Audi Motorsport Weekend Review

Historic victory for Lucas di Grassi• Audi factory driver wins Formula E inaugural race• Mattias Ekström to compete at Estering• GT victories in Australia and Asia

Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi and the Audi Sport ABT Formula E team won the inaugural event of the new FIA Formula E Championship in Beijing. Mattias Ekström will be competing in the German World Rallycross Championship round next weekend. In Australia and Malaysia, Audi customer teams celebrated victories with the Audi R8 LMS.

Lucas di Grassi wins Formula E inaugural race

Audi factory driver Lucas di Grassi and the Audi Sport ABT Formula E team won the inaugural event of the new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship with FIA President Jean Todt watching the race on location. The Brazilian celebrated the historic victory following a dramatic race that was only decided in the final corner of the total of 25 race laps. Next weekend, di Grassi will return to the cockpit of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car in round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Austin (USA).Mattias Ekström to compete at Estering

For the first time since his victory in Höljes (Sweden) in July Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström will be contesting a Rallycross World Championship round again. Next weekend, the DTM driver is going to pilot one of the two Audi S1 EKS RX cars of his private EKS rallycross team at the Estering near Hamburg. For German fans, this will be the best opportunity to watch the spectacular S1 live in action. Three victories in Australia

A successful weekend for Dean Koutsoumidis and James Winslow in the Australian GT Championship: in their Audi R8 LMS of Team Equity-One Racing, they decided the Trophy Class in their favor in all three races in round five of the season at Sandown, Australia. Before the finale at Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand in November, they have reduced the advantage of leader of the standings Rod Salmon, who took two second places in the Audi R8 LMS at Sandown, to 32 points.GT Asia: Lee/Yeung win at Sepang

The Audi drivers Marchy Lee and Jacky Yeung celebrated success on the fifth race weekend of GT Asia at Sepang (Malaysia). The two drivers of the Tiger Racing Team in the Cup version of the Audi R8 LMS decided the GTM category in their favor in the first race. Runner-up spot in the Pirelli World Challenge

The battle for the title in the Pirelli World Challenge in the USA remained thrilling up to the end. The American Mike Skeen in his Audi R8 LMS ultra of the Audi customer team CRP Racing as the runner-up in the standings had good chances of taking the title in the GT class up to the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. However, Skeen, who had clinched three victories in the 2014 season, retired in the first of two races and in the second one had to settle for eighth place. He finished the season as the runner-up in the championship. In the manufacturers’ classification, Audi, with a five-point gap, took the runner-up spot as well. The Audi R8 LMS ultra is very popular in the Pirelli World Challenge. In the finale, seven teams relied on the GT3 sports car of the Audi brand.Capello and Zonzini on podium in Italy

Dindo Capello and Emanuele Zonzini in their Audi R8 LMS ultra again took a podium finish in the Italian GT Championship. In round five at Vallelunga, the two Italians clinched second place in a turbulent second race. Marco Mapelli and Thomas Schöffler who had been leading the overall standings up to the race weekend suffered misfortune. While leading the race the duo had to park the car due to a mechanical problem and, before the last two race weekends, is in second place of the standings, six points behind the leaders.Successful close of the season for United Autosports

The British Audi customer team United Autosports finished the final round of the British GT Championship at Donington in third place. With that, Mark Patterson and Matt Bell in the Audi R8 LMS ultra, following a tough season, celebrated the finale on a positive note. At the end of the two-hour race on the tradition-steeped British track 15 kilometers southwest of Notttingham, the duo trailed the victorious Porsche merely by a 4.718-second gap.Audi guests in Switzerland enjoy Marcel Fässler

The guests of Audi in Switzerland got to meet the first and only Swiss winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours at a successful classic event on the weekend. The Audi driver, who won the endurance race in France for the third time this year, attended the Arosa Classic Car event for Audi. He chauffeured selected visitors across the 7.8-kilometer mountain race track from Langwies to Arosa. The guests experienced the 76 corners in the Swiss mountains as passengers of Marcel Fässler at a masterly pace.Benoît Tréluyer at press conference in Bahrain

Excitement about the upcoming event in Bahrain is rising: At a press conference for round seven of the FIA WEC, Audi driver Benoît Tréluyer met with many interested journalists from the region. Together with Shaikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa, the managing director of Bahrain International Circuit, and Gérard Neveu, the chairman of FIA WEC, the Le Mans winner answered all the questions. At the same time, the racing series and circuit announced their joint future. The agreement has been extended by three years and the Bahrain 6 Hours will remain the exclusive event of the WEC in the Middle East.Off-road action as warm-up for the Lausitzring

That even 18 hp can be huge driving fun and an action-packed endeavor was experienced by the Audi DTM drivers Nico Müller and Mike Rockenfeller before the DTM race weekend at Lausitz. On the lakeshore of ‘Partwitzer See’ the two racing pros competed against each other on quads in the Audi DTM Challenge. After brief instructions and two trial laps, the two started their man-to-man duel on the off-road course. The winner after two fiercely fought sessions by a narrow margin was Nico Müller. “Nico was a tiny bit faster and more daring on track,” admitted Rockenfeller, “but both of us had huge fun.” A word from … Lucas di Grassi

What significance does winning the first ePrix in history have for you?This victory means a lot to me and takes one of the top spots on the list of my greatest on-track moments. I was involved in the development of Formula E from the very beginning and intensively prepared for this weekend in the past months with my Team ABT Sportsline. All of us were so excited to see what the first race would bring. That the hard work was crowned with a victory was a great reward for all the guys. What are the greatest challenges in Formula E?In Formula E, we only have a limited amount of energy available that we have to manage well. Although I’m familiar with this from Audi’s LMP project this has an even greater significance in Formula E. In addition, there’s the strong competition by international top-flight teams and drivers more than ten of whom have Formula 1 experience. Plus, we’re racing on street circuits in the middle of cities and our practice, qualifying sessions and the races are all held within the space of just a few hours, which leaves only little time to get used to the track. As a result, perfect teamwork and efficiency in handling all the tasks and conducting the meetings are particularly important – and I like that.”How did you experience the atmosphere at the series’ inaugural event?I was thrilled and can only pay the organizers a big compliment. Setting up a race track and a little city for the fans in a metropolis like Beijing is a huge challenge. I was particularly impressed with the great interest of the fans and the media. As drivers, we received a warm welcome by the people and experienced a fabulous weekend. How long did the party last?Of course we celebrated with all the teams and drivers on Saturday night – our victory, as well as the successful premiere of the racing series. But I didn’t party too seriously myself because on Monday I’m traveling directly from Beijing to the United States where there next WEC round with Audi is on the agenda next weekend. We’ll be battling for the Championship there and I’ll be joining my team-mates with plenty of positive energy.Coming up next week

18/09 Neckarsulm (D), 25 years of TDI at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm20/09 Austin (USA), round 4, WEC20/09 Austin (USA), round 10, Tudor United SportsCar Championship20/09 Silverstone (GB), round 6, Britcar Endurance Championship21/09 Sachsenring (D), round 7, ADAC GT Masters21/09 Nürburgring (D), round 5, Blancpain Endurance Series21/09 Estering (D), round 9, World Rallycross Championship