Motorsport Newsletter 18/2012: "Rocky" and the Audi A3 – part 2
A3 part two: Mike Rockenfeller once again plays a role in a film about the Audi A3. The Audi factory driver was already the central figure in the elaborate 3D film ‘Where is Rocky?’ at the A3 world premiere in Geneva. The second part of the film now emerges. The native Rhinelander was in front of the camera for filming in Majorca last Tuesday and Wednesday and once again enjoyed the work on the set and in the A3 cockpit.
Silent success: Adrien Tambay celebrated victory in his 122 hp powerful electric car at the 2nd GP électrique de Pau. As last year’s winner the Audi factory driver started the competition in Southern France with the number 1 plate. On Saturday the Frenchman started the race from second on the grid before going on to win by 0.9 seconds from his countryman Mike Parisy.
Fascinating fleet: Next Tuesday Audi hands over no less than 29 models to the organizers of the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The official vehicles are used at Germany’s greatest race as organization cars, shuttles, intervention cars, medical cars and pace cars. The fleet includes the A1, the A4 Avant, the A6 Avant, the Q3 and the Q7 and also the RS4 and RS5. Star of the fleet is the R8 GT, a limited edition of 333 units, which will lead the first group of starters around the Nordschleife.
Anticipation of big football evening climbs: this coming Saturday Audi partner FC Bayern Munich plays Chelsea FC in the Champions League final. Audi shows the match live on the large television screen in the Team & Media Hospitality during the DTM race weekend at Brands Hatch. Afterwards a DJ pumps up the atmosphere regardless of the result. The brand’s DTM drivers must go to bed, however, immediately after the football match …
Guests from the island: In addition to the seven Audi R8 LMS ultra cars, which compete in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, an eighth R8 LMS will be at the Ring. As part of the 24-hour race’s support program, the British GT Championship stages two regular season races around the Grand Prix circuit in the Eifel. Team United Autosports fields an R8 LMS for Charles Bateman and Matt Bell.
A word from ... Markus Winkelhock
The Nürburgring 24 Hours are held next weekend. You compete in an Audi for the third year in succession. What’s important in this race and how do you prepare for it?
"It’s all about a well-balanced driver line-up, a good team, spending as little time as possible in the pits and taking as few risks as possible. My team mates are excellent and the Phoenix team has already won this race twice. I’ve personally done a lot of endurance training such as cycling and jogging. The race gets physically and mentally tiring towards the end, but I feel well prepared."
You claimed a podium finish in the overall standings and won the GT3 class first time out as Rookie two years ago, last year you were second in the GT3 class. What is your goal this time around?
"The Audi R8 LMS ultra is an excellent race car which I love driving. Our competitors now also increasingly turn to the GT3 class which is well represented with 30 cars. It goes without saying that we would like to be on the podium with Audi. And if there is a chance then we also aim to fight for first place."
A week ago you had an all-round successful weekend under the banner of two group brands. In the Volkswagen Scirocco R-Cup you started from pole position and won the race. You were also on duty for Audi in the race taxi.
"I really enjoyed the weekend in the Lausitz. I raced in the Scirocco R-Cup without any pressure whatsoever and had absolutely no idea whether I would finish fifth, tenth, 15th or twentieth. Exactly 36 years after my father had won his first circuit race in the Scirocco-Cup, I now also celebrated victory - a great feeling. To drive the Audi race taxi as well and to see the Audi family again rounded off perfectly an already top weekend."
Coming up next week
17.05. Nürburgring (D), British GT Championship, round 2
19.05. Nürburgring (D), 24-hour race
20.05. Brands Hatch (GB), DTM, round 3
20.05. Dijon (F), French GT Championship, round 2
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