Five teams will depend anew Audi Sport customer racing as they take on this year’s edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, fielding eight Audi R8 LMS ultra cars. The teams will have their chance to test their units at the so-called little brother of the event, a qualification race on the 25.378-km version of the Nürburgring on April 5 and 6.
Many of the teams participating in the Nürburgring 24 Hours plans to use the weekend event – including free practice and two qualifying sessions plus the six-hour race -- to prepare for the main event. The qualification race will result to the awarding of ten of 30 grid positions for the top-30 qualifying session in June, which will determine the starting order for the 24-hour race.
The qualifying race will also allow drivers to demonstrate that they possess the Nordschleife routine required by the regulations. Just last weekend, Audi marked a good start of the season on the Nordschleife when Marc Basseng, Frank Stippler and Laurens Vanthoor in the Audi R8 LMS ultra grabed the first round of the Endurance Championship.
Audi’s driver line-up for the Nürburgring 24 Hours will be bannered by four former Le Mans winners in the persona of Frank Biela, Marcel Fässler, Stéphane Ortelli, and Marco Werner. These four drivers boast of a total of eleven victories in the classic French marathon race.
They will be joined by former GT1 World Champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock and current FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoor as well as three-time Porsche Supercup Champion René Rast.
They will be up against current Audi DTM driver Nico Müller and former DTM driver Rahel Frey. Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner, known for his stratosphere jump, will be piloting an Audi R8 LMS for his debut on the Nürburgring Nordschleife.