Audi R8 LMS triumphs at VLN finale

• Phoenix Racing victorious on Nürburgring’s Nordschleife• Mayor holds reception for Martin Tomczyk• United Autosports to compete in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Bathurst

 Phoenix Racing notched up another success at the end of the season, following on from its DTM title win: Ernst Moser’s team wonthe final race of the VLN Endurance Championship on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife with the Audi R8 LMS.

Triumph on the Nordschleife: The Audi R8 LMS won the finale of the VLN EnduranceChampionship at the Nürburgring. In a thrilling race, Michael Ammermüller, MarcBasseng, and Christopher Mies drove the Audi R8 LMS to victory for Phoenix Racing,beating GT3 competition from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche. This makes it thethird overall victory for the Audi R8 LMS on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.Celebrations in France: At the season finale of the French GT Championship at LeCastellet, David Hallyday and Stéphane Ortelli moved up a position to secondoverall when they came seventh in the first of two races in their Audi R8 LMS for theAudi France team. Their brand colleagues Nicolas Tardif and Grégory Guilvert camesecond in the first race in an R8 LMS for Saintéloc and therefore made it onto thewinners’ rostrum for the second time this year.

Champions rack up more points: Having recently clinched the title in the GTScategory of the Spanish GT Championship, César Campaniço and Joao PedroFigueiredo extended their impressive series of successes on the last weekend ofracing in 2011 at Barcelona. Driving an Audi R8 LMS for the NovaDriver Total team,the pair came second in the first race and fourth in the second, and were thereforeamong the top three at eleven out of twelve races this year.

Lap of honor: Two days after the DTM finale at Hockenheim, the Audi employees inNeckarsulm celebrated the new DTM champion Martin Tomczyk when he performeda lap of honor in his Audi A4 DTM at the company grounds on Tuesday. He thenpatiently signed cards and posters in the company canteen.

Champion celebrated near the company headquarters: Some 250 guests attendedthe DTM champion’s celebration hosted by Audi Sport Team Phoenix on Saturdayevening after the VLN finale. The event was held at the “Alte Scheune” in Lind, nearthe team’s headquarters in Meuspath right by the Nürburgring. The new DTMchampion Martin Tomczyk came straight from a guest appearance at an FC BayernMunich home game, laden with gifts for all the team members, including thehelmet he wore during the final race at Hockenheim. Tomczyk, who is a fan of allthings technological, surprised his mechanics with digital cameras.

Two home appearances: Audi factory driver Martin Tomczyk also made twoappearances in Bavaria this week. He was received in his birth place Rosenheim bythe mayor Gabriele Bauer and the deputy mayor Anton Heindl on Friday morningand attended the inauguration of a touring car exhibition at the Olympia shoppingmall (OEZ) in Munich on Thursday. On Thursday it was also announced that Tomczykhad been crowned the ADAC Motorsportsman of the Year for the second time.DTM champion on TV channel Sat.1: On November 4, the German TV channel Sat.1will broadcast an episode of the game show “Mein Mann kann” with celebrities,including DTM champion Martin Tomczyk and his partner Christina Surer. Tune in at8:15 P.M. to see the candidates perform interesting tasks and win great prizes.

Strong Audi presence: There is now confirmation of three Audi factory drivers takingpart in the Race of Champions on December 3 and 4, with Martin Tomczyk and TomKristensen joining Mattias Ekström. The event will be held in Düsseldorf’s EspritArena and will feature Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, and various other topinternational drivers.

First 2012 customer sport dates: The Anglo-American team United Autosports is setto compete in three international endurances races with the Audi R8 LMS in Januaryand February. The team will tackle the 24H Dubai race from January 12 to 14,followed by the 12H Abu Dhabi race a week later. Zak Brown and Richard Dean’steam will then compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia from February 24to 26.

Direct contact: 40 journalists from Asia got to talk to an appointed interviewee at amedia workshop at the Audi Kowloon premises in Hong Kong: Darryl O’Young,winner of the 2011 Bathurst 12 Hour race in an Audi R8 LMS. O’Young and his teamcolleagues Edoardo Mortara and Alexandre Imperatori will compete in the 6 Hoursof Zhuhai in an R8 LMS for Audi Sport customer racing China from November 11 to13.

Back to school with motorsport: Leena Gade, the race engineer of the winning AudiR18 TDI in Le Mans, is to share her expertise with students. At the invitation of theMIA (Motorsport Industry Association) in the UK, she will run two courses at theSchool of Race Engineering on November 26/27 and December 3/4.

A brief interview with ... Ernst Moser

You have won the DTM for the first time with Audi Sport Team Phoenix. MartinTomczyk promised you a victory before the season got underway. So had youalready achieved your goal after the third race?

“It’s true that he promised me a victory. But when you then win, it goes withoutsaying that you move on to other targets. Personally, I had hoped that we wouldalso win during our “home” appearance on the Nürburgring, which is one of Martin’sfavorite tracks. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be, but Martin did then score twofurther wins for us, at the Lausitzring and in Brands Hatch. We really hadn’treckoned with those wins, so it made them even sweeter. And the icing on the cakewas his winning the championship, of course. He really put in a masterfulperformance.”

Harboring hopes of winning the championship after the first race would havebeen a little presumptuous. But when did you seriously think you were in with achance of winning?

“After just one more race. We hadn’t really expected to achieve much at theLausitzring – in fact, we were simply pursuing a strategy of damaged limitations ona track where Mercedes had always dominated. But then Martin skillfully overtookJamie Green and we gave him the perfect support with our strategy. Having wononce, he then achieved a second win for us – that was a fantastic achievement.”Is there a particular race that sticks in your mind?

“Yes, the race on the Norisring. Having to start in tenth place on the grid was a realsetback, but with a combination of excellent driving and a clever strategy wemanaged to move up to third place in a very rainy race. I never saw so many amazed

faces before. ‘Where did you lot come from?’ people kept saying. And for the rest ofthe season, we kept surprising the competition with great pursuits.”

Martin Tomczyk really put a lot into his performance, but also demanded a greatdeal of your team. At the end of the season, he admitted that he had the clutchchanged for every single race. Was this just a quirk of his or was there a goodreason for it?

“The clutch is designed for long distances and is very hard-wearing. But it is also apart that is subject to wear and tear, which changes its characteristics – somethingthat the driver notices when he engages the clutch at the start of a race. This can becrucial, so we examined the clutch every time. In nine cases, there were indeedslight changes caused by the stresses and strains of the starting exercises eachFriday. So the simple answer to your question is that Martin was right on nineoccasions and only once was his request more of a quirk. And the consistently goodclutch performance helped him to win the title.”

Martin won the championship before the end of the season this year and won itwith a lead of 20 points. This makes it the biggest victory in the history ofPhoenix. So what are your aspirations for next year?

“I would like to see a competitive vehicle in the new DTM era. Everything I have seenso far suggests that Audi Sport is once again clearly on course for success with theA5 DTM. And I would also like to see a good pairing of drivers again, of course, oncethe team of Audi drivers has been determined in the winter. If we are in a positionto win races right from the start, it would be nice to be in the running for thechampionship, too.”