Last years Bathurst 12 Hour was Audi’s maiden race of the 2011 season. With seven championship titles across Europe in the past 24 months, Audi was very confident in the Audi R8 LMS as they should have been. With a 1-2 in qualifying, Team Joest went on to finish the same and winning the 2011 Bathurst 12 Hour.
Next weekend, Audi customer sport will once again take on the 3.8 mile circuit. This time Team Phoenix Racing will fill the shoes and again field two R8 LMS cars. Christopher Mies, Darryl O’Young and Christer Jons will share the no1 car with Mark Eddy, Craig Lowndes, and Warren Luff sharing the no2 car. A total of 33 cars will be on the grid for Sundays race.
The Audi R8 LMS will compete at the 12-hour race at Bathurst on February 26 as the title defender. Audi customer sport celebrated a one-two result on the legendary Australian race track at the beginning of the 2011 season. This year, Team Phoenix Racing as well is set on battling for overall victory with two R8 LMS cars – and the two race cars fielded by the DTM-winning team from the Eifel are causing a stir even before the event.
A kangaroo and a spider: The two Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing unmistakably stand for Australia’s wildlife. The black GT3 race car designated as number “1” displays the typical yellow road sign with the marsupial on its flanks. And the graphics of the white number “2” show a Redback spider and its web. This brings back fond memories to Audi fans. On December 31, 2000, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish won the “Millennium Race” at Adelaide, Australia, in an Audi R8 sporting the now legendary crocodile design.
- DTM-winning team contests 12-hour race in Australia
- Two Audi R8 LMS cars from Phoenix Racing with spectacular graphics
- Audi Sport customer racing aims to repeat last year’s victory
The entertaining exterior though is not designed to – and should not – mislead anyone about the high ambitions pursued by the run as two prominent driver teams supported by Audi Sport customer racing – Audi’s customer sport department – and Audi Australia are to drive for overall victory yet again. Like last year, the home round to the Australian trio is about fighting for a great honor. Mark Eddy, the current Australian GT Champion in the Audi R8 LMS, is sharing the cockpit of car number “2” with Australia’s touring car legend, the three-time V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes, and Warren Luff. Lowndes set the fastest race lap last year in the Audi R8 LMS, Luff achieved the fastest time in qualifying.
Two of the three winners from last year – the German Christopher Mies and Darryl O’Young from Hong Kong – are at the wheel of car number “1.” Their new team-mate Christer Jons (Germany) is making his debut in Australia.
For Phoenix Racing, the fifth continent is new territory as well whereas the field of “endurance racing” is not. The German team proved its marathon qualities by achieving two overall victories at the Nurburgring 24 Hours and one at the Spa 24 Hours as well as numerous other podium places and class victories. In addition, Ernst Moser’s squad that has been part of the program from day one and a long-standing partner of quattro GmbH knows the R8 LMS inside and out.
Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing: “The Australian market is very important for Audi. In view of this, we are very happy to be able to compete and make our mark at this prestigious race.”
Phoenix Racing is meeting strong rivals in the GT3 class at Bathurst. A total of 33 cars will be on the grid, including an Audi R8 LMS from United Autosports. The Anglo-American customer sport team is competing for the first time with the native South African Mark Patterson, the Franco-Chinese Alain Li and Frank Yu from Hong Kong at the 12-hour race.
For the fans and the drivers, the 6.213-kilometer race track at Mount Panorama is a dream. The roller-coaster circuit features a 170-meter vertical difference, includes 23 turns, makes for high suspense with its unusual radii and barriers close to the track and is considered the home of Australian motorsport. It is also the venue of the annual Bathurst 1000 race which Craig Lowndes has decided in his favor as many as five times.
Fans around the world can watch the qualifying sessions and the race via live streaming provided by the organizer at Audi TV.
Topics of the weekend
- Will the Audi R8 LMS manage to repeat its 2011 victory?
- Will the Australian trio prevail this year?
- How will the Audi R8 LMS fare against the GT3 competition?
- Track length: 6.213 km
- Race duration: 12 hours
- Pole position 2011: Mark Eddy/Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff (Audi R8 LMS), 6m 35.3s (aggregate result) = 169.746 km/h (Feb 05, 2011)
- Fastest lap 2011: Craig Lowndes (Audi R8 LMS), 2m 09.0861s = 173.270 km/h
(Feb 06, 2011)
Warren Luff about Bathurst: “Bathurst is a very special race track, naturally that’s the way we Australians feel about it too. Even though the track is a public road when no races are run it is a permanent circuit. It is very fast and forgives no mistakes. The high vertical differences are typical for Bathurst. Last year we saw that the Audi R8 LMS is a perfect fit for the challenges at Mount Panorama. Its excellent aerodynamic balance is the key to good lap times.”
Schedule (local times, CET +10 hours)
Friday, February 24
08:15–08:50 – Free Practice 1
11:00–11:35 – Free Practice 2
14:50–15:25 – Free Practice 3
Saturday, February 25
08:15–09:45 – Qualifying 1
16:30–17:00 – Qualifying 2
Sunday, February 26
06:15–18:15 – Race (12 hours)
Live broadcast of the race on Audi TV
Sunday, February 26, starting at 06:00 (local time; CET +10 hours)