Audi will support three teams in next month’s Nürburgring 24, in a slight reduction from its four-car works effort in last year’s race.
The German manufacturer has confirmed that Phoenix Racing, Car Collection Motorsport and Land Motorsport will each field Audi Sport-entered cars, alongside privateer entries from Phoenix and Car Collection.
A Team RaceIng Audi R8 LMS will make it six GT3-spec Audis in this year’s race.
“We’re focusing our support this year on the Car Collection Motorsport, Land Motorsport and Phoenix Racing teams,” said Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke.
“Each of these teams has already won at least one 24-hour race with Audi. Two Audi drivers from the DTM and nine Audi Sport drivers from customer racing will compete at the Nürburgring in a total of five Audi R8 LMS.”
2017 winners Christopher Mies and Kelvin van der Linde will return to Audi Sport Team Land, where they will be joined by Christopher Haase and 2017 DTM champion Rene Rast.
Rast and Haase are also named in the factory-backed Car Collection squad, alongside 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge champion Markus Winkelhock and three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler.
The Audi Sport Team Phoenix car will be driven by Pierre Kaffer, Dries Vanthoor, Frederic Vervisch and 2012 Nürburgring 24 winner Frank Stippler.
Phoenix Racing’s independent crew consists of Stippler, DTM racer Jamie Green, Kim-Luis Schramm and Vincent Kolb.
The privateer Car Collection squad features Stefan Aust, Christian Bollrath, Jean-Louis Hertenstein and Klaus Koch, while Team RaceIng has confirmed Rahel Frey, Bernhard Henzel, Pavel Lefterov and Frank Schmickler.
WRT Set to Miss Race for First Time in Five Years
While it will mark Car Collection’s factory debut at the Nürburgring, the biggest absence from Audi’s GT3 roster is Belgian Club Team WRT, which has competed in the event since its winning debut in 2015.
The Belgian squad has expanded into DTM this year, with its increased touring car commitments believed to be the reason of forgoing the race.
Muecke Motorsport, which also fielded a factory entry under the Audi Sport Team BWT banner last year, is also not present.
The race takes place on June 22-23.