First DTM season win for the Audi R8 LMS
- Ricardo Feller wins with ABT Sportsline at the DTM in Zandvoort
- Two successes for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Winhere by HAR in China
- Comtoyou Racing achieves 1-2 victory with Audi RS 3 LMS in TCR Spain
The first success of the season by an Audi Sport customer team in the DTM marked the last weekend in June. Many other good results in the USA, Europe and Asia rounded off a successful month for Audi Sport customer racing.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Strong performance at Zandvoort: Ricardo Feller managed a perfect race Sunday with ABT Sportsline at the second round of the DTM on the Dutch North Sea coast. After a red flag shortly before the end of qualifying, the 23-year-old young talent used the few remaining minutes to secure the best time in the Audi R8 LMS with an advantage of more than three tenths of a second. In bright sunshine and 47 degree track temperatures, the Swiss then made no mistake in the one-hour race. By the time he pitted, he had built up a lead of four seconds. He crossed the finish line after 39 laps 2.7 seconds ahead of Porsche driver Thomas Preining. While the Austrian leads the standings after the first quarter of the season, Feller is in second place with a gap of only four points. It was the first DTM season victory for an Audi customer team and Ricardo Feller’s second personal success after his triumph at Imola a year ago.
Two podium results in Italy: Marco Butti managed a good performance with Audi Sport Italia at the second round of the Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo Sprint. Last year he was still the series’ amateur champion, this season the Italian, who is only 18 years old, is already classified as a professional. The Milan native started the first race on the second race weekend at Monza from grid position five. He overtook three rivals in the Audi R8 LMS as early as in the opening phase and always remained within striking distance of the leading BMW of former DTM Champion Bruno Spengler. As a solo driver, Butti had to stay five seconds longer in the pit lane at the mandatory pit stop than his rivals with double driver line-ups. Nevertheless, he was only 2.78 seconds behind the winners Bruno Spengler/Jens Klingmann at the finish after 50 minutes. In the second race Butti again reached the second place.
Third victory in a row in club racing: Team PB Racing dominated the British Endurance Championship for the third time this year. After the victories at Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, the Audi R8 LMS of the British team was unbeatable at Silverstone as well. Peter Erceg/Marcus Clutton won the two-hour endurance race on the Grand Prix circuit with a two-lap lead over the Lamborghini of their pursuers.
Three podium results in China: For the first time this year, Audi Sport’s customer teams were defeated in the GT Super Sprint Challenge in China. After four victories on the first two race weekends, the drivers started the third event at Ningbo in unpredictable weather. Hu Bo of Team Absolute Racing finished second ahead of teammate Vincent Lin after starting behind the safety car in the rainy first race. In the second race, Lin took the lead with a daring maneuver after a turbulent start. However, he spun on the slippery track after a few minutes and eventually finished third. Hu Bo maintained his lead in the standings after three of five events with a four-point advantage. In addition, he moved ahead of Andrew Haryanto to the top of the Audi Sport Asia Trophy, a brand-internal classification for amateur drivers.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Two class wins for Audi: On the third race weekend of the GT Super Sprint Challenge in China, Andy Deng proved his skills in difficult track conditions. The Chinese from Team Winhere by HAR won his class in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the two 30-minute sprints at a rainy event. He thus moved up to second place in the GT4 standings.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
Successful debut for Comtoyou Racing: The Belgian Audi customer team Comtoyou Racing competed in the TCR Spain for the first time. After Juan Angel Rosso initially led the first sprint at Navarra, he finished second in the Audi RS 3 LMS ahead of teammate Alvaro Garcia. In the second race, Rosso overtook two Peugeots that had started in front of him and celebrated his first victory of the season. Spaniard Alvaro Garcia finished just 1.6 seconds behind in the second Audi. After the first of four race weekends, Rosso leads the standings by two points ahead of Cupra driver Enric Bordas.
Close result in the USA: The Unitronic/JDC Miller MotorSports team was only narrowly beaten at the fifth round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Watkins Glen. Chris Miller/Mikey Taylor in the best of four Audi RS 3 LMS cars finished just half a second behind the victorious Alfa Romeo after two hours of racing.
Second place in Great Britain: At the fourth round of the British Endurance Championship, the Audi RS 3 LMS achieved its fourth consecutive class podium result in the club racing series. At Silverstone, Jonathan Beeson/George Heler for the Sheard Autosport team finished second in their class after two hours of racing.
Frédéric Vervisch maintains top position: Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch leads the Kumho TCR World Ranking for the fourth week in a row. The Belgian had taken the top position in this ranking in the 22nd calendar week. Several hundred participants of all worldwide TCR touring car competitions are classified in it. Most recently, the 36-year-old professional driver had clinched third place at the Hungaroring in the Kumho TCR World Tour in the Audi RS 3 LMS fielded by Audi Sport Team Comtoyou. Vervisch currently has a 1.74-point advantage over Frenchman Yann Ehrlacher.
Coming up next week
27/06–02/07 Spa (B), round 3, GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup
27/06–02/07 Bangsaen (THA), round 2, Thailand Super Series
30/06–01/07 Spa (B), round 3, GT4 European Series
30/06–02/07 Nürburgring (D), round 3, GTC Race
01/07 Phakisa (ZA), round 3, South African GT Series
01/07 Phakisa (ZA), round 3, South African Endurance Series
01/07 Oulton Park (GB), round 4, GT Cup Championship
01–02/07 Nürburgring (D), round 3, Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy