Audi will tackle two of the major European 24-hour races at the Nürburgring (June 25/26) and Spa-Francorchamps (July 30/31) with its DTM German Touring Car stars Mattias Ekström, Mike Rockenfeller and Timo Scheider. They will join the grid in two factory-supported Audi R8 LMS.
ABT Sportsline and Phoenix Racing will both field a brace of Audi R8 LMS at the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. After gaining valuable experience over the last two years in the 24-hour race with the quattro GT3 sports car, the two teams will now receive full factory support.
All four cars have first rate drivers: competing for ABT Sportsline are Mattias Ekström, Timo Scheider and Marco Werner, as well as Christer Jöns, Luca Ludwig and Christopher Mies. Christian Abt is nominated as support driver for both cars entered by the DTM championship winning team.
Frank Stippler assumes the "dual role" for Phoenix Racing. He supports Marc Basseng, Marcel Fässler and Mike Rockenfeller as well as Christopher Haase, Marc Hennerici and Markus Winkelhock in the second car.
Like last year, Phoenix Racing will also contest the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium). Nominated to drive the two R8 LMS. The Belgian W Racing Team, which won the 2010 Belcar championship in its debut season, will field two more cars on behalf of Audi. Driving for WRT are Mattias Ekström, Greg Franchi and Timo Scheider as well as Filipe Albuquerque, Bert Longin and Stéphane Ortelli.
quattro GmbH took over marketing and development of the R8 GT3 sports car from 2011. A further improved version of the Audi R8 LMS celebrated its debut at the beginning of February with a one-two finish in the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia).
Among other features, the 2011 Audi R8 LMS is equipped with a modified engine control for the 5.2 liter V10 power unit, modified suspension and a lightweight motorsport clutch developed for endurance races.