- Media reps experience Silverstone at high speeds
- First victory for Audi TT RS in VLN Endurance Championship
- Marcel Fässler crosses Klausen pass on two wheels
With less than three weeks to go until the fifth race in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), Audi gave media representatives the opportunity to experience the excitement of the Silverstone track from the cockpit of a real race car.
Last Monday, Audi driver Allan McNish allowed journalists to see things from an unusual perspective, taking them round the 5.141-kilometer Silverstone course at racing speeds in the 520 hp Audi R8 LMS. No less than 20 journalists jumped at the opportunity, and all of them were thrilled to have been able to experience the cockpit of Audis GT3 customer sport race car. Audi will have two R18 TDI vehicles lining up for the fifth ILMC race at Silverstone on September 11.
Pedal power: The Swiss Audi factory driver Marcel Fässler took the opportunity to set out on a demanding cycling tour this summer. Starting in Gross on the shores of Switzerlands Sihlsee lake, the Le Mans winner headed for the famous Klausen pass, where motorsport races used to be held more than 70 years ago. The pass climbs to a height of 1,948 meters. In total, Marcel covered a distance of 180 kilometers under his own steam on his cycling tour.
Time is ticking away: Creative individuals have just two weeks left in which to design a new helmet for Swiss driver Rahel Frey. The Audi DTM drivers fans have until September 12 to submit their entries into the competition run by Capri-Sonne. The best design will then be put onto Rahels helmet. The main prize is a DTM weekend with accommodation and tickets included. For details, go to: www.rahelfrey.ch
Overall victory on the Nürburgring: The Audi TT RS, which is on trial as a new customer sport vehicle in the 2011 season, achieved its first victory in the VLN Endurance Championship by winning the six-hour race in the pouring rain. Frank Biela/Michael Ammermüller/Christian Hohenadel also secured themselves pole position in the 380 hp Raeder Motorsport sports car, thus making the TT RS the first front-wheel drive vehicle in the history of the VLN to start a race at the front of the pack. Christopher Haase/Luca Ludwig/Christopher Mies (Audi Sport Team Phoenix) came second in an Audi R8 LMS. Alex Yoong, who drove an Audi R8 LMS for Audi race experience in preparation for the 12-hour race in Sepang, came seventh.
Rostrum position in the Blancpain Endurance Series: In the fourth race of the series, Greg Franchi/Marcel Fässler/Andrea Piccini clinched third place for the WRT Team in their Audi R8 LMS at Magny-Cours. 24h Spa winner Greg Franchi will therefore enter the season finale in Silverstone as the driver at the top of the leader board, with a lead of 21.5 points. He only needs another four points to secure the title. Even before the end of the series, WRT has already won the team championship, making this the Belgian teams first international championship victory since it was founded in 2010.
Victory in Japan: Just a week after the 100th triumph of the Audi R8 LMS, the Japanese team Hitotsuyama Racing scored yet another victory – in the fourth race of Japans Super Taikyu Series in Okayama, the drivers Tomonobu Fujii, Akihiro Tsuzuki and Michael Kim led from start to finish in the three-hour race and therefore won the championship before the end of the series.
A brief interview with … Timo Bernhard
We are into the final stages of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. What can we expect to see?
We will be heading to Silverstone for the second weekend in September. I particularly like this racetrack because it has so many different combinations of bends. As far as expectations are concerned: In Spa, we started in pole position in the Audi R18 TDI, and we were out in front for a while at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In Imola, we managed to make it onto the winners rostrum. It goes without saying that we will be looking to attack again in Silverstone. Its about time we achieved another victory in the Audi R18 TDI.
In comparison to a lot of other drivers, you hardly had a summer break at all.
I have already competed in 16 events this year, which is obviously a fantastic experience for a racing driver. And there are another seven dates up to and including the finale in Zhuhai with Audi in November, so I will be ratcheting my total up to 23 races. As everyone knows, I also really enjoy taking part in rallies in my private time, and took part in the German World Championship race at the end of August. After picking up a time penalty, we came third in the German Rally Championship rankings. I also enter endurance races on the Nürburgring. To sum it up, this season with Audi and Porsche has been full of variety, has been really great, and has already resulted in some trophy wins.
Up to the season finale, you will be paired with Marcel Fässler as your new Audi team colleague in the #1 Audi R18 TDI. How is that going?
We have only been a team since Imola, but working with Marcel is perfect because we have a very similar approach, we are both professional, and we also get on well off the racetrack. The two of us are determined to achieve success for Audi. Audi Sport Team Joest can see how well we are working together also. This is my third year of racing for Audi and I am very aware of and pleased that I have an environment in which I can feel so at ease. And winning a few races for the brand doesnt hurt either. Hopefully the next win will be at Silverstone!
Coming up next week
September 4, Brands Hatch (GB), DTM, round 7
September 4, EuroSpeedway (D), ADAC GT Masters, round 6
September 4, Zolder (B), Belcar Championship, round 4
September 4, Zolder (B), Dutch Supercar Challenge, round 8
September 4, Phillip Island (AUS), Australian GT Championship, round 5
September 4, Albi (F), French GT Championship, round 6
September 4, Rockingham (GB), British GT Championship, rounds 7 and 8