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Motorsport: Motorsport Brief January

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 @ 15:35:42 GMT by audioc

January in terms of Audi related motorsport seems to be all news but little real action since they withdrew from rallying and continue to concentrate on track events. However, after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) three times in a row, AUDI AG has restructured its motorsport programme for the 2003 season. The Audi R8’s, will continue to race next year but will be entered by customer teams supported by Audi importers. Audi UK have announced that they will enter an R8 sports racing car in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours on 14-15 June. The British importer of the German prestige car manufacturer has purchased a 2002 specification Audi R8 from Audi Sport that will now be prepared by Arena Motorsport for the annual French marathon.The Audi Sport UK entered R8 will also contest the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida on 15 March - the opening round of the 2003 American Le Mans Series. No drivers have been selected for the two-race programme that sees Littlehampton-based Arena Motorsport reunited with Audi. The Mike Earle headed team from Sussex prepared the 2000-spec Gulf Audi R8 of Stefan Johansson in selected American and European Le Mans Series in 2001. A win and a second place earned Johansson and Audi the LMP900 Driver’s and Chassis/Engine Manufacturers’ 2001 ELMS titles respectively while the Arena-run R8 also claimed creditable second, third and fourth place ALMS results in the “Petit Le Mans” 1,000-mile race in Atlanta, Laguna Seca and Sebring respectively in 2001. The Reinhold Joest´s team in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) is also likely to continue to campaign the R8 next year. The customer teams will be able to count on Audi works drivers Frank Biela, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro and their huge experience. Although it has been reported that Pirro and Capello will drive the Bentley (read R8 in a new colour scheme) at Le Mans. Champion Racing in the USA have yet to release their plans for 2003 with respect to the ALMS R8’s or the Speed GT S4’s. The schedule for the 2003 ALMS season: 03/15 Sebring (12 hours) 04/05 Mexico City (6 hours) 06/29 Washington (2:45 hours) 07/27 Sears Point (2:45 hours) 08/03 Trois-Rivičres (3:00 hours) 08/17 Mosport (2:45 hours) 08/24 Road America (2:45 hours) 09/07 Laguna Seca (2:45 hours) 09/27 Miami (2:45 hours) 10/18 Road Atlanta (1000 Miles or 10 hours) The officials also change the points' allocation for the 2003 season: There will be no additional points for the pole position or the most completed laps in a car. Schedule Le Mans 24 Hours 2003: 05/04 Pre-practice 06/14-15 Race On the DTM scene, after winning the title in the DTM championship, there can only be one goal for Abt Sportsline next year… defending it! Audi AG will continue to support Team Abt Sportsline to defend their title on condition that a minimum of three manufacturers take part in the DTM series in the future and that the regulations continue to guarantee equal chances to the different cars (to guard against the sort of blackballing that Audi experienced with the V8 programme). Abt Sportsline are also making the most of their win last year by presenting its champions collection. This will be available in Kempten, on the Internet (www.abt-sportsline.de) and at many Abt partners. Highlights include the new Abt history book (in German) with the most fascinating moments of motorsport and corporate history, the season review film on DVD and VHS and the limited edition wheel caps in various colours (just the thing for you TT fans). And finally, just when you though the guy had won all their was to win, Tom Kristensen wins “Sportsman of the year“ again ! For a second time in a row, Audi works driver Tom Kristensen has been elected “Sportsman of the year” of his home country Denmark. The award, presented by the newspaper BT, is regarded especially precious as the jury is made up by 40 successful Danish sportsmen. For the 35-year old Dane, it is already the fourth award for 2002: Previously, Kristensen was honoured “Driver of the year” by Denmark´s motorsports federation DASU and received the “Zulu Award” from Denmark´s television station TV2 for the best sports performance of the year. He was also elected “Sportsman of the year” in Scandinavia. “Three years ago I would never have dreamt that a race driver could win all these prizes because in Denmark football, handball and cycling are especially popular,” explained Kristensen. “But Le Mans has turned big thanks to my success with Audi. I would like to thank my family in Denmark and the ‘Audi family’ in Germany. I couldn´t have done all this without them.” Champion Racing in the USA have yet to release their plans for 2003 with respect to the ALMS R8’s or the Speed GT S4’s. The schedule for the 2003 ALMS season: 03/15 Sebring (12 hours) 04/05 Mexico City (6 hours) 06/29 Washington (2:45 hours) 07/27 Sears Point (2:45 hours) 08/03 Trois-Rivičres (3:00 hours) 08/17 Mosport (2:45 hours) 08/24 Road America (2:45 hours) 09/07 Laguna Seca (2:45 hours) 09/27 Miami (2:45 hours) 10/18 Road Atlanta (1000 Miles or 10 hours) The officials also change the points' allocation for the 2003 season: There will be no additional points for the pole position or the most completed laps in a car. Schedule Le Mans 24 Hours 2003: 05/04 Pre-practice 06/14-15 Race On the DTM scene, after winning the title in the DTM championship, there can only be one goal for Abt Sportsline next year… defending it! Audi AG will continue to support Team Abt Sportsline to defend their title on condition that a minimum of three manufacturers take part in the DTM series in the future and that the regulations continue to guarantee equal chances to the different cars (to guard against the sort of blackballing that Audi experienced with the V8 programme). Abt Sportsline are also making the most of their win last year by presenting its champions collection. This will be available in Kempten, on the Internet (www.abt-sportsline.de) and at many Abt partners. Highlights include the new Abt history book (in German) with the most fascinating moments of motorsport and corporate history, the season review film on DVD and VHS and the limited edition wheel caps in various colours (just the thing for you TT fans). And finally, just when you though the guy had won all their was to win, Tom Kristensen wins “Sportsman of the year“ again ! For a second time in a row, Audi works driver Tom Kristensen has been elected “Sportsman of the year” of his home country Denmark. The award, presented by the newspaper BT, is regarded especially precious as the jury is made up by 40 successful Danish sportsmen. For the 35-year old Dane, it is already the fourth award for 2002: Previously, Kristensen was honoured “Driver of the year” by Denmark´s motorsports federation DASU and received the “Zulu Award” from Denmark´s television station TV2 for the best sports performance of the year. He was also elected “Sportsman of the year” in Scandinavia. “Three years ago I would never have dreamt that a race driver could win all these prizes because in Denmark football, handball and cycling are especially popular,” explained Kristensen. “But Le Mans has turned big thanks to my success with Audi. I would like to thank my family in Denmark and the ‘Audi family’ in Germany. I couldn´t have done all this without them.”
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