APR Motorsport finished the first year of competition for their Audi R8 in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in style by taking second place with drivers Dr Jim Norman and Dion von Moltke on Saturday in the season finale at Lime Rock Park.
Their podium came in a dramatic final race of the year. Norman had gained several positions at the start of the race, before he switched with von Moltke whilst in tenth place. The team was then given a scare when von Moltke spun the car at the beginning of his stint whilst under pressure exiting the third turn. Despite making contact with two other cars, von Moltke was able to continue with just cosmetic damage.
After a pit stop that dropped the Audi from the lead lap, von Moltke then set about overtaking those that were saving fuel – a tactic that saw him unlap himself from the leading Porsche. With just 25 minutes of the race left, a yellow flag was thrown which saw several other cars pit, shuffling the Audi up into third place.
Under immense pressure behind from a Ferrari 458 Italia, von Moltke then made his way into second position when the leading Porsche ran out of fuel with just two laps remaining. Von Moltke was then able to hold this place to the chequered flag to take the first podium for both himself, Norman, the team and the Audi R8 chassis in the Grand-Am series.
When interviewed after the race, von Moltke remained thankful to his team: “I could not imagine a much better way to have finished off our season. This result was possible thanks to every single person in the team.” He was also grateful to his team-mate: “No-one got many laps before the race and Jim hopped straight in and was throwing down some awesome laps in his stint. He gave me the car in a great position and really helped to keep pushing me over the radio when it was my turn to drive the car.”
For Norman, the result does not just mean his first podium in the Rolex Series, as he was awarded the Rookie of the Year award at the Rolex Series banquet on the Monday following the race weekend. Of his award, he said: “Clinching the Grand-Am Rookie of the Year award is a great honour. This would not have been possible without the tireless support of the team. I’m looking forward to next year when we win the GT Championship for Audi(!)”