Victories for GT3 and GT4 versions of the Audi R8 LMS
- Audi R8 LMS with drive-by-wire technology wins GTC Race sprint race
- First victory for Baporo Motorsport with Audi R8 LMS GT4 in GT Cup Open
- Audi RS 3 LMS clinches five podium places
Audi Sport driver Markus Winkelhock scored a remarkable victory at the Lausitzring with an Audi R8 LMS, which had a novel drive-by-wire system instead of the steering column tried and tested in automotive engineering.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
Victory with Space Drive: Markus Winkelhock celebrated his first victory at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS without traditional steering column at the Lausitzring. The Audi Sport driver was part of one of three driver line-ups who were at the start of the GTC Race series with the Space Drive system from Schaeffler Paravan. Instead of a mechanical transmission of the steering force, a fail-safe drive-by-wire system is used. This development, which is essential for road-legal vehicles driven by handicapped drivers and is considered a key technology for autonomous driving, has been proving its ability to work precisely and reliably even under the highest demands in racing since last year. Under the entry of Space Drive Racing, the Phoenix Racing team run the racing car with the innovative technology. Winkelhock had initially finished the Goodyear 60 race in third place together with private lady driver Carrie Schreiner. In qualifying for the first sprint race, in which only individual drivers compete, he secured first place on the grid with a lead of almost three tenths of a second. The 40-year-old professional won the 30-minute sprint 158 thousandths of a second ahead of Mercedes driver Maximilian Götz, followed by Porsche driver David Jahn. All three drivers on the podium relied on the Space Drive system.
Three podiums at Slovakiaring: Team Duck Racing v ACR won three trophies with the Audi R8 LMS in the second round of the Eset V4 Cup in the Slovak Republic. In the one-hour endurance race, the Czech Daniel Skalický was the third best participant in the GT3 category. For the following first sprint his compatriot Petr Kačirek took over the cockpit and celebrated second place. Skalický returned to the Audi R8 LMS for the second sprint race and finished the competition as third best GT3 driver.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
First victory for Audi privateer team: Daniel Díaz-Varela and Manel Cerqueda in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 celebrated their first victory in the GT Cup Open racing series in an exciting race. At the second round at Le Castellet, Manel Cerqueda from Andorra secured first place on the grid for the first competition. At the start of the race he dropped back to fourth place, but in the second lap he regained one position. After the end of all mandatory pit stops on lap 16, Daniel Díaz-Varela, who had taken over the cockpit, was already in second place. Two laps later, the Spaniard took the lead on the high-speed circuit in southern France. After 25 race laps, Team Baporo Motorsport achieved their first victory with Audi in the pan-European GT Cup Open with a 0.573-second lead. In the second sprint, the Iberian driver duo took third place and was once again the best amateur team in the field. After four individual races, the two Audi drivers are third in the overall standings and lead the amateur table by five points.
Three times second place: At the start of the GTC Race racing series, the private outfit T3-HRT-Motorsport took second place in its class three times with the Audi R8 LMS GT4. In the Goodyear 60 race Dominique Schaak and Antonio Citera shared the cockpit, in the two subsequent sprints Citera drove the production-based sports car.
A trophy in California: At the second round of the Trans Am West Coast Championship, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 achieved a podium result in America. At the Sonoma circuit, Natalie Decker took second place in the SGT class in the sports car race for Team N29 Technologies.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
A strong start in TCR Europe: Team Comtoyou Racing was one of the protagonists of TCR Europe with the Audi RS 3 LMS in the first of six events. In a field of 24 drivers and five brands, Mehdi Bennani was the best of three drivers of the Belgian Audi customer racing team in the south of France. The Moroccan qualified at Le Castellet for second place on the grid in the first race. While Daniel Lloyd, who started the race from third position, overtook the two drivers in front of him and won the race, Bennani passed John Filippi, who had clinched pole position. Audi driver Bennani had to admit defeat by 0.406 seconds after ten laps and came home second. 35 points and a trophy were the reward for his performance. In the second race, Bennani improved from ninth on the grid to fifth position, collected 24 more valuable points and, as the runner-up in the table, is only one point behind leader Daniel Lloyd.
Three podium places in Eastern Europe: At the second round of TCR Eastern Europe, Sandro Soubek was delighted with two trophies. The Austrian, who competed for the first time in this racing series with Audi, took two third places in the RS 3 LMS of the Mair Racing Osttirol team. At the Slovakiaring near Bratislava, the race series with 17 participants and five brands had a larger field than many other TCR race series in the current season. Team Hornak-Aditis achieved more silverware with an Audi RS 3 LMS at the same event. In the 60-minute endurance race for the Eset V4 Cup, the Czech Radim Adámek finished second as one of five participants in the touring car class.
Second place in Russia: At the fourth round of TCR Russia Andrey Radoshnov was the best Audi privateer. The driver of the Carville Racing team had started from pole position in the second sprint at the Moscow Raceway and led the race for a long time. On the penultimate lap Hyundai driver Klim Gavrilov attacked the leading Audi and overtook it. While trying to regain the lead, Radoshnov then lost another place and crossed the finish line in third place. However, after a time penalty Gavrilov lost his victory and Radoshnov moved up to the second position. For the Audi RS 3 LMS it was already the fifth podium place on four race weekends of TCR Russia.
Coming up next week
28–29/08 Skellefteå (S), rounds 3 and 4, TCR Scandinavia
28–30/08 Assen (NL), rounds 5 and 6, Spezial Tourenwagen-Trophy
28–30/08 Imola (I), rounds 5 and 6, TCR Italy
28–30/08 Imola (I), round 2, Campionato Italiano GT Endurance
28–30/08 Calabogie (CDN), rounds 5 and 6, Canadian Touring Car Championship
28–30/08 Road America (USA), rounds 9 to 11, TC America TCR
28–30/08 Road America (USA), rounds 9 to 11, GT4 America
29/08 Nürburgring (D), round 5, Nürburgring Langstrecken-Serie
29/08 Valencia (E), round 2, Campeonato de España Resistencia
29–30/08 Motegi (J), rounds 3 and 4, TCR Japan
29–30/08 Most (CZ), rounds 3 and 4, Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup