Victories for Audi Formula E in Rome and for Customer Racing around the Globe
Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler most successful team in first E-Prix in Rome
Fast lady Carrie Schreiner with overall victories in DMV GTC
Audi RS 3 LMS unbeatable on the Nürburgring, at Hockenheim and in Russia
Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt clinched positions two and four for Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler in the first Formula E race in Rome and thrilled the spectators in the Italian capital with fightbacks. Audi Sport customers also celebrated podium results and victories around the globe. The season openers in Germany and Russia went particularly well. Following a less than perfect qualifying, the two Audi drivers had to settle for grid positions six and nine on the new race track. After a small mistake on his timed lap, Lucas di Grassi just barely missed the “Super Pole” of the five fastest. Daniel Abt did not get his tires to work optimally in qualifying.
However, both Audi drivers were convinced that they had fast cars for what has been the longest race of the current Formula E season to date. In front of a crowd of some 30,000 enthusiastic fans and the eyes of Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, they impressively proved that they did.
Abt and di Grassi skillfully saved energy in the first half of the race, so being able to drive one more lap than most of their competitors. Following the pit stops, both recovered a deficit to the front runners of more than ten seconds, battling their way forward position by position with spectacular overtaking maneuvers. Shortly before the end of the race, di Grassi even caught up with race leader Sam Bird and fought a fierce battle for victory with the Briton which in the end he missed by only 0.970 seconds.
“I’m overjoyed to have clinched a podium for Audi in the successful Formula E premiere in Rome,” said di Grassi. “After the start, I was only in eighth position, so second in the end is simply fantastic. It was an outstanding race that I’m very happy with. Thank you to Audi and everyone who voted for me in the FanBoost, which helped me to overtake Sébastien Buemi today.”
Daniel Abt overtook his teammate at the start, but dropped behind di Grassi again due to a slower pit stop. In addition, he lost radio contact with the pits in the first half of the race. “As a result, I was completely on my own out there and had no information about energy management,” said Abt. “I was fast anyhow and with the second car, fortunately, everything was okay. Sébastien (Buemi) and André (Lotterer) didn’t make life easy for me. I lost a lot of time behind those two before being able to overtake them. Just one lap longer and I might even have finished on podium. But, as it is, we can be proud of having scored important points after starting from position nine and of having set the fastest race lap.”
“It was a fantastic start of the European season,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “The location in Rome is incredible and the track very nice. The race was action-packed and ended well for us. In view of our grid positions, it was an excellent race for Audi.”
Daniel Abt, now with 50 points to his tally, improved to fifth position in the overall classification of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, Lucas di Grassi to eighth (39 points). In the teams’ standings, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler moved up to position four. With 31 points the team was the most successful one in Rome. The next E-Prix will take place on April 28 in Paris. There the futuristic Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo will be deployed again as well. The electric race car concept made a much-noted debut in Rome as a race taxi during Formula E. Among the passengers in Rome were Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.
Audi R8 LMS GT3 Two victories at Hockenheim: In the DMV GTC season opener, the customers of Audi Sport made a strong showing. Land-Motorsport won the first race at Hockenheim with “Ronny C’Rock” in an Audi R8 LMS. Third place was secured by Carrie Schreiner from Team HCB-Rutronik Racing. The up-and-coming lady driver attracted everyone’s attention in race two when she clinched the lead and kept it up until the finish. In addition, together with Fabian Plentz, she won the Dunlop 60 race. Third position in this race went to HCB-Rutronik Racing as well with Fabian Plentz and Tommy Tulpe in another Audi R8 LMS. Trophy in Malaysia: In the opening event of the Blancpain GT Series Asia, Team Absolute Racing won a trophy with the Audi R8 LMS. The Chinese Anthony Liu and his Australian teammate Josh Burdon clinched second place on the circuit at Sepang as the best of six Audi driver squads.
Audi R8 LMS GT4 Second place for Phoenix Racing on home soil: Ernst Moser’s team in the qualification race for the 24-hour race achieved second place in the SP10 class for GT4 race cars. Milan Dontje, Nicolaj Møller Madsen and Jörg Viebahn in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 after six hours of racing had to admit defeat by only 14.485 seconds. A second Audi R8 LMS GT4 competed in the SP-X class and with Christian Abt, Alexander Mies and Nicolaj Møller Madsen took second place in this classification as well.
Three trophies at Hockenheim: For the first time, two teams relied on the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the DMV GTC club sport series. Jean-Luc Weidt achieved third place in his class in both sprint races. Together with Dietmar Haggenmüller the young driver took third position in the Dunlop 60 race as well.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR) Success at the Nürburgring: Bonk Motorsport secured a class win on the Nordschleife for Audi Sport customer racing. In the qualification race for the 24-hour race, privateer drivers Hermann Bock/Max Partl/Rainer Partl won the TCR class in an Audi RS 3 LMS with an advantage of 1m 20s ahead of the Hyundai works team.
Victorious start to the season in Russia: In the TCR Russia, Klim Gavrilov scored a spectacular victory at Fort Grozny. The up-and-coming driver from Team Lukoil Racing in his Audi RS 3 LMS overtook last year’s champion Dmitri Bragyn in the early stage and went on to lead the race before a driving mistake caused him to drop to second position. When race leader Kirill Ladygin encountered tire problems Gavrilov took the lead again and won with a 1.9-second advantage. In race two, Aleksey Dudukalo in second place was the best Audi customer racing campaigner.
Three victories for Kevin Arnold: The driver who was promoted from the Audi Sport TT Cup started the new season in the DMV GTC with three class victories. In his home round at Hockenheim, the 18-year-old budding driver from Aichelau won both sprints in the Audi RS 3 LMS and his class in the Dunlop 60 race, outperforming even nominally more powerful GT4 race cars. As a result, Arnold is leading the overall classification after the first of eight events.
Good start to the season for Racing One: Niels Langeveld from Team Racing One started the new season in the ADAC TCR Germany with two podium finishes. Placing second in round one at Oschersleben, he had to admit defeat by only 1.2 seconds. In a photo finish in race two, he drove his Audi RS 3 LMS to third place, trailing the winner by merely 0.839 seconds. Following the first of seven race weekends, the Dutch privateer driver is runner-up in the standings with a deficit of just two points to the front runner.
Coming up 20–22/04 Hockenheim (D), rounds 1 and 2, Spezial Tourenwagen Trophy 20–22/04 Navarra (E), round 3, 24H GT Series 21–22/04 Monza (I), round 1, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup 21–22/04 Beijing (CN), rounds 1 and 2, GT China