.
Winners on four wheels: As a highlight for fans and guests, Audi brought two true winners along to Nuremberg. The Audi R8 LMS ultra that had won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring was parked on the Audi terrace at the Dutzendteich Lake. Together with the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro it did some demo laps on Sunday before the race started.

Winners made of flesh and blood: Naturally, the drivers of the two vehicles paid a visit to the DTM’s pinnacle event as well: Markus Winkelhock and Marcel Fässler watched the spectacle in Nuremberg, gave interviews galore and signed scores of autographs for the Audi fans. In addition, Fässler assisted the DTM’s race directors as “race consultant” in Nuremberg.

Sailing meets motorsport: During the Kieler Woche Audi driver Miguel Molina and his race engineer Laurent Fedacou had the opportunity to sail a regatta on board of the Audi boat. Now the visit was reciprocated. Boris Herrmann, the navigator of the Audi Sailing Team, stopped at the Norisring and was thrilled with the various facets and challenges of motorsport he learned about during his visit.

Audi Drive Away: In front of the impressive crowd at the Norisring more than 50 participants from the Region South (Feser Graf Group) received their new vehicles. The most popular models were the Audi RS 3 Sportback and the Audi RS 5 Coupé, each of which had been selected ten times.

A word from ... Markus Winkelhock

Exactly six weeks ago you won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in the Audi R8 LMS ultra. How often do these moments come back to your mind now?
“Very often. Especially this weekend when I was a guest at the DTM an incredibly large number of people mentioned this to me and expressed their congratulations. And then the authentic winning car was showcased at Audi’s location and I had the chance to do some show laps in it – that was truly a goose bump feeling…”

With a bit of a distance, how do you rate this victory?
“Very far at the top. Of course the first victory in Formula 3 was great too, and there were also some nice experiences in Formula One or the DTM. But victory at such a famous event as the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife has been and will always be very special.” 

Now you’ve set a world record in the Audi R8 e-tron on the Nordschleife. Was this a new experience?
“A completely new experience. I’ve never had a record drive in a production vehicle before and even sat in an electric car for the first time. That’s really a strange feeling, when there’s no sound from the engine whatsoever. It took three laps before I was able to properly judge acceleration and speed. We were successful and of course now I’m hoping that our record will last for a long time.”

First the 24-hour victory and then the world record – the Audi R8 has got to be your absolutely favorite car now …
“Yes, it is. Somehow we seem to fit together well. Of course I’m now hoping that we’ll be clinching a lot more successes together in the future.

Coming up next week

Jul 07 Nürburgring (D), round 5, Endurance Championship
Jul 07 Falkenberg (S), round 3, Swedish GT Championship
Jul 07 Tom Kristensen’s 45th birthday
Jul 08 Algarve (P), round 5, FIA GT1 World Championship and round 4, FIA GT3 European Championship
Jul 08 Misano (I), round 3, Italian GT Championship
Jul 08 Portimão (P), round 4, Portuguese GT Championship

– End –
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Motorsport Newsletter 25/2012: 24-hour winners visit Norisring
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