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Audi is traveling to Down Under as the title defender. Following its win of the drivers’ and manufacturers’ classifications in the 2016 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the #racing series’ second season will kick off at Bathurst, Australia, on Sunday, February 5. Audi’s teams will be meeting with fierce competition at the #event.
Ten automobile manufacturers are on the grid in the GT3 category, including eight marques in the Pro Class for professional drivers, who have the best chances of claiming overall victory. “It’s going to be a strong opening #event,” says #chrisreinke, Head of Audi Sport customer #racing. “Audi is one of the best established brands in GT #racing in Australia. Together with our customers, we intend to battle for overall victory and other successes at Bathurst again this year.”
The facility 200 kilometers west of Sydney enjoys a worldwide reputation of being one of the great natural race tracks. On a distance of only 6.2 kilometers, the circuit at Mount Panorama features a vertical difference of 174 meters between its highest and lowest points. Bold combinations of turns make for a fluid rhythm at high speed, while the concrete barriers close to the edge of the track do not forgive the slightest driving mistake. 56 cars in total will be sharing the track.
Since 2011, the 12-hour race has been open to GT race cars as well. Audi, as a brand having competed in the #event from the very beginning, clinched overall victory in 2011 and 2012, and since then has been the only manufacturer to have triumphed twice. This year, seven Audi R8 LMS cars will be on the grid. Team Jamec Pem #racing, supported by Audi Sport customer #racing, competes in the Pro Class with two strong driver squads: Christopher Mies, a two-time winner at Mount Panorama, is sharing a cockpit with his German compatriot Christopher Haase and the Australian ace Garth Tander, who has won the legendary Bathurst 1000 touring car race an amazing three times. The sister car will be driven by the two Germans Frank Stippler and Markus Winkelhock together with #robinfrijns. The Dutchman has previously won a championship title in the Audi R8 LMS. Winkelhock and Stippler have celebrated success in various 24-hour races under the banner of the four rings.
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