Sunday 29 January 2012

Audi R8 LMS in exotic livery

Audi R8 LMS in exotic livery

• Audi on the grid in Australia with designs from the animal kingdom
• Formula 1 know-how at Audi Sport Team Rosberg
• Exhibition and conference appearances for Audi factory drivers

Ingolstadt, January 29, 2012 – The two Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS will be two
visually striking highlights in the field at the Bathurst 12 hours at the end of
Black and white: The two Audi R8 LMS which compete in the 12 hours Bathurst
between February 24 and 26 are unique with their visual references to the animal
kingdom. Christer Jöns/Christopher Mies/Darryl O’Young share a black R8 LMS. An
oversized version of the world-famous yellow traffic sign symbolizing the kangaroo
is reproduced on the bodywork. A spider’s web covers the entire surface of the white
sister car driven by Mark Eddy/Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff. A typical Australian
Redback spider sits in the web.
Top-class new team member: Formula 1 know-how moves to Audi Sport Team
Rosberg. New team member Ossi Oikarinen spent 14 years in Grand Prix racing. The
41-year old engineer is new Technical Director of the DTM team from March 1 and
successor to Andreas Roos. After starting at Arrows in 1997, Oikarinen moved to
Toyota in 2000 where he also worked together with Dieter Gass, the new Head of
Racing Commitments at Audi Sport. Oikarinen who hails from Lahti in Finland
managed the BMW Sauber teat team from 2007. From 2009 he was the leading test
engineer at Ferrari. “We expect many new impulses for our team in 2012 season
from this high-class new team member,” explains Team Director Arno Zensen.
Great enthusiasm in Erfurt: Rahel Frey was a popular guest at the ADAC Motorsport
Show at the exhibition center in Thuringia. The Swiss lady representing Audi was a
popular interviewee and signed many autographs. Among the biggest attractions in
Hall 1 was also the Schaeffler Audi A4 DTM.

Crowds of fans at Lake Constance: Audi factory driver Timo Scheider was kept busy
signing countless autographs all day, every day from Friday to Sunday on the
Motorradwelt stand at the exhibition center in Friedrichshafen. The two-time DTM
Champion is an enthusiastic motorbike rider.
Presentation in Paris: At a press conference on February 2 the ACO and FIA will
present the new World Endurance Championship (WEC). Audi will be represented by
factor driver Benoît Tréluyer and also displays the Audi R18 TDI with which the
Frenchman and his team mates won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2011.
Trade fair exhibit in Qatar: Visitors attending the Motor Show in Doha between
January 25 and 28 were not only able to admire the latest production cars. An Audi
R18 TDI joined the many eye-catchers on the Audi stand.
Familiar faces: With the introduction of the GRAND-AM program two engineers from
sport prototype programs return. The American Brad Kettler was an engineer for
different Audi teams since the Audi R8 LMP era. He now provides technical and
logistical support in the customer racing program. Ron Mathis, one of the race
engineers from the former American Le Mans Series program, is new race engineer
at Oryx Racing.
Big program: about 180 guests of Audi of America visibly enjoyed the debut of the
R8 GRAND-AM at Daytona. A tour through the paddock, exclusive pit tours during
the race and visits to meet the drivers in the Audi Lounge on the main grandstand
ensured the weekend remained unforgettable. The guests enjoyed a unique view
across the oval track from the Audi Lounge.
A word from ... Emanuele Pirro
Your start in the 24 hours Daytona 2012 has a special meaning to you. What
connects you with this race?
“Oh yes, it’s my first race as a 50-year old racing driver! No, seriously though, I
contested my first race outside Italy as 19-year old racing driver at Daytona in 1981.
And now 31 years later I have the honor of being in the thick of the action as the R8
GRAND-AM makes its debut in Daytona. This is why this race with Audi is so special.”

What has changed over the course of more than three decades?
“Earlier there were so few buildings that it was possible to recognize the banking
from a long way away. This put so much fear in our hearts that two of my team
mates – Michele Alboreto and Beppe Gabbiani – and I wanted to turn around on the
spot! At that time there was no chicane in the oval. Today it’s great fun to drive on
the demanding circuit with such a well developed car like the R8 GRAND-AM. By the
way, despite being in motorsport for many decades, I attended the Rookie briefing
at Daytona again this year.”
What memories do you have of the famous Daytona weekend?
“After coming home after my first race in 1981 I didn’t realize what we had
achieved. Thanks to our points our employer became World Champion. And now
we’ve started a campaign which will hopefully also have a big effect. I’m sure that
the Audi R8 GRAND-AM will have a big future in this series.”
Coming up next week
02.02. Press conference WEC Paris (F)

Audi Sport.

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