Press release

Ingolstadt, 2012-09-16

Motorsport Newsletter 36/2012: Basketball players visit DTM

  • Players of FC Bayern München Basketball visit DTM at Oschersleben
  • DTM drivers assume sponsorship at Magdeburg zoo
  • Audi R18 is the most efficient vehicle in the WEC

FC Bayern München basketball players Demond Green and Steffen Harmann and the Audi R8 race Taxi in team colour

Basketball players of FC Bayern München paid a visit to the DTM squad at Oschersleben. Filipe Albuquerque and Mike Rockenfeller assumed the sponsorship for a snow leopard lady. And the Audi R18 was again the most efficient vehicle in the entire field at São Paulo.

Directly from a test match in Berlin Demond Greene and Steffen Hamann traveled to the DTM at Oschersleben. The two players of FC Bayern München Basketball together with Chief Coach Dirk Bauermann and Sport Director Marko Pesic kept their fingers crossed for the Audi DTM squad and experienced the track at Oschersleben alongside Christopher Haase in an Audi R8 LMS race taxi featuring the club’s colors. Canoeists Martin Hollstein and Andreas Ihle, who had won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Munich, visited Audi at Oschersleben as well.

Initial visit: Since September 1, Wolfgang Dürheimer in his capacity as new Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development of AUDI AG has been responsible for the brand’s motorsport commitment. Dürheimer used the DTM race at Oschersleben as an opportunity to get to know the Audi DTM squad better. Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler watched the race on location as well.

Crowd puller: 71, 000 spectators (throughout the weekend) flocked to the DTM race at Oschersleben. With that, the most popular international touring car racing series topped last year’s total number of spectators (630,500) even two races before the season ends.

Quick sponsors: Filipe Albuquerque and Mike Rockenfeller visited the zoo in Magdeburg before the DTM race at Oschersleben and assumed the sponsorship for a snow leopard lady named Diana.

Quick Swede: Ola Nilsson secured an early win of the champion’s title in the Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup at Oschersleben. The winner’s trophy was presented to him by his Swedish compatriot Mattias Ekström in whose Audi A5 DTM the 24-year-old had the opportunity of a seat fitting on Sunday. As early as on Friday, all the entrants of the one-make cup had the chance to take a look at the Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline garage. Adrien Tambay explained the technology of the A5 DTM during the visit.

Slot car fun: Without a chance against Miguel Molina was Martin Westerhoff in the finale of the Audi DTM Challenge held at the Audi Team & Media Hospitality at Oschersleben. As the best member of the media, the editor from “AUTO BILD motorsport” was pleased to receive a very special prize nonetheless: an exclusive, handmade 1:24 scale Audi A5 DTM slot car. At the subsequent championship round of the rallye racing Carrera Cup (RCCO) on the three-lane Audi Raceway,  Audi GT driver Christopher Haase surprised by clinching a strong fifth place on his slot car debut.  

Double-header commitment: A stressful weekend for Sean Edwards. The son of the former British Formula One driver Guy Edwards not only contested the two rounds of the Porsche Carrera Cup on Sunday (runner-up on Saturday, winner on Sunday) at Oschersleben. The 25-year-old also got behind the wheel of the Audi DTM race taxi for the first time.   

Welcome guests: Sports car driver Timo Bernhard visited the Audi DTM squad at Oschersleben. The 2010 Le Mans winner who had a severe accident in March while testing at Sebring has meanwhile made a full recovery and recently tested a Le Mans prototype again for the first time since his accident. Frank Jelinski, who competed for Audi in the DTM in the early 90s, dropped by for a visit with his former employer too.

300 enthusiastic visitors: Before the DTM race at Oschersleben Mike Rockenfeller went to Frankfurt for Audi’s partner Schaeffler. At the Automechanika trade fair, the Audi factory driver attended an evening event for around 200 customers and 100 employees of Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket GmbH & Co. KG.

Trade fair visit in Frankfurt: On the occasion of the Automechanika 2012 trade fair, Audi’s partner Mahle featured two motorsport attractions. An example of the Le Mans winning Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car attracted major attention. The long-standing Audi factory driver Dindo Capello, the winner of the 2012 Sebring 12 Hours, was available as an expert discussion partner to selected partners of the company during an evening event.

Award for efficient drive: At the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at São Paulo, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish again received the award for an energy-saving drive. The accolade was tire partner Michelin’s reward for the Audi driver lineup’s winning of the Green X Challenge in the previous race at Silverstone. At São Paulo, the two Audi R18 cars from Audi Sport Team Joest were again the most efficient vehicles in the field.

For a good cause: Dieter Gass, Head of Racing Commitments at Audi Sport, and the factory drivers Marcel Fässler, Lucas di Grassi, Tom Kristensen, André Lotterer, Allan McNish and Benoît Tréluyer attended a charity dinner before the WEC race at São Paulo. The Brazilian Formula One legend Emerson Fittipaldi organized the event at the center of the Industry Association of São Paulo. The proceeds from admission tickets will go to the “Instituto Arte de Viver Bem” which is dedicated to early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Journey to the Far East: Between the WEC rounds in Brazil and Bahrain, the Audi factory drivers Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen will spend the coming weekend in Singapore. Kristensen will act as commentator for the Formula Grand Prix for a Danish TV channel and McNish will serve in the role of an FIA Steward.

Home round: Team Phoenix Racing based at the Nürburgring will be contesting the fifth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series on the German Grand Prix circuit next weekend. Taking turns at the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS ultra will be Luca Ludwig, Harold Primat and René Rast. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT will compete with two R8 LMS ultra cars as usual.

For the first time till Monday: In 2013, the Nürburgring 24 Hours will be held on the Pentecost weekend. While practice will be on Friday and Saturday, the race will now extend to Sunday and Monday (May 19 and 20). This year, Audi with the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Marc Basseng/Christopher Haase/Frank Stippler/Markus Winkelhock celebrated its first victory at the endurance classic.

Double victory: Alex Yoong from Malaysia was the dominant man on the fourth race weekend of the Audi R8 LMS Cup at Zhuhai, China. Young won both races of the one-make cup held with 16 identical cars, both times ahead of the Hong Kong Chinese Marchy Lee and Adderly Fong.

A word from ... Lucas di Grassi

What would you say in taking stock of your first endurance race for Audi Sport Team Joest?
It was an outstanding experience for me. I’m very pleased with the job I did for Audi. I neither expected the opportunity of driving the qualifying session nor being able to immediately keep up with my team-mates. Fortunately, that’s how it worked out. I’m very proud of this. I learned a lot from my team-mates this weekend. But it was just a first step. I’ve got to learn a lot more about these types of races, the car, the strategy, how to handle the tires and how to save fuel. I now have an initial feeling and am definitely happy with how things went.

On your debut in the Audi R18 ultra you were immediately allowed to drive the qualifying session and clinched the front row...
That was a great qualifying session for me. It was my first qualifying in endurance racing and my first one with Audi. I’m very pleased with the result. 

How did the race go from your perspective?
It was a sort of sprint race where we were driving at the limit through to the end. We finished with a relatively narrow margin behind our sister car. Unfortunately, there was a bit of gap between us and Toyota, who deserved the win.

Coming up next week

Sep 22 Nürburgring (D), round 5, Blancpain Endurance Series
Sep 23 Nürburgring (D), round 8, FIA GT1 World Championship
Sep 23 Nürburgring (D), round 6, FIA GT3 European Championship
Sep 23 Phillip Island (AUS), round 5, Australian GT Championship
Sep 23 Mugello (I), round 6, Italian GT Championship

– End –

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