In the second round at Intercontinental GT Challenge, following early defeats, the Audi Sport Team Hardpoint WRT and the Audi R8 LMS battled their way back to fourth. In the first point, the Indianapolis 8 Hour race in the US state of Indiana was turned into an uncertain lottery by rain showers of varying severity.
Markus Winkelhock started beautifully from the ninth place in grid. Even in tough conditions due to rain he drove Audi Sport in top three within first hour of the race and in 49th and 50th lap he set a new best lap time. Spencer Pumpelly, Markus American teammate, took over the charge but extreme weather conditions restricted him from getting into flow. Showers at variable rate came as a bad luck for Spencer and with three punctures car number 31 stood at ninth place and flushed it to three laps down. Further Markus pulled Audi R8 LMS to fifth position which was later, despite of drive-through penalty, was positioned and finished at fourth by Mirko Bortolotti by making strong lap times. Chris Reinke, Head, Audi Sport customer racing said “Already in qualifying we saw that we were behind the lap times of the competition, and in addition we had three punctures in the race”, he further added “Nevertheless, our new Belgian-American team combination and our three drivers never let themselves be irritated, proved their good sporting spirit and fought their way back to the front – they deserve our respect.”
Another Audi customer team GMG Racing with Audi R8 LMS was there in this GT4 category of race. Team owner with his driver James Sofronas with his team mates Andy Lee and Elias Sabo gave a good competition with five-time leadership changes during the race and finished at sixth position.
The third round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge to be held in Belgium will be a next big test of endurance for customers of Audi Sport. Already a four-time winner of the Spa 24 Hours, Audi R8 LMS is ready to give its best in the upcoming classic to held from October 22 to 25, 2020.
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