· Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer visit the workforce
· Laying of foundation stone for new Audi Terminal with Tom Kristensen
· An actor, a singer and the “Tigerente” (tiger duck) visit the DTM
Ingolstadt, June 19, 2011 - The Audi R18 TDI that won the Le Mans 24 Hours a week ago is returning to its origins. On the premises of the plant in Ingolstadt the successful sport prototype will present itself to Audi’s employees on Tuesday morning.
Next station: After Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer have won the Le Mans 24 Hours Audi’s employees will welcome the "homecomers". The victorious Audi R18 TDI will be driven around the premises of the main plant at about 10 a.m. All three drivers and Head of Audi Motorsport will be on location and sign autographs.
Young but already in a museum: Even though the Audi R18 TDI with chassis number R18-106 is only a few months old it is already allowed to enter a museum. The Le Mans winner will be handed over to Audi Tradition which conserves the brand’s historic heritage.
New cars for Imola: Since the winning car of the Le Mans 24 Hours goes to Audi Tradition and the other two R18 TDI cars were destroyed in accidents at Le Mans Audi will contest the fourth round of the Intercontinental Cup (ILMC) at Imola with two new chassis. The R18-103 and the R18-107 will experience their first racing commitments in Italy on July 3.
Start of construction with record winner: Tom Kristensen, the eight-time winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours, attended a foundation stone laying ceremony on Thursday. In Galdsaxe near Copenhagen a new Audi Terminal is being built. Afterward the Dane directly flew to his DTM commitment at the Lausitzring.
Grand appearance in the Eifel: At the Nürburgring 24 Hours next weekend not only the four factory-fielded Audi R8 LMS will be on the grid. The Audi race experience is entering two more of the successful coupe cars for its customers. Four drivers each will be sharing a cockpit.
Tough endurance test: Whereas the Audi R8 LMS has already completed numerous 24-hour races the Audi TT RS will be tackling its first major endurance race in the Eifel. The Raeder Motorsport team is fielding two of the near-400-hp coupes. In the cockpit of number "125" Frank Biela, Jens Klingmann, Michael Ammermüller and Martin Tomczyk will take turns at the wheel. Car number "126" will be shared by Miguel Molina, Andrea Piccini, Christian Hohenadel and Jimmy Johansson.
Unique opportunity: Le Mans winner Marcel Fässler together with Audi Sport Team Phoenix will be auctioning various items of his personal racing gear - including a racing helmet and an overall - at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Other items to be auctioned are a Kettcar sporting the design of Audi Top Service and two Kid Cars in the colors of the two Phoenix Audi R8 LMS cars used in the 24-hour race. Place and time of the auction: the Phoenix Store on the Ring Boulevard Nürburgring on Saturday, June 25, between 11:00 and 12:00 in the morning. The proceeds will go to the SOS Youth Assistance Hünstetten/Taunusstein charity.
Guests at Lausitz: Martin Tomczyk received a visit after the warm-up at the Lausitzring by actor and stuntman Norbert Heisterkamp and the former No Angels singer and actress Vanessa Petruo.
Tigerente (tiger duck) on the race track: The black and yellow vehicle of the SWR TV channel ventured onto the DTM race track at Lausitz to shoot a sequel of the program to be aired in late summer. Katharina Gast and Pete Dwojak, the hosts of the Tigerenten-Club play show, were amazed about the speed in the DTM. Both also did a few hot laps as passengers in the Audi A4 DTM race taxi.
Abt squad is best for the third time: Hankook again awarded the prize for the best pit stop to Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. The crew of Mike Rockenfeller did the shortest pit stop - in 20.678 seconds - two weeks ago at the Red Bull Ring. At Lausitz the speedy Abt mechanics received three cases of beer from the DTM’s exclusive tire supplier.
Stadium appearance: On Tuesday Martin Tomczyk will be answering the questions of journalists at the DTM press conference for the show event in Munich. The event for members of the media at the Olympiastadium will start at 11:00 a.m.
Victory and lead of the standings in Italy: The Audi R8 LMS continues its string of exploits in the Italian GT Championship. At the third round of the season at Magione Dindo Capello and Alessandro Cicognani in the first race took second place in front of their Audi Sport Italia team colleagues Andrea Sonvico and Marco Bonanomi. In the second round Sonvico and Bonanomi extended their lead at the top of the standings by clinching their third victory this season.
Success in Spain: At the third round of the Spanish GT Championship at Albacete the Portuguese drivers César Campaniço and João Pedro Figueiredo in the Audi R8 LMS of the Novadriver Total team clinched victory in the GTS class.
Successful start into a new program: At the second round of the DMV Touring Car Championship (DMV TCC) the Swiss Pierre van Mentlen in the newly acquired Audi R8 LMS clinched victory in the GT3 class in both races and finished on the podium of the overall classification.
A brief interview with ... Tom Kristensen
The race at Lausitz was full of action with many changes in positions. How did you experience your return to the DTM?
I had a very good start and was running on the outside line. At that time I could have already been behind a Mercedes and Martin Tomczyk. But I was careful because I saw ‘Eki’ in my mirrors. The strategy was perfect; only the last pit stop was a bit long. That’s why I dropped behind Jamie Green. That could have still become interesting because a few cars were passing me. Nevertheless, I ultimately finished in the position that I started into the race on.
So it wasn’t a mistake to agree to run at a single race without any possibility of testing?
No, not at all. The race was good fun and I brought ‘Rocky’s’ car back in one piece. When he returns, he and his mechanics will probably be happy about that. Maybe people will look back on this weekend and hopefully say that there was a certain justification in letting the old Dane drive again. I would certainly be happy if that were the case.
You immediately scored two points. Today, did you regret having quit the DTM at the end of 2009?
No, to be honest, I didn’t. The DTM is a fantastic series but my heart belongs to the sports cars. I have a large family and am not the youngest any more. Combining the PR work for Audi with the sports car races is perfect. I very much enjoy watching the DTM from my couch. And today I congratulated Filipe (Albuquerque) on scoring his first point. I will always remember that I was still running in front of him when he finished in the points for the first time...
Coming up next week
June 21 Munich (D), press conference for DTM race
June 26 Nürburgring (D), 24-hour race
June 26 Spa (B), Dutch Supercar Challenge, round 05
June 26 Val de Vienne (F), French GT Championship, round 04