Audi takes top two podium spots at Daytona
Daytona Beach in January can be quite cruel to both man and machine. At night temperatures dip surprisingly low, while in the day the mercury rises in the typical Florida heat. Such a dramatic temperature spectrum, as well as fatigue, exhaustion and mechanical problems, are some of the many challenges that racing teams at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona must fight.
Yet through 24 grueling hours racing across the deep banks and curvy infield of Daytona International Speedway, two Audi R8 GRAND-AM cars crossed the finish line as the first- and second-place contenders in the GT Class.
The winning R8 GRAND-AM was driven by the team of Alex Job Racing, which consisted of drivers Filipe Albuquerquem, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltke. Less than 1.5 seconds later Team APR Motorsport, which consisted of drivers Ian Baas, Marc Basseng, René Rast and Frank Stippler, crossed the finish line.
Two other R8 GRAND-AM cars finished in the top-12 at Daytona as they battled against the specially prepared Ferrari and Porsche models that also compete in the GT Class.
More amazing than the 1-2 sweep of Audi at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, is the reliability of the R8 GRAND-AM cars throughout the lengthy race. As Audi notes, the production-derived 5.2-liter V10 engines of the R8 GRAND-AM cars endured “ 65 percent of each lap having been driven at full throttle.” Altogether the winning car completed 678 laps, and none of the four cars in GT-Class wearing the Audi badge had to leave the race prematurely.
As much as winning their class was an amazing feat for Alex Job Racing, the ability for the R8 GRAND-AM to reliably endure 24 constant hours of racing is the real win for both Audi and its customers. Though buyers shouldn’t expect any less than the best from Audi, a one-two win by the company at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona serves to only confirm that speed, quality and desirability continue to be the essence of Audi’s products.
Image and Video Credit: Audi