• Mattias Ekström extends advantage in World Rallycross Championship
  • National and international championship titles for the Audi R8 LMS
  • Chris Reinke about title wins in two racing series
FIA World Rallycross Championship Riga
Audi S1 EKS RX quattro #5 (EKS), Mattias Ekström

While Mattias Ekström clinched another rallycross trophy at Riga, Audi presented the new RS 3 LMS and was pleased about two drivers’, two teams’ and one juniors’ title with the Audi R8 LMS.

World Rallycross Championship: Ekström celebrates second place at Riga

Mattias Ekström finished on podium again in round ten of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Riga. In the finale, the Swede, in position two, only had to admit defeat to the nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. With his sixth podium result this season Ekström extended his advantage in the overall classification. With two more race weekends to go, the Audi DTM driver is 27 points ahead of his compatriot Johan Kristoffersson – a maximum of 60 points can still be scored by the drivers. In the teams’ classification, Ekström, together with his EKS teammate Toomas Heikkinen, is in the top spot as well, with an eight-point advantage over Team Peugeot Hansen. The penultimate round of the season will be held at the Estering in Buxtehude on October 15 and 16. On the tradition-steeped race track near Hamburg, Ekström will be able to secure the world championship title early.

Audi teams successful in customer sport

Two Audi customer teams celebrated title wins in two of the major GT3 series this weekend: Christopher Mies/Connor De Phillippi won the ADAC GT Masters at Hockenheim and De Phillippi additionally won the juniors’ classification. Their race team, Montaplast by Land-Motorsport, decided the teams’ classification in its favor. Internationally, Enzo Ide was victorious. The Belgian won the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT the teams’ classification.

World premiere of the new Audi RS 3 LMS in Paris

Presented as part of the Audi press conference at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday was the new Audi RS 3 LMS with which Audi Sport is extending its involvement in customer racing. The TRC race car was unveiled simultaneously with the Audi RS 3 sedan making its world debut. “Our motto is: from the race track to the road,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director at Audi Sport. “These two new models are perfect proof of it.” On the subsequent days, at the finale of the ADAC TCR Germany at the Hockenheimring, the new entry-level model for customer racing was an eye-catcher sparking the curiosity of many teams and visitors. The first teams have already expressed an interest in purchasing the car.

A word from … Chris Reinke

The Head of Audi Sport customer racing after the ADAC GT Masters finale.

Sincere congratulations on the title wins of your customers in the ADAC GT Masters and in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup. How did you experience the finale of the ADAC GT Masters at the venue?

Connor De Phillippi and Christopher Mies had to give their all in both races to claim the title. After a rival had retired due to an accident in the last round, another competitor remained within striking distance. In the end, Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport with its drivers decided the drivers’ classification, the teams’ classification and the juniors’ classification in its favor on its own power – sincere congratulations. Congratulations also to Enzo Ide and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT who won the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup at Barcelona: a great day for Audi Sport customer racing.

The victory in Germany was anything but easy. How do you assess the season?

The competition in the ADAC GT Masters is enormous, with a large number of manufacturers and good teams and drivers. The individual results show how tough the season was. Our champions only won a single race. Following last year’s races, there was a good base for the Audi R8 LMS with respect to the balance of performance which regulates the performance of the cars. By contrast, the cars of many rivals were new this year, which didn’t make it easy for the officials to rate them. But Team Montaplast by Land-Motorsport and its drivers were focused on the job and earned the title through hard work.

A few days ago, the Audi RS 3 LMS made its debut in Paris. It will be another pillar of Audi Sport customer racing in the future. What type of feedback have you received so far?

The Paris Motor Show was a global stage for our new customer sport race car. We received tremendous feedback. We also presented the Audi RS 3 LMS at the finale of the ADAC TCR Germany at Hockenheim and met with great interest by the teams. So, this will be another attractive pillar in the portfolio of Audi Sport customer racing.

While the season in the ADAC GT Masters and other series is over, you still have a busy schedule before the year is out.

The fans can still look forward to a number of treats. We still have other title decisions coming up, for instance in the Italian GT Championship as well as in the Audi Sport TT Cup or in the Audi R8 LMS Cup. In addition, we’ll be battling for the FIA GT World Cup in Macau in November and in December for the Intercontinental GT Challenge that we’re currently leading.

Coming up next week

07–09/10 Laguna Seca (USA), round 20, Pirelli World Challenge

07–08/10 Brno (CZ), round 7, International Endurance Series, 12-hour race

08/10 Nürburgring (D), round 9, VLN

08/–09/10 Magny-Cours (F), round 6, V de V Endurance Series

08/–09/10 Snetterton (GB), round 8, GT Cup Championship

08/–09/10 Thailand (THA), round 6, Super GT

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