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Reinke: N24 Win Proves Audi’s Concept “Can Work As It Is”

Audi Sport boss Chris Reinke cites successes at N24, 24H Dubai and Bathurst 12H as proof of concept for current customer racing model…

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

Audi Sport customer racing boss Chris Reinke has cited the brand’s seventh triumph at the Nürburgring 24, in addition to successful runs at other endurance events in 2024, as proof of validity for its current customer racing support program.

Reinke was in attendance to see Christopher Mies, Frank Stippler, Ricardo Feller and Dennis Marschall deliver victory in the shortest-ever edition of the Eifel endurance classic, which was red-flagged for more than 14 hours due to fog.

The win came amidst a severely diminished presence for the Ingolstadt marque at the event, with no official Audi Sport-backed entries and three R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs competing in the SP9 class compared to six last year.

Audi shuttered its factory-supported GT3 activities at the start of this year, instead transitioning into a customer support model while the majority of its contracted factory drivers moved elsewhere.

While Mies made the crucial, race-winning move aboard the No. 16 Audi on Saturday night, he previously explained to Sportscar365 that the drive is as a result of a “private deal” between himself and Scherer Sport PHX after he moved to join the Ford Performance factory roster.

Fred Vervisch also joined Ford, while Mattia Drudi signed on to become an Aston Martin factory driver.

Reinke argued that the triumph at the N24 acts as further proof of validity for the current customer racing program, also citing Eastalent Racing Team’s victory in the Hankook 24H Dubai and Melbourne Performance Centre’s overall podium in the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

“For the moment being, we are happy that our story of success [has] the possibility to ride on via our customers,” Reinke said.

“We always said customer racing means first the customer, then the racing. As we have proven in Dubai with the win of the 24 there [and] with the podium in Bathurst.

“Now we come to the Nürburgring and can extend our R8 LMS victory series up here as well. It proves that the concept can work as it is and we’re proud and happy that we can continue.

“If you look at the results all around the world, we are also leading the DTM championship at the moment in Germany.

“Up here we have been obviously the ones to be beaten this weekend so it’s a moment for sure yet again we continue to have momentum with this car.”

Reinke went on to praise Scherer Sport PHX, which took its first N24 victory since the Ernst Moser-founded Phoenix Racing squad was integrated into the Scherer Group as part of a new partnership last year.

Under the Phoenix name, the team was already the most successful Audi team to compete at the N24 with victories in 2012, 2014, 2019 and 2022.

“With the teams which are up here at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it is a unique set-up, you need unique knowledge,” Reinke said.

“You have a huge identification with the area here, with the track, with the pride they carry into it.

“And now it’s the first time with Scherer Sport to win it, following up on the many victories of Phoenix. It’s also for them a good confirmation of a new era has started.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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