Press release

Ingolstadt, 2012-07-08

Motorsport Newsletter 26/2012: Neckarsulm welcomes Le Mans winners

  • Fässler/Tréluyer/Lotterer present Audi R18 e-tron quattro
  • Allan McNish takes the Formula 1 stage as TV expert
  • Rahel Frey sets Munich in the mood for the DTM stadium spectacle

Three weeks after the historical triumph in the world’s most prestigious endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, enthusiasm continues to abound for the victory at the Audi factory in Neckarsulm.

Lap of honor in Neckarsulm: the trio of Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer and André Lotterer who triumphed in the 24-hour race at Le Mans visited the Audi factory at Neckarsulm on Monday together with Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. Along for the ride: the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, which became the first hybrid car to win the French endurance classic. Amid the resounding applause and astonished looks of the many employees present the three drivers presented the Audi R18 e-tron quattro on the factory track. They also took time to sign autographs and chat.

Professional appearance on home soil: Allan McNish visited the British Grand Prix at Silverstone this weekend. The current leader of the driver standings in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) analyzed events during the Formula 1 event for the British television channel Sky Sports. The Scot is also in demand as TV expert at the Formula 1 races at Hockenheim (D) and Budapest (H). McNish returns to the traditional British circuit at Silverstone on August 26 when the next WEC race is on the agenda.

Racing escapade: Filipe Albuquerque will use the long four week break between the DTM events in Munich (July 14-15) and at the Nürburgring to good effect. The Portuguese plans to contest the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. The traditional endurance race is staged on the last weekend in July.

Family life at Audi: Edoardo Mortara paid a visit to the Audi factory in Ingolstadt. The Italian signed autographs and drove several laps in the Audi R8 driving simulator during the PG family day. Any one of the near 1,500 employees present could try to better the lap time set by the DTM driver. During the PG family day Arne Lakeit, Head of the Production and Factory Planning, gave insights into the thrilling world of planning at Audi.

Setting the scene for the DTM Munich: on Friday afternoon Rahel Frey visited the Olympic Shopping Center in Munich where she banged the drum for the stadium spectacle DTM Munich (July 14/15). During her visit the personable Swiss girl signed innumerable autographs and even found time to draw the winning tickets for a tombola presented by Radio Gong.

Podium slot: at the fifth round of the VLN endurance championship Nürburgring team Raeder Motorsport managed to clinch a spot on the winners’ podium. The trio of Frank Biela, Christian Hohenadel and Thomas Mutsch brought the Audi R8 LMS ultra home in third place.

Success in Portugal: WRT found its way back onto the podium again at the fifth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship. Drivers Frank Stippler and Oliver Jarvis were rewarded with a champagne shower following their comeback drive. From eighth on the grid, the duo in the Audi R8 LMS ultra fought their way through the field to take third place in the qualification race and the first podium since the season opener at Nogaro (F). The championship race was over quickly for Stippler/Jarvis after being innocent victims in a collision at the start. The sister car with Stéphane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor finished the weekend in sixth place in the second race after having taken tenth place in race one.

After you: the Team Audi Sport Italia drivers celebrated an Audi double victory in the third round of the Italian GT Championship at Misano. In race one Davide di Benedetto/Alex Frassinetti won from their team mates Andrea Sovinco/Dindo Capello. Sovinco/Capello, who had also claimed pole position for both races in their Audi R8 LMS, took the victory spoils in the second race.

As good as a home win: great celebration broke out at the fourth round of the FIA GT3 European Championship at Portimão, Portugal when the Audi R8 LMS of local matadors César Campaniço and Ni Amorim crossed the finish line in second place. Although the Portuguese duo from Team Novadriver started the race from ninth position it celebrated its best result of the season. “It was a difficult race with a very good pit stop,” said starting driver Campaniço. “But we had a perfectly balanced car and could drive consistently good lap times.”

Season best: Eric Behrens and Daniel Roos scored their best result of the season to date in the third round of the Swedish GT Championship at Falkenberg. The two drivers from Alfab Racing finished the race in second place. They had already shown their class in qualifying as they recorded the third fastest time in the Audi R8 LMS.

A word from ... Edoardo Mortara

What memories do you have of the DTM event in Munich last year?
“2011 was very successful for me. I was fastest on Saturday and in the final on Sunday I took second place. These were my first podiums in the DTM, which is why the weekend was a very special one for me. I also like the fantastic stadium atmosphere.”

What is the key to being quick around the unusual track in the Olympic Stadium?
“Unfortunately I still don’t know this year’s track layout. We shouldn’t forget that we have completely new cars, which makes it difficult to make a precise prediction. It’s important to drive as close to the walls as possible without touching them, because otherwise a lot can get damaged on the car. Narrow tracks have always suited me in the past. In Formula 3, for example, I was very successful around the street circuits in Pau and Macau.”

No championship points are awarded in Munich. Is the event just for fun or does the fighting spirit come into play at some stage?
“Obviously we want to give the spectators a good show – this is the most important thing for us. It goes without saying that you want to be quickest in a head-to-head duel with another driver. But as a driver you also have to be careful not to take too many risks and damage the car in the process. Because then you don’t get much track time and the mechanics have too much unnecessary work.”

Coming up next week

14.07. Mattias Ekström, 34th birthday
15.07. Munich (D), show event DTM
15.07. Nürburgring (D), ADAC GT Masters, round 4
15.07. Eastern Creek (AUS), Australian GT Championship, round 4
15.07. Fuji (J), GT Asia, round 3
15.07. Magny-Cours (F), French GT Championship, round 4

– End –

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Motorsport Newsletter 26/2012
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