After Ferrari and Porsche teams announced ambitious plans for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona, Audi announces it is also stepping up its presence.
Audi joins Ferrari and Porsche with ambitious plans for the upcoming Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Wednesday evening, Audi announced it was stepping up its presence for GRAND-AM Road Racing's flagship event at Daytona International Speedway with four Audi R8s fielded by three customer teams – including factory drivers in three of the cars.
APR Motorsport returns with a pair of R8s, the No. 52 to be driven by factory drivers Marc Basseng, Rene Rast and Frank Stippler and the No. 51 led by APR regular and former Rolex 24 winner Ian Baas.
Alex Job Racing will campaign the No. 24 WeatherTech Audi R8 with Audi drivers Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Javis and Edoardo Mortara, as well as Dion von Moltke, who drove the APR Audi R8 in the 2012 season.
"When Alex Job gives you an offer to drive for him, you can't turn him down," von Moltke said. "He has an amazing team. I was fortunate to join him twice in the Battery Tender Porsche, and it was a dream come true. I won the class for the first time in the 12 Hours of Sebring – and it was Alex Job's eighth class victory at Sebring. Amazing!
"He has a real driver-friendly environment. Alex is extremely competitive and wants to win, and that drives us. My teammates are all world-class drivers, and it will be amazing just to see my name listed with them above the door. I will focus on doing my job – I know we have a team that can win."
Alex Job is excited to race the Audi R8 at Daytona.
"I've watched the way Audi works over the past 12 years, and they do everything to a very high standard," Job said. "Combine our seasoned crew with a strong driver line-up and the R8 GRAND-AM, and I believe that is a very strong endurance package."
Rum Bum Racing will make its Rolex Series debut with the No. 13 Audi R8, with factory pilots Frank Biela, Christopher Haase and FIA GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock joining team regular Matt Plumb.
"Audi Sport Customer Racing was kind enough to allow me to take a few laps at this week's test at Daytona, and the car was spectacular," said Plumb, a five-time winner for Rum Bum Racing in 2012 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition.
Plumb and Rum Bum Racing team manager Joe Varde have observed several tests of the new Audi, gathering information for a possible move to the Rolex Series. Tuesday's test at Daytona – when Plumb got behind the wheel of the No. 52 team car for the first time – was the final step in that process.
"Audi has been great in helping Joe Varde and the guys in every step of the process," Plumb said. "Audi's Brad Kettler and Sascha Pilz are not letting us go into this without having all the information we need. They're doing everything they can to ensure our success."
The Rolex 24 news was only one of the announcements at Wednesday's Audi Auto Sport Finale in Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi also announced it will enter at least one R18 e-tron Quattro in the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida on Saturday, March 16.
Audi will be seeking its 11th victory in 14 years in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season opener.