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Weekly Racing Roundup (12.24.18)

Audi DTM drivers, GT4 Asia news and a new head of customer racing at Multimatic…

Photo: Audi

Audi Confirms Unchanged DTM Lineup

Audi will run an unchanged lineup of six drivers in DTM next season, having confirmed its drivers and their team allocations last week.

Mike Rockenfeller, Loic Duval, Rene Rast, Jamie Green, Nico Mueller and Robin Frijns will all drive the new turbo Audi RS 5 DTMs next season.

They will remain in the same teams as last season, with Frijns and Mueller at Abt Sportsline, Duval and Rockenfeller in Phoenix cars and Rast and Green at Team Rosberg.

As previously announced, WRT will field an additional two cars, but the Belgian squad is set to reveal its drivers at a later date.

“In Loic, Robin, Jamie, Nico, Rene and Mike we already had an extremely strong driver squad in 2018 and are continuing this lineup in the new season,” explained head of Audi Sport Dieter Gass.

“In my view, they’re the right six for Audi Sport. All of them have the potential to battle for the DTM title. Aside from that, they again proved to be extremely good team players last season.”

Photo: Multimatic

Metz Joins Multimatic to Lead Customer Racing Projects

Sebastien Metz has been appointed as Multimatic’s new motorsports business director, to take charge of the company’s customer racing programs.

Metz will overlook the Mazda DPi program in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Ford Mustang GT4 and other yet-to-be-announced activities.

He joins Multimatic from Onroak Automotive, where he served as managing director of its Le Mans site and was responsible for its LMP2 and DPi programs with the Ligier brand.

“We are planning to take our motorsports business to the next level and Sebastien was our first choice to help take us there,” said Multimatic president and COO Raj Nair. 

“The potential scope is wide so we needed someone with a strong technical and commercial background, who also has a good knowledge of the different technical and sporting rules.

“It’s crucial in this rapidly-evolving area of the business to adopt clear strategies and develop the right products and Sebastien is the perfect guy for the job.”

Photo: SRO

BMW Team Studie, GTO Racing With TTR Confirm GT4 Asia Entries

BMW Team Studie and GTO Racing With TTR have confirmed entries into the rebranded GT4 Asia series next year, running BMW M4 GT4s and a Mercedes-AMG GT4, respectively.

Sunako Jukuchou and Takayuki Kinoshita return to Team Studie after winning five races in Blancpain GT Series Asia this season, helping the Japanese outfit secure the teams’ title.

They will be joined by a currently unconfirmed driver pairing in a second BMW.

“As the winner of 2018’s Teams’ title, BMW Team Studie will again take part in next season’s championship with our two M4 GT4s in order to promote the high performance level BMW Motorsport can offer in Asia,” said team boss Yasuaki Suzuki.

“The car has already demonstrated its potential at a variety of circuits by posting fastest laps at the high-speed Fuji Speedway and more technical layouts like those at Suzuka and Buriram.”

Tony Fong and Brian Lee will share the GTO/TTR Mercedes-AMG, meanwhile, after sharing a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in 2018.

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

TRG Renews Partnership With LaSalle Solutions

TRG has renewed its partnership with LaSalle Solutions, a provider of IT lifecycle information management services and the cloud-based LAMP platform, ahead of the 2019 season.

The relationship between the Petaluma, Ca.-based team and LaSalle, a subsidiary of Chicago-based MB Financial Bank, has expanded each year through opportunities developed together.

The partnership this coming season will include strong co-branding, business-to-business networking and corporate events.

TRG will run LaSalle branding on all of its equipment while competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Pirelli GT4 America.

The team is set to debut at least one new-gen Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Daytona next month.

News & Notes

***DragonSpeed has added a partial-season Verizon IndyCar Series program to its schedule for 2019, alongside its existing LMP1 and LMP2 entries. Ben Hanley will drive a Chevrolet-powered car at St. Petersburg, Barber, Road America, Mid-Ohio and the Indianapolis 500. The Elton Julian-led team is aiming for a full-season entry in 2020.

***Pirelli and Porsche Club of America have renewed their partnership for an additional three years, with the Italian tire manufacturer to sponsor six of PCA’s national programs. In addition, it will be the spec tire of the PCA Club Racing National Championships and PCA Clubsport Series.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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