No less than 14 drivers were announced to prepare for next weekend's event, as Audi will have no less than four Audi R8 LMSs up and running at Nurburgring, prepared by factory-backed teams ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing. The latter will also celebrate an anniversary of their own, as this will be their 10th year in all motor racing series.
To mark the event, Audi have also prepared an all-star lineup for one of their newly-launched R8 LMS, comprising of legendary endurance racing drivers Frank Biela, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Emanuele Pirro. Lucas Luhr, Emanuele Pirro, Mike Rockenfeller and Hans-Joachim Stuck are, so far, the only drivers in the Audi lineup to have won a past event at the Nordschleife circuit, while DTM Champions Mattias Ekstrom and Timo Scheider are yet to clinch their first win in the endurance race.
The R8 LMS has so far taken the chequered flag two times this season, at Assen and Spa-Francorchamps. This time, however, the all-improved thorough-bred sports car – powered by an impressive V10 power plant developing a massive 500 hp – will make its on-track appearance in its final tuning form.
“The 24 hours on the Nurburgring are the ultimate endurance test for our new R8 LMS customer sport project. We know that this circuit is particularly demanding and that it’s really one of the toughest races in existence. We’ll go there with our partner teams to give the R8 LMS its definitive fine-tuning before delivering larger volumes of the car to our customers next year. For me, personally, this will be the first 24-hour race on the Nurburgring. I’m very excited about it,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
“Even after five Le Mans victories, the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring is something really special for me. The reason is the Nordschleife, which is simply always a challenge and real fun – no matter how often you’ve driven there. No matter how old you are. No matter what car you’re driving,” added 24-Hour of Le Mans winner Frank Biela, stressing the importance of the Nurburgring event.
Other drivers competing on Audi R8 LMS GT3s next weekend will be Christian Abt, Jean-François Hemroulle, Pierre Kaffer, Marcel Fassler, Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler and Marco Werner. Practice for the Nurburgring 24 Hour race will get under way on Thursday, with the race scheduled at 4 P.M. on Saturday.