Win in Laguna Seca and third manufacturers’ title for Audi
Spectacular finale at the fourth and final round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC): At Laguna Seca/USA, Audi Sport customer racing turned a nine-point deficit into an 11-point advantage to secure the title in the manufacturers’ classification for the third consecutive time. This was thanks to a double victory at the California 8 Hours.
After four races on four continents, the 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge has been decided. In a spectacular eight-hour race, the Audi Sport Team Land with drivers Christopher Haase, Kelvin van der Linde and Christopher Mies (D/ZA/D) swept to victory after 306 laps. Over the entire race distance, a battle for the lead raged on the legendary race track. The number 29 Audi R8 LMS took off from pole position but was thrown down the field by two drive-through penalties. A decisive move was made at the six-hour mark when the team made clever use of a safety car phase to snatch the lead. Earning 25 points for the win and 18 points for second place thanks to Audi Sport Team WRT drivers Robin Frijns/Dries Vanthoor/Markus Winkelhock (NL/B/D), Audi Sport customer racing yielded the best possible result and managed to turn the points deficit into an advantage in the manufacturers’ classification. In the IGTC, the two best-placed vehicles of a brand are eligible for points. The third Audi R8 LMS shared by Stuart Leonard, Sheldon van der Linde and Alex Riberas (GB/ZA/E) finished in fifth place.
“What a fantastic race. Last year we were the hunters, this year we were the hunted. The race developed an exciting dynamic – over the entire eight hours, in fact. It was incredibly close amongst the frontrunners and it was completely jumbled amongst the brands. At the end of the day I can only thank our team most heartily. With a fantastic strategy they put us back in the game. I dedicate this victory to our team. It was a very special moment to cross the finish line flying the Audi flag today.”