At Le Mans (June 15) and at the Nürburgring (June 22), Audi won two 24-hour races within the space of one week this year. This was last achieved in 2012 – when the two victories were separated by four weeks. Two years ago, the R18 e-tron quattro and the R8 LMS had been the winning cars as well.
René Rast and Christian Mamerow mounted the very top of the podium in the Eifel ‘marathon’ for the first time while Markus Winkelhock and Christopher Haase had previously been successful with Audi in 2012. The name of the Winkelhock family of race drivers can now be found on the winners’ list four times. Joachim Winkelhock, the uncle of Audi driver Markus Winkelhock, won the endurance race in 1990 and 1991.
The tally of the Audi R8 LMS and the R8 LMS ultra in the Nürburgring 24 Hours since 2009 reflects five SP9 GT3 class victories (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014), including two overall victories (2012, 2014). The customer sport race car has celebrated six overall victories (Spa 2011, Zolder 2011, Nürburgring 2012, Spa 2012, Zolder 2012, Nürburgring 2014) and a total of eleven class victories in 24-hour races to date.
At Le Mans, Audi has been holding the distance record since 2010. At the Nürburgring, the GT3 sports car has set a new best mark this year. The R8 LMS ultra, with chassis number 14 0611, completed 159 laps, equating to 4,035.102 driven kilometers on which the winners’ team achieved an average speed of 167.435 km/h.
The previous record of 156 laps, equating to 3,958.968 kilometers, was set in the 2011 season. This currently makes Audi the only manufacturer to have surpassed the 4,000-kilometer mark in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Phoenix Racing, as in 2012, was successful on the Nordschleife with Audi. For Ernst Moser’s squad that is based in Meuspath, this year’s victory marked an amazing fourth overall win following 2000, 2003 and 2012.
The #4 Audi R8 LMS ultra took the lead for the first time on lap 15. On lap 103, it took the top spot again and maintained it all the way to the finish. On 102 of the 159 driven laps, the GT3 sports car from Neckarsulm defended its position as the front runner – which corresponds to 64.15 percent of the race distance.
Jürgen Jungklaus was responsible for the success of Phoenix Racing at the Nürburgring as the squad’s technical director. He was also the responsible race engineer winning the DTM for Audi Sport Team Phoenix in 2011 with Martin Tomczyk and in 2013 with Mike Rockenfeller. This year, the race engineer for the victorious Audi R8 LMS ultra at the Nürburgring was Jörg Baldes.
The Audi R8 LMS ultra headed for the Phoenix Racing pits 19 times. On its way to victory, it used a total of 20 sets of tires supplied by partner Michelin.
The team of Audi Design was responsible for the liveries of the two winning models, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the R8 LMS ultra. Designer Tobias Drews from the team of Dirk van Braeckel created the graphics for the bodywork on both cars.
Audi is a sought-after brand on the Nordschleife. In addition to the R8 LMS ultra, the TT RS celebrated success. Elmar Deegener/Jürgen Wohlfarth/Christoph Breuer/Dieter Schmidtmann with Team Raeder Motorsport won the SP 3T class ahead of their brand colleagues from LMS Engineering. Franjo Kovac/Fredrik Lestrup/Kurt Thiim/Martin Tschornia in another TT RS decided the SP 4T class in their favor.
Audi Sport customer racing provided customer advisors to all teams who, together with other employees, ensured optimum support. Material and spare parts for the R8 LMS ultra and the TT RS were transported to the Nürburgring on three tractor-trailers.
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