Audi were celebrating at the end of the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona following a 1-2 finish for Audi customer teams and the Audi R8 Grand-Am.
The battle in the GT class raged on until the final minutes of the race, with any of the top-running cars looking as likely as each other to take the win, of which three were Audi R8s.
It was to be Alex Job Racing of Filipe Albuquerque, Oliver Jarvis, Edoardo Mortara and Dion von Moltkewho took the win, finishing only 1.4 seconds ahead of fellow Audi customer team APR Motorsport, driven to the flag by Rene Rast.
“It’s been crazy, this race,” said Albuquerque. “We did a perfect race. We got penalized during the race – I don’t know why. That took away a little bit our hope. We didn’t believe we actually had a chance. The team decided that I had to do the last triple or perhaps quadruple stint. I just pushed like in qualifying, but for more than two hours. One hour before the end, I got gearshift problems. This was preventing me from going faster. But the team did a fantastic strategy. That was just perfect. It was all about bringing it home. It was so emotional, everything was so tight. It was just crazy.”
A third Audi, Rum Bum Racing, looked certain to take second, though, as the race neared its conclusion, but the team’s bold fuel strategy failed and the car coasted to a halt with Markus Winkelhock at the helm, ending up 7th in class.
“Well, I knew that it would be a tight situation.,” he said. “My display was already showing “fuel alarm” on the last two laps, so I was expecting it in a way. But when the first misses actually started on the last lap I couldn’t help but think: “This can’t be true now!”
“I hope that next year we’ll be able to strike back and complete the 200 meters that were lacking today.”
The fourth and final Audi was another APR Motorsport run car, finishing 11 laps down in 12th position.
The victory for Alex Job Racing means that Audi can now add Daytona to its impressive list of classic 24-hour race victories, a list which includes Spa-Francorchamps, Zolder, the Nurburgring and eight Le Mans triumphs.