FIA WEC prologue at Le CastelletTockwith Motorsport wins at SilverstoneMattias Ekström with big program
Audi prepared for the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC, which starts in three weeks, at the prologue in Le Castellet, South France.
Audi warmed up for the fifth FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season at the prologue in Le Castellet. Over the Easter weekend, the new Audi R18 encountered for the first time the LMP1 racecars produced by the other two automobile manufacturers. “This was however no show of strength in respect of the season opener at Silverstone in three weeks time,” said Dieter Gass, Deputy Head of Audi Sport. “We have made many excellent findings during this test, which we must now implement technically.” Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) performed the test work on Friday and Saturday. After the end of the prologue, Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis (BR/F/GB) continue the test on Sunday and Monday on the high-speed circuit in Southern France.
Audi R8 LMS ultra wins at Silverstone
An Audi Sport customer racing team won the opening round of the Dunlop Endurance Championship in Great Britain. Tockwith Motorsport took victory with the Audi R8 LMS ultra at Silverstone. After 32 laps, Phil Hanson and Nigel Moore crossed the finish line with a 2 minute 10 second advantage and also set the fastest race lap. The stewards stopped the race early as the weather continued to deteriorate.
Busy schedule: Mattias Ekström presents private rallycross team for 2016
Audi driver Mattias Ekström will again participate in the FIA World Rallycross Championship title chase alongside his DTM commitment this year. With his privateer rallycross team EKS, the 37-year-old Swede will be on the grid himself in selected world championship rounds. Taking the wheel of the second Audi S1 EKS RX quattro of Team EKS for the first time this season will be the Finn Toomas Heikkinen.
Tom Kristensen attends Audi R8 Spyder world premiere
Audi Sport legend Tom Kristensen visited the New York International Auto Show. The nine-time Le Mans winner attended the world premiere of the new Audi R8 Spyder together with Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of quattro GmbH, and Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America. During the premiere, Kristensen also signed a painting of the Audi R8 and the R18 e-tron quattro from artist Bill Patterson.
New livery for the Audi R8 LMS
The Audi R8 LMS is starting to the new season sporting a fresh livery. In the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and at Spa, the GT3 race cars supported by Audi are going to compete in hues of silver, red and black. The conspicuous choice of colors and their geometric surfaces embodies Audi Sport’s new look and takes its cue from the livery of the Audi R18 LMP1 race car. A 28-degree angle defined by the red rhomb is the central design element. The rhomb on the roof emphasizes Audi Sport’s central position. The new silver hue creates more depth and underscores the raised power, red underscores sportiness while the mat-black areas visually reinforce the proportions.
Premiere with three race drivers
Audi Hong Kong extended an invitation on the occasion of the market launch of the new Audi R8 V10 coupé. 300 guests witnessed the presentation of the high-performance sports car and saw the Audi R8 LMS race car that is closely akin to it as well. Three race drivers accompanied the premiere: Edoardo Mortara from the DTM, and Marchy Lee and Alex Yoong from the Audi R8 LMS Cup welcomed the members of the media and other guests in Hong Kong.
Audi R8 LMS Cup announces calendar
The Audi R8 LMS Cup in Asia is about to enter its fifth season. Now, Audi’s first motorsport one-make cup has announced its calendar for the 2016 season. The twelve races will be held in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan.
21–22/05 Shanghai (CN), rounds 1 and 223–24/07 Chang (THA), rounds 3 and 413–14/08 Kuala Lumpur (MAL), rounds 5 and 624–25/09 Korea (ROK), rounds 7 and 815–16/10 Penbay (ROC), rounds 9 and 1004–05/11 Shanghai (CN), rounds 11 and 12
Audi customer team with strong pairing in ADAC GT Masters
Audi customer team Aust Motorsport based in Rietberg, Germany, is entering the ADAC GT Masters with a promising driver duo. Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi and the Swede Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky will be sharing an Audi R8 LMS in the racing series for GT3 sports cars. Åhlin-Kottulinsky competed in the Audi Sport TT Cup in 2015. Bonanomi will be assisting the young female driver with his experiences from LMP racing.
Audi R18 at Freeride Challenge in Italy
Audi is the official partner of the Freeride Challenge Punta Nera in the Dolomites. The spectators at the winter sport competition around Cortina d’Ampezzo were not only thrilled about the exciting competitions on snow, but also got a taste of motor racing. In parallel to the event, Audi displayed the R18 TDI with which the brand won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2012.
A word from ... Marcel Fässler
The Audi driver before the start of the fifth FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season.
A long winter comes to an end and in three weeks the season starts. Your feeling?
First of all the winter did seem to be very long, but after the tests started an old motorsport rule proved itself to be true yet again: the time to the first race literally flies by. We’ve already made some essential development steps, but we are well aware that there are still a few things to do.
The 2016 Audi R18 features plenty of new technologies. How do these new innovations affect your work in the cockpit?
As a matter of fact, our current racecar shares barely a single bolt with its predecessor. The aerodynamics are new and the hybrid system now processes 50 per cent more energy, namely 6 Megajoule. As a result, an entirely different strategic approach is possible and necessary with the energy recuperated. Since the start of testing we have put a lot of time into fully understanding these processes and to fathom out the possibilities. The prologue at Le Castellet was another step in the right direction.
Are different demands now made of you and your team mates in the cockpit?
The Audi Sport engineers have attached great value in providing us with the optimum support. The new hybrid system is much more powerful, however, it must not change the handing of the racecar or our driving style too much. This is why the current set-up work is still very basic, because during the race weekend at Silverstone it should only be about fine tuning.
A year ago the opener was a real thriller. Will the FIA WEC spoil the spectators again this time around in Great Britain?
At the start of the 2015 season we didn’t know where we stood in comparison to the competition. Then the race developed into one that I would consider as one of best in my career. The battle with my Swiss countryman Neel Jani was just fantastic. Again this year we don’t know how strong the others are. I can only wish that the fans in Great Britain enjoy the beginning of an exciting season.
Coming up next week
01–03/04 Silverstone (GB), International Endurance Series, 24-hour race, round 301–03/04 Sandown Park (AUS), Australian GT Trophy Series, round 102/04 Nürburgring (D), VLN, round 1