Audi has clinched two 24-hour race victories so far this year: the iconic sports car race at Le Mans (June 14/15) with the R18 e-tron quattro of Audi Sport Team Joest and, a week later, the endurance race at the Nürburgring with the R8 LMS ultra of Phoenix Racing. At Spa, on July 26/27, the brand will have the opportunity to win a third 24-hour race within the space of just six weeks. In the world’s biggest GT3 race featuring a field of 60 entrants, four teams will be relying on the Audi R8 LMS ultra.
The sports cars of eleven marques will be pitted against each other at Spa. Audi will be meeting with Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Nissan, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche. All of the race cars are entered in the same technical category – the GT3 class. Consequently, a victory on the challenging Grand Prix circuit in Belgium numbers among the most important single wins a GT race team can achieve anywhere in the world. In 2011, the Audi R8 LMS celebrated its first overall win in the Ardennes and topped it by a one-two in 2012. Last year, André Lotterer/Christopher Mies/Frank Stippler drove an impeccable race but, with a six-lap gap, finished only in third place. The ‘balance of performance’ rating of their R8 according to the regulations, which is typical in GT3 racing, did not permit them to achieve more competitive lap times. Read the rest of this entry »