Flying start to title defence
Convincing win for Audi Sport customer racing teams at Imola GT season opener.
With multiple teams across GT3, GT2 and GT4, Audi Sport customer racing was intent on making a strong start to the European SRO racing series and they didn’t disappoint.
5 April, 2022
The defending GT World Challenge Champions never looked in doubt, setting fastest time in practice and going on to win the opener
Audi Sport customer teams headed to the famous Imola circuit in Italy over the weekend looking for a strong start in the European SRO racing series and came away with a dream result across all three racing classes.
With a strong contingent of 25 Audi R8 LMS cars taking to the track across GT2, GT4 and the premiere GT3 categories, it was an impressive Audi presence that went on to deliver throughout the weekend, with seasoned campaigns back on the top step of the podium as well as newcomers showing what they could do.
Defending champions in the Fanatec GT World Challenge, Team WRT were straight back into the winner’s circle with Kelvin van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts delivering a convincing victory after setting the fastest time in practice and taking pole position. The team led from the start, and despite a spirited challenge from the always competitive Chris Mies, went on the record a win in the opener with a 6.2 second buffer over their closest rivals.
Making his debut in another of the three-strong Team WRT line-up, motorcycle champion, Valentino Rossi with teammates, Nico Müller and Frédéric Vervisch, ultimately finished in 17th position overall, after a mix-up over a pit stop cost him valuable places. Nevertheless, a strong start with good signs for the season ahead.
In the GT2 European Series, it was three newcomers to the Audi brand who dominated the opening two races. Driving his R8 LMS GT2 solo, Henry Hassid produced a blindingly fast drive to seize the first race honours of the 2022 season, claiming both the outright and Am class honours for LP Racing, with third place going to last year’s champion team High Class Racing, whose drivers Aurelijus Rusteika/Michael Vergers in the Audi R8 LMS GT2 finished third ahead of two other Audi cars. In the second GT2 race, another Audi team making their debut, Team PK Carsport, driven by Nicolas Saelens and Stienes Longin, led from starting the race from pole position, relinquishing the lead only briefly during a pit stop, before storming home to take the Pro Am win by 5.797 seconds from the Audi GT2 car of High Class Racing in second with a third Audi R8 LMS GT2 finishing just 3.12 seconds behind them to make it an Audi lockout of f the podium.
In GT4, Audi’s customer teams recorded their first successes at the GT4 European Series opener at Imola. With victories in the amateur ranks and podium results in the Pro-Am class seeing the Audi teams start their season campaigns leading and in second place of their respective classes after weekend.
Newcomers to the Audi brand in the GT2 European Series dominated the opening races in both Pro-Am and the amateur standings
Want to ensure you always receive the latest news and features from Audi? Subscribe now to the Audi Magazine newsletter.