Saturday 12 November 2011

Audi on second row at ILMC final.

Audi on second row at ILMC final.

􀀁 Tom Kristensen just 269 thousandths short of pole position at Zhuhai
􀀁 Concentration on race set-up for the two Audi R18 TDI cars
􀀁 Pole position for the Audi R8 LMS in the GTC class

Ingolstadt/Zhuhai, November 12, 2011 – The two Audi R18 TDI cars will tackle
the finale of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) at Zhuhai (China) from the
second row of the grid. Audi Sport Team Joest completely concentrated on the
race set-up in qualifying.
Last year had already shown that the 4.317-kilometer race track at Zhuhai with its
nine right- and five left-hand turns is particularly hard on the brakes and tires.
Therefore, Audi systematically used the wet test day on Wednesday and the free
practice sessions on Friday and Saturday to intensively work for the six-hour race –
and with a positive interim result: both Audi R18 TDI cars left an extremely strong
impression during long runs in practice.
In qualifying on Saturday Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Marcel Fässler
(Switzerland) took grid positions three and four for Audi in 27 degrees in the shade.
The Le Mans record winner was merely 269 thousandths of a second short of the
pole position.
Pole position for the Audi R8 LMS in the GTC class
The Audi R8 LMS delivered an impressive qualifying performance. DTM racer
Edoardo Mortara, who moved the Audi GT3 sports car for the first time ever on
Wednesday, not only secured the pole position in the GTC class for Audi. He also set
the second-fastest lap of all GT vehicles and claimed grid position 14 overall in the
R8 fielded by the Chinese customer team Absolute Racing under an entry submitted
by Audi Sport customer racing China. Another Audi R8 LMS, driven by Carlo van Dam
(Hitotsuyama Racing), qualified as the runner-up in the GTC class.

The 6-hour race at Zuhai will be started on Sunday at 11:00 hrs. local time (4:00 hrs
CET). provides a full-length live broadcast of the ILMC finale on the internet
at Tom Kristensen is competing together with
Allan McNish and Marcel Fässler with Timo Bernhard.
Quotes after qualifying
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “We continually improved up to
qualifying. The first four cars are close together. Zhuhai is very special because it’s a
kind of stop-and-go track and there’s actually just one fast corner where
aerodynamics is crucial. I believe that we’ve got both cars on a good race set-up.
Tomorrow we’ll try and close the season with a very good result.”
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 TDI #2): “Here, it’s about having a good front axle in
order to optimally get through the tight turns – that’s what we’ve been working on
from the outset. Naturally, you’ve got to find the perfect compromise with
sufficient traction on the rear wheels. To achieve this for one lap is one thing but an
altogether different matter for long runs. I think we’ve set up a very good race car
and will see a very exciting race tomorrow. There’s one thing I can promise: All four
Audi drivers are hungry for victory at the finale of the ILMC.”
Allan McNish (Audi R18 TDI #2): “I’ve got to say that I’m impressed by the
performance that Tom (Kristensen) delivered today. He simply squeezed the best
out of the Audi R18 TDI today. We’re very close to the competition and that should
give us another extra boost of self-confidence for the race. We were already
competitive here last year with the R15 TDI and we are competitive with the R18
TDI as well – no matter whether we’re on a wet or a dry track. We’ve got a good car
for the race.”
Timo Bernhard (Audi R18 TDI #1): “The ILMC race at Zhuhai is my first visit to
China. It’s an interesting culture and a completely new race track for me, which isn’t
exactly easy. It’s a technically demanding track with my many hairpins. We did a
good job for the race and were running well on the long runs. That makes me feel
optimistic for the race tomorrow. I think we’ll definitely be in contention for
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 TDI #1): “As always, we set up the car as best we could for
the race. Although it tends to understeer – which personally doesn’t suit me so well
– I pushed in qualifying. Obviously, we’d have liked being a bit faster, but more
wasn’t possible today on fresh tires. Still, I’m looking forward to the race because
that’s always an altogether different story.”
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “To be honest, I was
expecting us to have a difficult time in qualifying. That’s why I’m surprised how
close we are to our immediate rivals. Unfortunately, Marcel Fässler lost some time
on his last fast lap. Otherwise it would have been similarly good as Tom
Kristensen’s. In practice we were doing fine with the tires on the long runs and I’m
hoping for that to be the case in the race as well. That’s why I think that we’ll be on
an equal footing in the race and that it’ll develop the way it has been throughout the
year: none of the brands has a true advantage. We can live well with our start from
the second row.”

Qualifying results
1 Bourdais/Davidson (Peugeot) 1m 21.769s
2 Montagny/Sarrazin (Peugeot) 1m 21.844s
3 Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 TDI) 1m 22.038s
4 Bernhard/Fässler (Audi R18 TDI) 1m 22.538s
5 Jani/Prost (Lola-Toyota) 1m 24.684s
6 Nicolet/Premat/Pla (Oak-Pescarolo-Judd) 1m 25.119s
7 Meyrick/Mücke/Primat (Lola-Aston Martin) 1m 25.119s
8 Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues (Oak-Pescarolo-Judd) 1m 25.170s
9 Mailleux/Ordonez/Vernay (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 27.929s
10 Lafargue/da Rocha (Oak-Pescarolo-Judd) 1m 30.214s
14 Mortara/O’Young/Imperatori (Audi R8 LMS) 1m 34.777s (1st in GTC)
15 Tsuzuki/Kim/van Dam (Audi R8 LMS) 1m 34.934s (2nd in GTC)
27 Gruber/Lee/Tak Mak (Audi R8 LMS) 1m 36.417s (4th in GTC)

Audi Sport.

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