Just a few days after the successful DTM season opener, the next major motorsport event is on the agenda for Audi: The 24-hour race on the Nürburgring next weekend will be the ultimate endurance test for the new Audi R8 LMS which has been developed for the customer sport before customer deliveries start this fall – and a gift to fans on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Audi brand. A total of four of the fascinating GT3 sports cars will start from the grid with factory support by Audi. The two race teams, ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing, managed putting together a high-caliber drivers’ lineup. The 14 successful endurance race drivers sharing the cockpits have as many as 27 overall wins at 24-hour races around the world to their credit between them. Four of them (Lucas Luhr, Emanuele Pirro, Mike Rockenfeller, and Hans-Joachim Stuck) have also won the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring at least once.

The two teams are familiar with the endurance classic on the notorious Nürburgring-Nordschleife as well. ABT Sportsline already clinched podium results with vehicles of the Audi brand. Team Phoenix Racing, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary, won its first race at the Nürburgring in 2000 right away and celebrated another triumph at the 24-hour race in 2003. For Ernst Moser’s squad based in the industrial park of Meuspath, directly alongside the Nordschleife, the 24-hour race is really a home round.

Audi provides factory support for a fielding of cars at this extremely tough race for the first time again since 2004. Then, the ABT Sportsline team contested the event with two modified Abt-Audi TT-R cars from the DTM. This time, the race car is a thorough-bred sports car with a V10 engine delivering almost 500 hp that has successfully been used in initial races. On the first weekend in May, ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing clinched maiden victories of the Audi R8 LMS at Assen and Spa-Francorchamps. In test races on the Nordschleife, podium results were achieved.

The Nürburgring event serves to provide the R8 LMS with its definitive technical fine-tuning. But Audi also wants to present a gift to fans on the occasion of the brand’s 100th anniversary and thrill the expected crowd of some 200,000 spectators with distinguished drivers from Audi’s successful motorsport history. Frank Biela, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Emanuele Pirro are part of the lineup as well as the two DTM Champions Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider, who – fitting the anniversary year – will take the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS marked as car number 100.

Most of the drivers and team members already traveled to the Nürburgring at the beginning of the week. A motorcade around the Nordschleife on Wednesday night will be the first highlight. Practice will start on Thursday. The race will start on Saturday at 4 pm. DSF will broadcast a total of about 14 hours of live coverage from the Nürburgring.

Source: Audi