BILSTEIN: Double victory in the 24-hour race in Spa
Team Phoenix Racing wins the Ardennes Classic with the Modular Damper System (MDS) from BILSTEIN
Victory at this year’s 24-hour race in the Belgian town of Spa-Francorchamps from 26 to 29 July 2012 went to Team Phoenix Racing with the Modular Damper System (MDS) from BILSTEIN. With its second victory in a row, the Audi R8 LMS ultra won the most important long distance race for GT3 sports cars – and wrote a new chapter in motorsport history at the same time. For the first time ever, a car manufacturer managed to come out on top of the three most important 24-hour races in Europe in the same year. With triumphs at the Nürburgring, Le Mans in France and in Spa-Francorchamps, Audi has now scored a hat-trick. After a dramatic 24-hour race in Spa in changing weather conditions, during which the field was held together again and again by the safety car, Andrea Piccini, René Rast and Frank Stippler finally lived up to their favourites tag. After 509 rounds on the 7.004 kilometre long Grand-Prix circuit in the Belgian Ardennes, Team Phoenix Racing’s Audi R8 LMS ultra held off its rivals to win ahead of their brand colleagues Christopher Haase, Christopher Mies and Stéphane Ortelli from Audi Sport Team WRT.
After a difficult first hour of racing which required adjustment of the tyre pressure, the Audi R8 LMS ultra managed to move steadily up the field until it was hot on the heels of interim leader BMW. The Audi then took over the lead for the first time in the fourth hour of the race. The Audi R8 LMS ultra finally began to take charge of the race in Spa from the ninth hour in conditions which were extremely difficult at times, with torrential rain, minimal visibility and a total of 16 safety car phases. The WRT-Audi and Phoenix-Audi teams – both fitted with the Modular Damper System from BILSTEIN – battled for the lead all morning and well into the afternoon with a slight advantage for Frank Stippler, René Rast and Andrea Piccini, who called all the shots in the last third of the race. Last year’s winners Christopher Haase, Christopher Mies and Stephane Ortelli could no longer hold the pace set by their Audi colleagues and ultimately had to settle for second place. After 24 hours, the Audi one-two finish was in the bag with the carmaker from Ingolstadt defending its title in the Ardennes.
BILSTEIN has been a successful and reliable partner of the motorsport teams for roughly 50 years now. With the Modular Damper System, BILSTEIN has laid the foundation for a wide range of high-performance damper applications for professional racing. The MDS contains high-quality components that have been tried and tested many times in motorsport. The suspension settings of the high-performance damper system can be adjusted quickly, precisely and independent of one another with the high-quality aluminium adjustment wheels in rebound and compression stages. Each with ten clearly perceptible clicks from one (soft) to ten (hard), the damper system can be adjusted to meet even the harshest demands of a 24-hour race in the ideal manner. In addition to this, the MDS enables exact adjustment to the requirements of the Audi R8 LMS ultra. Three BILSTEIN engineers were available round the clock to provide Audi’s customer sport teams with optimum support during the 24-hour race in Spa.
BILSTEIN congratulates Audi on their victory and defence of their title and all of the other teams on their success at the 24-hour race in Spa.