- Three overall victories in Belgium since 2011
- Ten Audi R8 LMS cars to be entered at the end of July
Audi will be fighting for its fourth overall victory at the Spa 24 Hours on July 29 and 30. A total of ten Audi R8 LMS, four factory-supported race cars and six more with Audi customers at the wheel, will compete at the endurance classic. The event is a season highlight in GT3 racing; with 66 competitors from eleven brands, there is nowhere else in the world where so many race cars of this class are brought together on one grid.
For many drivers, the race track at Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most beautiful in the world. It runs for exactly 7.004 kilometres through the Ardennes. The combination of the differences in elevation, the extremely fast sections and a few slow corners is as fascinating for fans as it is for drivers. Audi has already won there in 2011, 2012 and 2014, whilst in the last three years, the brand with the four rings has achieved the prestigious “Coupe du Roi.” This prize, first handed over in 1913, is one of the oldest awards in motorsport and it is given to the most successful brand in the field – i.e. the one that prevails in different classes.
Audi Sport Team WRT from Belgium will compete in its home race with two factory-supported race cars, whilst Audi Sport Team I.S.R. from the Czech Republic and Audi Sport Team Saintéloc from France will each compete with one. On top of this, three more teams will enter a total of six privateer Audi R8 LMS cars as well. “We are well prepared for the racing competition of a total of eleven automotive brands,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “Many of our drivers have already won titles or endurance races with the Audi R8 LMS, the last of which being the 24 hours on the Nürburgring. Our teams and drivers will again this year pull out all the stops for victory in Spa.”
Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies, Connor De Phillippi and Markus Winkelhock were the victors in the Eifel two months ago. The professional drivers Antonio García, Jules Gounon, Christopher Haase, Pierre Kaffer, Nico Müller, René Rast, Frank Stippler and Frédéric Vervisch complete the driver line-up in the factory-supported race cars. The cockpits of the privateer Audi R8 LMS cars will be shared by amateur and professional drivers, including DTM campaigner Jamie Green and the three-time Le Mans winners Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer and André Lotterer, who has returned to Audi for this event.
A good performance on the last weekend of July will be rewarded fourfold: not only will the overall victory and the Coupe du Roi be up for grabs, but also points for two championships. As the fourth round and the only 24-hour race in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, the event at Spa is even more significant: there are points awarded for places after six, twelve and 24 race hours. Additionally, the endurance classic also counts as the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge – a racing series held on four different continents, and in which Audi lines up as the title defender.
Audi Sport customer racing factory-supported teams:
Audi Sport Team WRT
#1 Antonio García/Nico Müller/René Rast (E/CH/D)
#2 Christopher Mies/Connor De Phillippi/Frédéric Vervisch (D/USA/B)
Audi Sport Team Saintéloc
#25 Jules Gounon/Christopher Haase/Markus Winkelhock (F/D/D)
Audi Sport Team I.S.R.
#76 Pierre Kaffer/Kelvin van der Linde/Frank Stippler (D/ZA/D)
Belgian Audi Club Team WRT
#3 Josh Caygill/Richard Lyons/Niki Mayr-Melnhof/Jon Venter (GB/GB/A/AUS)
#6 Nathanaël Berthon/Stéphane Richelmi/Benoît Tréluyer (F/MC/F)
#17 Jake Dennis/Jamie Green/Stuart Leonard (GB/GB/GB)
Audi Sport Team WRT
#5 Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Dries Vanthoor (CH/D/B)
#26 Fred Bouvy/Christian Kelders/Marc Rostan (B/B/F)
#75 Filipe Albuquerque/Filip Salaquarda/Clemens Schmid (P/CZ/A)
– Ends –