Tuesday 24 January 2012

Premiere for Audi at the Daytona 24 Hours

Premiere for Audi at the Daytona 24 Hours

• Debut for new Audi R8 GRAND-AM customer sport race car
• Private teams APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing are on the grid
• Driver line-up includes Audi legend Emanuele Pirro

Ingolstadt, January 24, 2012 – Premiere coincides with anniversary: The Audi R8
GRAND-AM will make its debut on the 50th running of the Daytona 24 Hours
from January 26 to 29. Teams APR Motorsport and Oryx Racing are each fielding
one of the newly developed customer sport race cars in the GT class of the
endurance classic.
The “Rolex 24 at Daytona” ranks among the finest classics in international
motorsport. The event has been thrilling the sports car fan community since 1962.
Some of the greatest racers in history have entered their names on the winners’ list
from Jacky Ickx and Hans Herrmann through to Hurley Haywood, A. J. Foyt or Derek
Bell. Reinhold Joest, the founder of Audi Sport Team Joest has personally won this
classic race in Florida too. Current Audi factory driver Mike Rockenfeller decided the
competition in his favor with an American team two years ago. On the event’s 50th
anniversary the organizer is treating the audience to an unusual and spectacular
experience. A champions party with numerous racing legends, an exhibition of
historic overall-winning cars, a carnival complete with a Ferris Wheel, a 5-kilometer
run on the track for all sports enthusiasts on Saturday before the race, autograph
sessions and pit walks are just some of the attractions featured on the last weekend
in January.
“We are proud to be part of the action for the first time at the event’s special
anniversary,” stresses Werner Frowein, Managing Director of quattro GmbH, which
has developed the Audi R8 GRAND-AM. “Two customer teams have already opted for
our new race car and we are currently in negotiations with other buyers. Following
its appearance at Daytona, the Audi R8 GRAND-AM will also be seen at the other
twelve rounds of the GRAND-AM series. In the future, our customers will be directly
supported by Audi of America. This presence in America is another important
element of developing Audi Sport customer racing.” At the season opener, the Audi
R8 GRAND-AM is competing against about 30 other vehicles in the extremely large
field of the GT class while so-called Daytona prototypes are driving for overall
victories. The Daytona 24 Hours marks the beginning of the 2012 GRAND-AM Road
Racing season. In 2008, Audi was last represented in the United States for a whole
season with a factory commitment featuring the Audi R10 TDI LMP1 sports car and
won the title in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). This was followed by only
isolated sports prototype commitments at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Now the APR
Motorsport and Oryx Racing customer teams are flying the colors of Audi Sport
customer racing as part of their own commitment.
“Entering the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the biggest challenge APR
Motorsport has taken on so far,” emphasizes Stephen Hooks, President of APR. “Our
team prepared for this step at previous runs in the Continental Tire Sports Car
Challenge. APR is known around the world as one of the leading tuners of Audi,
Volkswagen, Seat and Škoda vehicles. We’re looking forward to the Audi R8 GRANDAM
with huge anticipation, our customers and fans are really excited and since the
‘Roar before the 24’ test we’ve just been dying for the 24-hour race to start. The race
team based in Opelika, Alabama, headed by Jeff Mishtawy, is relying on a five-strong
international driver squad. The Americans Ian Baas and Dr. Jim Norman, Nelson
Canache from Venezuela, Dion von Moltke with South African roots plus former Audi
factory driver Emanuele Pirro from Italy form the driver team.
Oryx Racing will compete at Daytona with team owner and driver Humaid Al
Masaood from the United Arab Emirates. He will be sharing the car with his
compatriot Saeed Al Mehairi and the Briton Steven Kane. “2012 is a new chapter for
Oryx Racing and Arabic motorsport,” says a delighted Al Masaood. “We’re entering a
new car in a series that’s new to us. It was important to us to be involved in the
project right from the beginning and help continue to develop this fascinating
customer racing car from Audi to become as competitive as possible.” The team
hails from the United Arab Emirates and has a team base in the United States in
West College Corner near Indianapolis.
After a qualifying session on Thursday the race will start on Saturday (January 28)
and end on Sunday (January 29) at 15:30, local time (21:30 Central European time).

Schedule (local times; CET –6 hours)
Thursday, January 26
10:00–11:30 Free practice
13:30–14:30 Free practice
16:15–16:30 Qualifying
18:30–20:30 Free practice
Friday, January 27
09:00–09:45 Free practice
11:00–12:00 Free practice
Saturday, January 28
15:30 Race (24 hours)

Audi Sport.

No comments:

Post a Comment