- UAE-based team to work with Audi to make R8 Grand-Am car more competitive
- Humaid Al Masaood looking forward to returning even stronger
Oryx Racing has announced that it will miss the next few races of the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in North America, as it takes time to focus on a special testing and development program for its Audi R8 Grand-Am car. The Abu Dhabi-based team is targeting a return to competitive racing at Watkins Glen, June 29 – July 1.
In the opening two races of the season, the team experienced a number of technical issues racing the Audi, which has been specially designed and built to comply with the 2012 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car series. The car is new to U.S. racing, having made its competitive debut at Daytona in race one of the season and Oryx Racing is just one of two teams competing in the model.
Humaid Al Masaood, Oryx Racing’s team owner and number one driver, said: “The first two races in our debut season in this prestigious race series were great experiences, and we were pleased to complete both. However, we are in this for the long haul, to be as successful as possible, so we took the decision that at this stage it would be better to invest the time and resources in ensuring we have a competitive car.”
Both ourselves and Audi are committed to putting a car on the track that is capable of winning. While we are not there yet, we are looking forward to seeing the benefit of this program when we return shortly,”he added.
Over the coming weeks Oryx Racing will work closely with Audi to make the car more competitive. The team will also cooperate with the organizers of the Grand-Am series to look at the regulations currently in place, which effectively penalize the Audi R8 and limit its ability to challenge the leading cars.
“The car is similar to the hugely successful Audi R8 LMS that races in Europe,”noted number two driver, Steven Kane, who will lead the development work. “However, the Grand-Am regulations mean we cannot run the same aerodynamic package as the LMS car and this has made the car quite a handful in the races we have done so far. We are working with Audi to develop the car to make it competitive within the regulations.”
This season has seen Oryx Racing take a major step forward as a fully competitive, independently run international racing team, following its successful participation with legendary American sports car team, Dyson Racing, in the 2011 American Le Mans Series.