Audi has sets its sights on overall victory in yet another endurance classic only two weeks after the tenth 24 Hours of Le Mans victory: the Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline and Phoenix, known from the DTM Championships in Germany, will compete with four Audi R8 LMS in the 24-hour race around the famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife on June 25/26.
Audi has supplied, through its sporting subsidiary quattro GmbH, the official cars since 2002 for the popular event in the Eifel which attracts more than 200,000 spectators every year. However, only once Audi has sent a factory squad into the “Green Hell”: In 2004 Audi competed with two modified DTM cars based on the Abt-Audi TT-R which finished fourth and eighth. In 2011 the team around Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich makes a second attempt with the Audi R8 LMS.
The fascinating GT3 sportscar is the first race car of the brand with the Four Rings that was specifically developed for customer racing and which is now fielded successfully by customer teams throughout the world. The R8 LMS powered by a near standard production V10 engine has already claimed 83 wins. More wins are added almost every weekend – at the beginning of 2011 this included victory in the 12-hour race at Bathurst in Australia.
The R8 LMS has already proved its qualities around the world’s toughest, and at 25.378 kilometers, the world’s longest track: the customer car has recorded two overall victories in the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring to date – most recently 14 days before the 24-hour race in its final test race.
The driver squad, which Audi assembles for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, could hardly be more high-caliber. DTM stars like Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider share driving duties with Le Mans winners like Marcel Fässler and Marco Werner and acknowledged Nordschleife specialists like Marc Basseng or Frank Stippler. Mike Rockenfeller, who is still recovering from the aftereffects of his severe accident during the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will not participate.Rockenfeller will cheer on his Audi team mates from home where he will follow the event on television.
Practice at the Nrburgring begins on Thursday. The race starts on Saturday, June 25 at 4:00 p.m.