Sunday 5 February 2012

Tom Kristensen receives BT Award

Tom Kristensen receives BT Award
• Several awards for Audi
• Oliver Jarvis returns to Le Mans
• Reinforcement for Mark Eddy’s title defense in Australia

Ingolstadt, February 5, 2012 - Last week several Scandinavian prizes were awarded to factory drivers, a race car and a team from Audi.

Tribute in Copenhagen: Tom Kristensen accepted the ‘BT Award’ on Wednesday. With this award the newspaper ‘BT’ honors the country’s best motorsport personality for his successful career. Racing drivers Jan Magnussen, John Nielsen and speedway legend Ole Olsen were also nominated in addition to the Audi factory driver. Kristensen received more than 50 per cent of the readers’ votes. "I’m proud and it is an honor for me to accept this prize," said the delighted Audi sportscar driver.

Scandinavian prize: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline won a readers’ poll staged by the Swedish online magazine Touring Car Times. 38 per cent of the users voted for Hans-Jürgen Abt’s team. The Kempten based team won the DTM 2011 team prize by nine points. Audi Sport Team Phoenix received 37 per cent of the votes as second placed team. Furthermore, from the readers’ viewpoint Audi factory driver Edoardo Mortara was clearly the best newcomer in the DTM last year after collecting 58 per cent of the votes. Finally, with 75 per cent of the votes the Audi A4 DTM was the best DTM race car of the year for the readers.

Return to Le Mans: Oliver Jarvis is part of the Audi Le Mans squad in 2012. The Briton competes for the brand’s factory team for the first time. He made his debut at the Sarthe in 2010 at the wheel of a privately entered Audi R10 TDI and won the ‘Rookie of Le Mans’ prize.

Newcomer from Germany: the Superstars International Series has been long been a respected stage for experienced motorsport stars and budding talents. For the 2012 season, which opens at Monza on the first April weekend, a German driver also joins the grid: 18-year old Thomas Schöffler from Singen drives a near 450 hp Audi RS5 fielded by MTM. In 2012 the Superstars International Series is comprised of nine races held in Italy, Great Britain, Hungary, Belgium, Portugal and Indonesia.

DTM stars in evening dress: the partnership between the DTM and the ‘Ball des Sports’ in Wiesbaden exists for several years now. At the weekend, Audi drivers Rahel Frey and Timo Scheider swapped their race overalls for an evening gown and suit and celebrated in the ‘DTM Race Club’ together with many other celebrities from the sport and show business worlds.

Clever move: Mark Eddy, two-time Australian GT Champion, competes with the Audi R8 LMS to defend his title this year. The Australian has secured prominent help in the cockpit for the 2012. Warren Luff, the versatile and well-known professional racing driver on the fifth continent, offers support in the title chase. Luff was his team mate for the 12 hours Bathurst in 2011 and also contests the next running of the endurance classic in three weeks alongside Eddy and touring car legend Craig Lowndes.

A word from ... Oliver Jarvis

You return to endurance racing and contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2012 with Audi. What is the greatest challenge?
"The distance and therefore also the duration of the race are the biggest differences to the race rhythm that we know from the DTM for instance. Furthermore, the sports prototype is much faster than a touring car through the corners and also on the straights due to its design. It’s a real physical challenge as the resulting centrifugal forces are much higher."

What is special about Le Mans?
"I was captivated by the unusual environment when I raced there in a private Audi R10 TDI. Starting with technical scrutineering we are in Le Mans for a whole week before the checkered flag falls. You can’t describe the atmosphere there to anyone who hasn’t actually experienced it themselves. It’s fascinating for every fan to see race cars like the Audi R18 in really fast corners like the Porsche Curves."

Unlike sprint races, it’s not the individual race driver that is in the spotlight at Le Mans. What’s it all about?
"It’s not about the individual but in fact about finding the best possible set-up for all three drivers. This also affects the work with the engineers and mechanics. The 24-hour race is genuine team sport. I’m personally looking forward to being able to continue a strong tradition of British drivers at Le Mans - and this with such a successful brand like Audi. This obviously arouses ambitions!"

Audi Sport.

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