Audi News Update 5/15/2016

World RX Mettet 2016
> Mattias Ekström with next rallycross victory
> Audi R8 LMS with trophies in the UK, Austria and Spain
> Timo Scheider in “ZDF Fernsehgarten” TV show

While Mattias Ekström continued his winning streak in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and is leading the standings the teams of Audi Sport customer racing celebrated GT3 successes with the Audi R8 LMS in three European racing series.

Mattias Ekström wins again in Belgium

Mattias Ekström is the man of the hour in the FIA World Rallycross Championship: Just one week after the 1-2 victory of his team, EKS, at the DTM opener at Hockenheim, the Swedish Audi driver won the race at Mettet (Belgium). For the third time in a row, Ekström was “top qualifier” in his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro after the four qualification races. Following commanding wins in the semi-final and the final, the two-time DTM Champion is the sole leader of the World Championship for the first time in his rallycross career. His team, EKS, continues to lead the teams’ championship.

Second place following recovery at Silverstone

At Silverstone, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT clinched its first podium position in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this season. Brothers Laurens and Dries Vanthoor, together with their teammate Frédéric Vervisch qualified for grid position eleven on the second race weekend, but clearly advanced in the race. Following three hours of racing, the Belgian driver trio crossed the finish line in second place, trailing the winners by just nine tenths of a second. As a result, Vanthoor/Vanthoor/Vervisch have moved up from ninth to third place in the standings.

Victory and podium places in Austria

The customers of Audi Sport customer racing contested a successful DMV GTC visit in Austria. “Ronny C’Rock” from Team Land Motorsport won round two at the Red Bull Ring in the new Audi R8 LMS with an advantage of eight tenths of a second. Third place went to Tommy Tulpe at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS of Team HCB Rutronik Racing. In the weekend’s first heat, Tulpe had taken second place overall, trailed by his teammate Fabian Plentz who competed in an Audi R8 LMS ultra. In the subsequent Dunlop 60 race, Plentz/Tulpe in the Audi R8 LMS jointly achieved second place and took victory in their class.

Podium place at hillclimb race in Asturias

José Antonio López-Fombona in the Audi R8 LMS ultra clinched another trophy. In Fito, in the north-west of Spain, the Spaniard took third place in class in the FIA European Hillclimb Championship classification. In round four of the season, the privateer with Team AMP Classic was the best GT driver and the fastest finisher in Category 2 of the Asturian Hillclimb classification.

Timo Scheider in “ZDF Fernsehgarten” TV show

Spectacular appearance of Timo Scheider at the “ZDF Fernsehgarten:” In a television show on the occasion of the Eurovision Song Contest, the two-time DTM Champion took dancer and “Let’s Dance” jury member Isabel Edvardsson for a ride in the Audi RS 5 DTM race taxi. In a challenge called “elk test,” the Swede had to slide small wooden elks onto a wire while Scheider was driving.
Audi Sport TT Cup title winner Kisiel to contest Audi R8 LMS Cup

Jan Kisiel, the winner of the 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup, will be on the grid in the Audi R8 LMS Cup this year. The 21-year-old Pole is going to drive one of the near-570-hp GT3 race cars for Team KCMG. Last year, Kisiel proved his talent in the Audi Sport TT Cup. In the Audi one-make cup, he won five of the twelve races, was on podium nine times and secured the title in commanding style. The fifth Audi R8 LMS Cup season will kick off with two races at Shanghai Audi International Circuit on May 21 and 22.

A word from … Lucas di Grassi

The Brazilian celebrated his first victory with Audi in round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Spa.

Together with Loïc Duval and Oliver Jarvis you achieved your first victory with Audi. Did you expect that at Spa?

In our sport, the rule applies that the race isn’t over until you’ve crossed the finish line. Sometimes you’re unfortunate or make mistakes yourself, but now and then it happens to others – that exactly was the case at Spa. We didn’t have the fastest car, but made no mistakes. After turn one, we were in third place and when a Porsche lost ground we were running in position two for a long time. When the leading Toyota retired, we were in front. After all, endurance racing is also about having staying power.

What did you feel on clinching victory?

It was a tremendous feeling, but this victory had been due for some time. In 2014, Tom Kristensen, Marc Gené and I were in a good position to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, but it wasn’t enough. The year before, at Sebring, we lost victory after 12 hours of racing by only 7.6 seconds. Now we clinched our first winners’ trophy. Hopefully, a lot more of them are going to follow.

You’re contesting the FIA WEC with Audi Sport and the FIA Formula E Championship with Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport. You’ve won three FIA Formula E rounds in the current season, and now have clinched victory in the WEC. Is this your year?

Being in contention for top results in both racing series with strong teams and great race cars means a lot to me. Competing in parallel is something I regard as a gain. For one, it’s about the methodology of managing a limited amount of energy. Even though the technological concepts differ from each other, they make similar demands on us as drivers. For the other, being among the best in both series sharpens your senses and competitive spirit. I’m sure the two programs help improve my own skills, which the teams in the two series I compete in benefit from.