Rolex Series

Mixed Qualifying Performances for Audi R8 Grand-Am

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Filipe Albuquerque was the best Audi driver in the 15 minute session (Photo Credit: Audi Motorsport)

The four Audi R8 entries for the Rolex 24 at Daytona will start from the front, middle and rear of the 34-car GT class.

Nick Tandy lead a front-two-row lock-out for Porsche with the fastest Audi, the AJR #24 piloted by Filipe Albuquerque, in sixth. René Rast will start on the sixth row of the grid in 11th for APR, while Markus Winkelhock and his Rum Bum Racing co-drivers find themselves on the eighth row, in 16th place. Matt Bell qualified his APR Motorsport Audi in 27th.

Speaking after qualifying, fastest Audi qualifier Albuquerque explained his qualifying strategy: “I’m very happy with my lap. I kept my cool because I knew that the first three laps are nothing special. I knew when I’d be able to attack. The tire pressure was developing according to plan and then I only needed a single lap. Everything was right on the dot. There was no more traffic and I made no mistakes. Afterward, the tires were used up. Things couldn’t have gone any better today. And in the other practice sessions we want to improve our car a little bit more. I’m looking forward to the race.”

Romolo Liebchen, head of Audi Sport customer racing, maintained that the Audi teams were giving the race their full concentration:

“In qualifying, there were no surprises. We concentrated on preparing for the race. It was important not to take any risks today. Together with the preparation in the tests at the end of last year and in the beginning of January, we’re tackling the race with a clear conscience. The drivers are giving us feedback confirming that we’re running with a set-up that provides very good drivability.”

The 51st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona begins tomorrow at 2030 GMT (1500 ET), with The Checkered Flag providing hour-by-hour coverage of the race.

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Based in Lincoln, Michael Passingham is a freelance journalist with a passion for both motorsport and technology. Michael will primarily be covering Britcar for in 2013. You can find him on Twitter @TheRadioMike.
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