C360R’s No.73 Audi TT RS will return to the Pirelli World Challenge GTS paddock for the second round of the season at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg this weekend.
Pierre Kleinubing has been tapped to pilot the car, subbing in for regular driver Paul Holton, who will be attending Audi TT Cup training sessions in Germany.
“We’re excited to bring the little Audi back to GTS,” said team principal Karl Thomson. “We’ve done a lot of development work over the off-season, and expect to be competitive out of the box.”
Indeed, the team ran the car at the final two rounds of the 2015 season, and it was clear that whilst the platform had merit, it needed much refinement.
The team has addressed a number of areas, including chassis stiffness through the fitment of a completely new roll cage, improved aerodynamics, and a comprehensive reworking of the brake system.
Holton and Kleinubing share the team’s No.76 Ford Mustang GT350R-C in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, so with Holton having TT Cup commitments, the logical choice was Kleinubing.
Kleinubing is no stranger to the World Challenge paddock, having won series championships in 2009, 2006, 2001, 2000 and 1997.
“I’m really looking forward to trying the TT RS out in race conditions,” he said. “The car performed well in off-season testing, but there’s nothing like a race to see what it can do.”
Holton will return to World Challenge for the Sprint-X events at Mosport, Utah and Laguna Seca, which makes for a hectic season when one includes all ten CTSC races and the seven TT Cup weekends, which race at select DTM events.
“It’s going to be a great experience racing the three cars, as they are all very different,” said Holton. “The Mustang is large and has a lot of power through the rear wheels, the TT Cup car is a light and nimble front-wheel drive car, and the TT RS is all-wheel drive.
“You can be sure I’ll be watching the St. Pete’s live stream from my hotel in Oberstdorf this weekend!”
The No. 73 Audi TT RS will once again feature the team’s signature homage vintage livery, rendered in AERO Advanced Paint Technology, with thanks to partners Audi Genuine Parts, Castrol Edge, Pfaff Automotive, RAYS Wheels and BRM Watches.
The team and drivers will continue their ongoing support of the Children’s Tumor Foundation Racing4Research program, who expect to have a large number of guests in attendance for the St. Petersburg race.