Audi – 2012 Endurance champions
Audi continues to have a successful endurance season. After yet another 24 hour Le Mans triumph Audi continued to wrap up both the constructors and drivers title in the first FIA World Endurance Championship...
The series runs to Le Mans style regulations with an LMP1 and LMP2 category complemented by two GT-classes, LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am. Audi fought an intense battle with Toyota in the LMP1 category, a battle that was intensified during the second half of the season when Toyota stepped up and won the two last races. Audi's advantage was enough to fend them off in the final Championship chase though. With the Constructors title already sewn up in August, the trio of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer became the Drivers Champions with a third place at the last round in Shanghai. The trio won three races this season in the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro adding to the successful tally for the new hybrid which also became the first hybrid vehicle to win the French classic; 24 hour Le Mans.
Also of note an Öhlins equipped McLaren MP4-12C GT3 entered by the Lapidus Racing-team won the Barcelona 24-hour race in Spain with drivers Adam Christodoulou, Tim Mullen, Phil Quaife and Klaas Hummel.
It’s all about Chevrolet in WTCC
With two race weekends and four races left to run it’s an all-Chevy affair in the FIA WTCC between the Chevrolet factory drivers Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alain Menu. 38 points separates the three with 100 points still up for grabs as Muller and Huff sit equal on points.
One championship decided, one to go in Japan
There’s also an intense title battle in Japan’s premier single seater category, Formula Nippon. With one round remaining former F1-driver Kazuki Nakajima leads just one point ahead of Koudai Tsukakoshi. German Andre Lotterer is also in the title hunt just five points behind team mate Nakajima in the Petronas Team Tom using Öhlins TTR shock absorbers as one of the available suspension options for teams in the series. The final round is held at Suzuka November 3th – 4th.
Japan’s other premier motorsport category is Super GT which finished at Motegi recently. As in Formula Nippon Öhlins is one of the suspension suppliers teams can choose from and most teams running Öhlins have elected to use the new TTR shock absorber. Yuji Tachikawa and Kohei Hirate finished second overall in the GT500 championship, driving for the Lexus Team Zent Cerumo, just 19 points behind overall winters Masataka Yanagida and Ronnie Quintarelli.
Successful Öhlins users in USA
In IndyCar the title was decided in a thrilling final race which eventually saw American Ryan Hunter-Reay winning the IndyCar-title for Andretti Autosport, just three points ahead of Australian Will Power.
An entirely different form of racing is Dirt Late Model oval track racing which see’s 800 horsepower beasts hammering sideways on dirt oval circuits. Öhlins equipment has dominated the season with the trio of Jimmy “The Newport Nightmare” Owens take the title, closely followed by Don O’Neal and multiple champion Scott Bloomquist.
On the American GT-scene it was the swansong season for the successful and legendary BMW M3 GT2, run by the BMW Rahal Letterman Racing team. Once again the squad was in the thick of things fighting for the title but they finally had to succumb at the season close. German Dirk Müller placed fourth overall in the championship after the final round at Road America.
V8 Supercars ‘Down Under’ goes into Endurance mode
The popular and massive V8 Supercars series in Australia has just entered its traditional Endurance part of the season with the drivers pairing up with co-drivers for the events at Sandown, the classic Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 600.
The Holden Racing team started the Endurance season well with a fourth place at Sandown for Garth Tander and Nick Percat and repeated that feat in the all-Australian classic Bathurst 1000 utilising previous champion James Courtney and co-driver Cameron McConville, showing the team is slowly coming back to its pervious form after a difficult start to the season. In the Gold Coast event Garth Tander with IndyCar-driver Ryan Briscoe as co-driver scored a fourth and fifth.
Italian Superstars – Swede success in Italy
In a crazy final race in the Italian Superstars series Swedish rookie Johan Kristoffersson became the Champion after both he and former F1-driver Vitantonio Liuzzi both crashed out in the final race! Kristoffersson was taken out on the first lap after which Liuzzi just needed a fifth place to secure the title. But late in the race Liuzzi was also eliminated handing the title to the already retired Kristoffersson.
And finally... Öhlins in Formula One
In Formula One Öhlins has teamed up with the Lotus F1 team for a cooperation that has already started this year with a view for the 2013 season. Watch this space…