Audi is ready for the Le Mans 24 Hours
Prepared for Le Mans: Audi Sport Team Joest completed scrutineering for the Le Mans 24 Hours as early as on the Sunday before the race. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the two R18 ultra cars perfectly passed the technical inspection. The unusually early scrutineering date, however, meant that three Audi drivers were not on hand this time and will present themselves a day later. Loïc Duval was contesting a race in Malaysia, Oliver Jarvis was competing at the Slovakiaring and Marc Gené was at the Canadian Grand Prix with Formula One. For the first time, the spectators witnessed the scrutineering event at the Place de la République in the center of the city of Le Mans, as the previously used Place des Jacobins square in front of the Saint-Julien cathedral is under construction this year.
Invitation to attend tennis match: France Télévisions invited Benoît Tréluyer and Romain Dumas to a broadcast of the French Open at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. The French TV channel is covering both the tennis tournament and the Le Mans 24 Hours. On Tuesday, the two Audi factory drivers kept their fingers crossed for their compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who hails from Le Mans, in the quarter finals and were involved in the channel’s television program as well.
Hot disc: The film "Truth in 24 II" is now also available on DVD. The captivating 83-minute documentary tells the story of Audi’s tenth victory at the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours. In addition, the DVD contains bonus material relating to five individual topics and comes with a soundtrack in German, English, Spanish and French. It can be purchased at: www.adrenalin-magazine.com
Excursion to America: Filipe Albuquerque competed at the "Global Rallycross" round in the USA. The Audi factory driver had accepted an invitation by the American Travis Pastrana and drove a 600-HP rallycross vehicle in Texas.
Success in Saxony: Christopher Mies and Edward Sandström clinched a podium result at the third round of the ADAC GT Masters. On Sunday, the German-Swedish duo finished as the runners-up, marking the first podium finish for the Audi R8 LMS ultra in this year’s ADAC GT Masters season.
Podium success in Italy: The Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Italia achieved a podium result at the second round of the Italian GT Championship at Mugello. In Saturday’s race, Davide Di Benedetto and Alex Frassineti took second place. In the standings, the two Audi drivers are ranking in third place.
Position improvement: Oliver Jarvis and Frank Stippler occupied fifth place at the fourth round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at the Slovakiaring. The British-German duo thus improved by one position in the drivers’ standings. The two drivers of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Audi R8 LMS ultra are now in seventh place of the standings. Their team-mates Stéphane Ortelli and Laurens Vanthoor finished the race in sixth place, which puts them on position four in the World Championship. The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is holding third place in the team classification, separated from position two by only one point.
A word from ... Marc Gené
In April, you joined Audi as a reserve driver. At Spa, you won in what has so far been your only racing commitment for Audi. As Timo Bernhard had to cancel his run you stood in for him and are replacing him at the Le Mans 24 Hours as well. What are your feelings?
"Of course it’s very regrettable that Timo’s health hasn’t been restored yet. In my role as reserve driver, my participation in the Le Mans test day had been planned anyway. Now, I’ll be running in the race too, which is an honor for me. The people at Audi never gave me the impression of only being a reserve driver, though - I’ve been feeling completely integrated in the squad right from the beginning."
What has given you this feeling?
"I was fully involved as early as in the rests. Then I was allowed to drive the race at Spa. I had not been planned for the race at Le Mans originally. When it was confirmed I was very happy. I like this race, the team and the Audi R18 ultra very much."
How were the reactions to your victory at Spa?
"This earned me a few nice press articles, many congratulations, and recognition in the Formula One paddock as well. I’ve begun to realize what an important brand Audi is. With it, this victory is even more special and the many fans of the brand watch us very closely. This is different than in other teams. The structure at Audi is at the same level as it is in the best Formula One teams. Plus the passion of the whole brand for the Le Mans 24 Hours is enormous."
Coming up next week
Jun 06 Loïc Duval’s 30th birthday
Jun 16 Le Mans 24 Hours (F), round 3, WEC
Jun 17 Dindo Capello’s 48th birthday