In celebration of the last race ever of the Audi TT Cup, the German marque - with a total of 13 overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to its credit - is organizing a final race called the Race of Legends at the Hockenheim circuit on October 14th and 15th with seven previous Le Mans winners totaling 26 trophies among them.
Not all seven of the drivers won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi, like "Porschists" Stéphane Ortelli (winner in 1998) and Hans Joachim Stuck (two-time winner in 1986 and 1987), but all the drivers figuring on the invitation list have competed at the legendary Endurance race.
Super Touring champion Christian Abt joined Audi in 1999, the year the R8 made its first appearance, along with Stéphane Ortelli (retirement), as did Dindo Capello with his three victories (including one with Bentley), 10 podium finishes and three pole positions, as well as five-time winner Frank Bielar. On the other hand, three-time winner Marco Werner didn't take the wheel of the Audi R8 until 2002, and Jean-Marc Gounon had to wait three additional years to become an official Audi driver with the R8 for ORECA, finishing fourth overall.
The three youngest drivers - Lucas Luhr (three class victories at Le Mans), Lucas di Grassi and Filipe Albuquerque - have never competed with the R8. Luhr, a six-time champion of the former American Le Mans Series, debuted with the R10 in 2007, but di Grassi and Albuquerque have only known the R18. The latter allowed Marcel Fässler to win at the 24 Hours three times after he also debuted with the R10 in 2008 across the Atlantic.
Tom Kristensen, current win record-holder at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has driven four of the German manufacturer's prototypes, from the R8 to the R18 by way of the R10 and R15. He waited until 2000 and BMW's departure to join Audi with whom he scored seven of his eight wins, or more like 7.5 as the Bentley feat of 2003 deftly recalled Audi.
With such track records, it is no surprise the moniker Race of Legends was chosen for the race at the Hockenheimring, set to close the three-year campaign of the single-marque championship TT Cup!
PHOTO (Copyright - Frédéric Gaudin, ACO/Nikon): Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen, who clinched their final win together at the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans along with Allan McNish, will go head to head at the Race of Legends.