The 2022 season in New Zealand’s North Island Endurance Series started for Audi Sport customer races with a win at Pukekohe. The second generation Audi RS 3 LMS triumphed for the first time in Italy in Europe’s largest national TCR racing series.
Meanwhile, Audi Sport customer racing Asia has announced its driver lineup for several programs in Asia.
Audi R8 LMS GT3
New Zealand Opening Win: Andrew Waite and Sam Fillmore won at the North Island Endurance Series season opener in New Zealand. At the Pukekohe circuit, former single-seater Waite and his team-mate Fillmore took their first win of the season in the Audi R8 LMS in the three-hour race. The duo were 1.6 seconds ahead of their pursuers Ant Pedersen/Paul Pedersen in a Mercedes-AMG after 163 laps of the fast track south of Auckland. After the first of three endurance events, Andrew Waite and Sam Fillmore for Team International Motorsport (IMS) lead the standings by five points. Audi customer team IMS had already won a North and South Island competition – the New Zealand Endurance Championship – in April with a different driver line-up.
Podium result after strong recovery: Car Collection Motorsport took a podium place at the Nürburgring Qualifiers with the Audi R8 LMS in preparation for the 24-hour race against strong competition. Audi Sport drivers Christopher Mies and Mattia Drudi and their fellow competitor Patrick Kolb in car #24 fought an exciting battle with car number #22 until the very end. This car from the same team was shared by Audi Sport drivers Christopher Haase and Patric Niederhauser. Both driver teams worked their way up from grid positions eleven (#24) and 14 (#22) during the three-hour race on the Nordschleife. On the final lap, Mies overtook the sister car at the Döttinger Höhe and finished third – just under 1.6 seconds behind second-placed BMW and half a second ahead of his teammates. However, the sporting action faded into the background when a fatal accident occurred shortly after the end of the race. A marshall collapsed during cleanup work in the closing stages of the match and could not be rescued despite CPR measures.
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Championship lead defended in Great Britain: Team Steller Motorsport experienced ups and downs during the British GT’s second weekend at Silverstone. Sennan Fielding scored second pole position in class this year in the Audi R8 LMS GT4 before a turbulent three-hour race started. Shortly after the start, an Aston Martin collided with the Audi, resulting in a spin for Sennan Fielding and a ten-second penalty for his opponent. Steller Motorsport adjusted its strategy by refueling less and allowing Fielding and teammate Richard Williams to run shorter stints. As a result, thanks to their better lap times, they caught up and moved up to third place. After a penalty for a BMW team, the Audi hijackers were awarded second place in the final standings. As a result, they lead the GT4 standings in Great Britain with a lead of five points.
Audi RS 3 LMS (TCR)
First win for new Audi RS 3 LMS in TCR Italy: In the second race weekend, the customer-run Audi RS 3 LMS gen II took its first win of the season in TCR Italy. In the race series with an excellent field of 30 participants, Gil Rubén Fernàndez started the second sprint in Imola from pole position. While the early days of the event were rainy and the sky cloudy, the Auto Club RC2 Valles team had worked out a perfect set-up of the Audi for the dry and sunny race Sunday. Fernàndez led from the start but had to relinquish the lead to Michele Imberti after a minor error on lap 5. After a safety car period, the Audi hijacker overtook the car in front of him again on lap 10. first win of the season by just under half a second over Imberti in a Hyundai. As a result, Gil Rubén Fernàndez improved from twelfth to fifth in the standings.
Audi Sport Customer Races Asia
Driver Team Announced: Audi Sport Customer Races Asia enters the 2022 Asian motorsport season with five drivers. Cheng Congfu, last year’s China GT champion, two-time Thailand Super Series champion Sandy Stuvik and longtime Audi driver Shaun Thong make up the core team. The two young drivers Yu Kuai and Cao Zhuo, who will be promoted in the new Audi Sport Asia Junior Program, complete the line-up. “Since 2018, the Audi Sport Asia Driver pool has been used by our customers and teams in Asia to bolster their championship bids across the region,” said Alexander Blackie, Manager of Audi Sport Customer Racing Asia. “With seasoned championship winners Cheng Congfu, Shaun Thong and Sandy Stuvik, along with our impressive juniors Yu Kuai and Cao Zhuo, we think we have equipped ourselves and our customers very well for the various title bouts in the coming season.” Audi Sport customer racing Asia will determine the individual programs for each of its drivers at a later date.
Coming up next week
12–15/05 Pergusa (I), Round 1, Campionato Italiano GT Endurance
13–14/05 Anderstorp (S), round 1, GT4 Scandinavia
13–15/05 Bathurst (AUS), Round 1, Intercontinental GT Challenge
13–15/05 Bathurst (AUS), Round 2, GT World Challenge Australia
13–15/05 Magny-Cours (F), round 2, GT4 France
13–15/05 Mid-Ohio (USA), Round 4, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
13–15/05 Hockenheim (D), round 4, 24H Series
13–15/05 Magny-Cours (F), Round 2, GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup
14/05 Snetterton (GB), round 3, British Endurance Championship
14–15/05 Zolder (B), round 1, Belcar Series