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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Factory-Supported Audi Entries Return for Gulf 12H

After missing Indy, Audi Sport returns to IGTC at Gulf 12H with factory-driven cars…

Photo: Audi Sport

Audi Sport will provide extended factory support to two cars at the Gulf 12 Hours after missing the previous Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round at Indianapolis.

Audi Sport Team Sainteloc and Audi Sport Team Attempto will spearhead a four-car effort for the German manufacturer at Yas Marina Circuit next month.

Most notably, GT4 European Series champion Erwan Bastard has been included in the No. 25 Sainteloc crew alongside works drivers Christopher Haase and Patric Niederhauser.

Bastard won this year’s Silver Cup titles in the European and French GT4 championships with American driver Roee Meyuhas, and is now preparing for his GT3 debut.

The 24-year-old Frenchman has tested the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II at Paul Ricard.

Factory drivers Mattia Drudi, Ricardo Feller and Kelvin van der Linde will form the No. 66 Audi Sport Team Attempto crew.

Drudi raced for Tresor by Car Collection this year while van der Linde and Feller were teammates at Abt Sportsline in the DTM.

The confirmation of two Audi Sport Team entries for the Gulf 12 Hours comes after the brand skipped the Indianapolis 8 Hour, signifying the first time that it had missed an IGTC event since the series started in 2016.

It also meant that Audi Sport fell out of contention to win the IGTC manufacturers’ title, which Mercedes-AMG went on to seal with its third victory of the season.

Last month Audi Sport head of customer racing Chris Reinke told Sportscar365 that he was “optimistic” that Audi Sport entries would return for the IGTC finale.

“For the first time, the Gulf 12 Hours is an event with an international status,” he said following confirmation of the entries.

“This is a welcome occasion for us to now conclude the fantastic 2022 endurance season in the Gulf after three 24-hour overall victories.”

A total of four Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs are confirmed for the Gulf 12 Hours, which is being run as a continuous 12-hour race for the first time.

Attempto will run a privateer R8 for Alex Aka, Finlay Hutchison and GT racing debutant Pietro Delli Guanti, who comes from the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine.

Sainteloc also has an independent car registered but will announce the driver lineup at a later date.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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