Audi reaffirms endurance racing dominance at the 24 hours of Spa
For the fourth time, German carmaker Audi won the prestigious Spa 24 Hours and grabbed manufacturers’ reins of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge, comprised of endurance races around the world for grand tourer racing cars.
With the win of Audi R8 LMS (GT3) driven by Jules Gounon, Christopher Haase, and Markus Winkelhock, the Ingolstadt-headquartered carmaker has now amassed 44 points in the manufacturers’ standings, while Haase leads the drivers’ standings.
As for the Audi, the winning R8 LMS car was the same that captured this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours race crown. This is a testament to the vehicle’s engineering and durability.
After a grueling 546 laps around Belgium’s historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the Audi R8 LMS had covered an incredible 3,824.184 kilometers, surpassing the distance of the winners of the previous three years.
This year’s edition lasted for 24 hours and 51.980 seconds, with the victors averaging 159.245 kph (including the time the car was stationary in the pits).
Said Fred Thalamy, team director of the winning Audi Sport Team Saintéloc: “This victory is incredible. For us, it’s like Christmas in July! You just can’t describe this feeling. The race was a dream. The car was perfect and incredibly reliable. We didn’t have the slightest problem.”
More than half of the R8’s components are shared by the road version Audi R8 V10 Plus. “This is further proof that Audi is born on the track, and built for the road,” said Audi Philippines head Benedicto Coyiuto.
“Our customers can thus see how their road-use cars benefit from our proven excellence on the track. Endurance races are especially taxing on vehicles, so we relish these victories as singularly important, and compelling, testaments to the Audi quality,” he added.
The remaining rounds of the International GT Challenge will be staged at Laguna Seca (California, USA) in October, and Sepang (Malaysia) in December.
The Audi Group and its brands is one of the most successful manufacturers in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in 12 countries.
For more information, please contact Audi Philippines at (0917) 813-9064 or visit its showrooms in Greenhills, Global City, Alabang and SM Seaside City Cebu.
Bentley shares podium at the Spa
British premium auto marque Bentley took second place at Spa, courtesy of the #8 Continental GT3 helmed by Maxime Soulet, Andy Soucek, and Vince Abril.
The team strictly ran a daring pre-determined race strategy to finish strong despite doubts about the tactic from other observers.
Towards the end of the race, Soulet emerged from the pits a mere 10 seconds behind the pacesetting Audi, yet could not close the gap.
After 546 laps and more than 3,800 kilometers of flat-out racing, Bentley crossed the finish line as runner-up.
Remarked Bentley director of motorsport Brian Gush, “To have just a few seconds separate first from second after 24 hours of racing shows what a closely fought championship Blancpain GT Series is. Taking a podium place in such a challenging event is the reward for a dedicated effort by the entire team.”
He described the endurance races today as no longer “traditional” ones but “sprints that last 24 hours.
”Gush added that the sterling performance of the Continental GT3—basically a road-worthy vehicle that the public can buy at a showroom—again speaks of the “pace and reliability” of the Bentley.
To view the Bentley GT3-R, contact Bentley Manila at (0917) 837-0527 or visit its showrooms in Greenhills and Global City.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps: