- Audi drivers appear in Moscow, Berlin and Switzerland
- Audi R8 LMS ultra celebrates victory in the FIA GT1 World Championship race in Moscow
- Groundbreaking ceremony for the Audi Sport Kompetenzzentrum in Neuburg
After victories in the WEC and DTM on the final weekend in August, the Audi drivers were popular ambassadors for their brand at various events in the following week.
Le Mans winners in Moscow: Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer travelled to Moscow after they took victory in the WEC race in Great Britain. The three Le Mans winners from Audi were popular guests at the Moscow International Motor Show during the market launch of the S6, S7 and S8 models in Russia. The new Audi R8 was also one of the automobile stars of the motor show.
DTM race drivers in Berlin: on Wednesday Rahel Frey and Timo Scheider visited the ‘Der Goldene Computer’ prize-giving held by the trade magazine Computer Bild. The charming Audi brand ambassadors cut fine figures on the red carpet. Rahel Frey’s Audi A5 DTM, which also advertises for the Computer Bild Spiele magazine, was the main attraction in front of the Springerhaus building in Berlin.
Classic in Graubünden: Marcel Fässler visited the Arosa ClassicCar in the Swiss ski resort of the same name at the weekend. Audi made its debut as main sponsor for the international hill climb. Fässler and former world class skier Didier Cuche gave guests an unrivalled impression of the 7.8 kilometer long hill climb as passengers in Race Taxi rides with the S, RS and R8 models. The Audi Sport quattro S1, with which Audi won the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado 25 years ago, was there for all to see for the first time.
Parade in Hittnau: Rahel Frey visited the Oldtimer Classic Hittnau in Canton Zürich on Sunday. The Audi factory driver was her usual pleasant self as ambassador of her sport.
New date for the classic: the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2013 has been moved back by a week. The 90th anniversary of the race, which Audi has already won eleven times, is celebrated on 22 and 23 June. The test day was fixed on June 9. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest thus fulfills a request by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile FIA to harmonize the international motorsport calendar.
Groundbreaking ceremony in Neuburg: on Tuesday construction work started on the new driver proving ground for the Audi driving experience center and the Audi Sport Kompetenzzentrum west of Ingolstadt. The Audi Board Members Michael Dick (Technical Development) and Dr. Frank Dreves (Production) personally took the shovels in their hands. The facility will be opened in spring 2014. Different test tracks for the first shakedowns of new cars will also be available for Audi Sport.
Victory in Moscow: Stéphane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor won the qualification race at the seventh round of the FIA GT1 World Championship in Moscow in their Audi R8 LMS ultra. Their WRT team mates Oliver Jarvis and Frank Stippler, who had led the race for many laps, finished third. Stippler and Jarvis took third place and another podium finish ahead of Ortelli/Vanthoor in the main race. For the Audi R8 LMS ultra it was the best result since the brace of one-two finishes in the season opener at Nogaro.
Victory for Amorim/Campaniço: at the fifth round of the FIA GT3 European Championship in Moscow, the Portuguese duo Ni Amorim and César Campaniço won the main race in an Audi R8 LMS. The two Team Novadriver racers scored important points on the qualification race after finishing in fifth place.
Podium in Italy: at the fifth Italian GT3 Championship race weekend Davide Di Benedetto and Alex Frassineti took third place in their Audi R8 LMS ultra in the second race. Their team mates Dindo Capello and Andrea Sonvico from Team Audi Sport Italia finished fourth. Andrea Sonvico defended the championship lead and now has an advantage of four points.
A word from ... Lucas di Grassi
You contest the fifth round of the WEC in Brazil for Audi. What are your feelings two weeks before the race?
Even before I travelled to the test I could hardly hide my enthusiasm. What I then experienced was another surprise: modern sportscars like the Audi R18 represent absolute cutting-edge technology, Audi Sport Team Joest and its engineers are among the best in the world. On top of this Audi is also a top flight automobile manufacturer. I’m already very excited about the race. I’m convinced that it will be a massive event. The WEC is one of the greatest championships in motorsport. The fans from São Paulo can enjoy the fascination of endurance racing directly on their doorsteps. They’ll certainly get a taste for it.
Endurance races are a little different to sprints that you have contested up to now in single-seaters. Will you have to change your approach?
To be perfectly honest I have no idea what to expect. I contest my first endurance race, I drive for Audi for the first time and so far I only know the team and the R18 from testing. In Allan and Tom I have the best team mates you can imagine. They’ve already achieved everything at Le Mans and in other endurance races. I will learn a lot from them.
Audi can fight for the win. At the same time your team mates Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen are still in the thick of the title battle and must think tactically. With this in mind will you rather attack or be cautious?
My role is clear: even though I will only compete in one race and aim to put in a good performance in front of my home crowd, I must not take any risks. My goal is to produce the best possible performance. When all is said and done the team result is important.
Do you have a circuit advantage?
Even though I spent a big part of my career in Europe, I still know Interlagos extremely well from Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Formula 1. However, I believe that my team mates will learn the circuit very quickly, while I have to start by learning the Audi R18 ultra and endurance racing. So, as you can see I have no advantage.
Coming up next week
08.09 Silverstone (GB), British GT Championship, round 6
08.09 Zolder (B), 24-hour race
09.09 Navarra (E), French GT Championship, round 5
09.09 Laguna Seca (USA), GRAND-AM, round 12
09.09 Fuji (J), Super GT, round 6