- Audi Top Service R8 LMS leads second Bathurst practice
- Audi R8 LMS tops first practice at Bathurst 12 Hour
- Volkswagen Returns to the Super Bowl with Two Spots
- 11 years later, Audi on the trail of “Crocodile Dindo”
- 2011 Touareg Technology sing along with Bill Hader
Posted: 03 Feb 2011 08:29 PM PST
In the second practice session from Bathurst, the second Audi R8 LMS topped the charts. Marc Basseng was the only driver to drop under the 2:12 mark, leading the Wilson Security – Shannons Porsche GT3 Cup S and the Audi Australia R8 LMS in third.
Posted: 03 Feb 2011 03:14 PM PST
The first practice session from Bathurst showed a lot of promise for a great 12hr race. Leaders switched back and forth with the Audi R8 LMS #7 driven by Mark Eddy, Craig Lowndes, Warren Luff top the chart.
The Audi R8 LMS #8 driven by greats Marc Basseng, Christopher Mies, Darryl O’Young we’re at the top
Posted: 03 Feb 2011 07:28 AM PST
Ads feature two new vehicles launching Fall 2011 — the all-new Passat and 21st Century Beetle
Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today it will premiere two :30 second spots during the 2nd and 4th quarters of Super Bowl XLV. This marks the second consecutive year Volkswagen has advertised during the Super Bowl after a nine-year hiatus. The ads will showcase two new vehicles, the all-new 2012 Passat and the 21st Century Beetle, months before they arrive in dealerships this fall.
“The iconic shape of the Beetle and its place in pop culture gives us creative license to take a bold and unconventional approach in this spot where viewers only see the silhouette and not the car itself,” said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Additionally, we’ve partnered with Lucasfilm for the all-new Passat ad, leveraging the emotional heritage of both Star Wars™ and Volkswagen to create a memorable moment on an unparalleled platform for two of the vehicles most important to Volkswagen’s growth strategy.”
Kicking off months before the vehicles are available, these spots are part of a robust pre-launch advertising and marketing campaign that includes television, digital, experiential, and retail activations to maintain momentum throughout the year. Additionally, throughout pre-launch, Volkswagen will continue to dominate the nation’s most prominent events, with buys and integrations that include The “Oprah” Show, the NBA Finals as well as the NFL, among others.
With its all-new 2012 Passat ad, Volkswagen brings Star Wars™ to one of TV’s most talked about events. Accompanied by John Williams’ iconic “The Imperial March,” the spot features the most infamous villain in the galaxy, a pint-sized Darth Vader who uses the Force when he discovers the all-new 2012 Passat in the driveway. The two iconic brands leverage humor and the unforgettable Star Wars score to create an emotional spot and make Super Bowl ad history.
In “Black Beetle,” the first spot for The 21st Century Beetle, cutting-edge CGI creative goes etymological, creating a photo-real lush kingdom where the Black Beetle rules, runs, navigates and out performs all the other creatures. The ad is an homage to some of the greatest car chase scenes in the history of film and TV. With the fast-paced and explosive song “Black Betty,” rerecorded by Jon Spencer and the Blues Explosion, the Beetle ad revs to life even though it does not feature any actual images of the car, a bold move for any automotive brand. The iconic shape of the Beetle and its performance attributes are prominently showcased in the spot, further building anticipation of the reveal.
“Both spots show the creativity and innovation that people expect from an iconic brand like Volkswagen,” added Mike Sheldon, CEO, Deutsch LA, Volkswagen’s Agency of Record. “The Super Bowl is unlike any other media platform in the world in terms of its reach and cultural influence. It is tailor-made for big announcements and is the perfect way for VW to engage the American public.”
Both ads will have extensions that live beyond the game. Immediately following the Super Bowl, Volkswagen will execute a digital and social media campaign, including an ESPN mobile takeover, VW.com blog, and Facebook activations, as well as a YouTube homepage takeover for the recently launched walk-around webisodes “Inside the VW Academy.”
The Super Bowl ads were created by Volkswagen’s creative Agency of Record Deutsch LA and follow the 2010 Punch Dub Super Bowl spot, which starred superstar musician Stevie Wonder and comedian Tracy Morgan.
Posted: 03 Feb 2011 06:27 AM PST
The 2011 motorsport season for Audi starts earlier than it has for many years: on February 6, Audi race experience Team Joest competes with two Audi R8 LMS in the 12-hour race at Bathurst (Australia). For Audi it is the first race “down under” since the start of the new millennium.
Reinhold Joest’s team also supported the last race in Australia on December 31, 2000. At that time Dindo Capello and Allan McNish won the “Race of a Thousand Years” in Adelaide at the wheel of an Audi R8 in crocodile look. The spectacular prototype still holds cult status among fans today and brought Dindo Capello the nickname “Crocodile Dindo.”
Audi race experience Team Joest now aims to conquer Australia with the Audi R8 LMS – with the GT3 sports car specifically developed by Audi for customer sport use and which bears the sporting genes of the victorious Le Mans Prototypes.
Audi’s customer sport program which started in 2009 with the R8 LMS was newly structured to coincide punctually with the 2011 season. Further development of the Audi R8 LMS, marketing and technical support for customers and importer teams worldwide was transferred to quattro GmbH. The race at Bathurst is the first under the new management.
The goal is clearly defined: By participating in the most important endurance races, like Bathurst, the quattro GmbH aims to win further customers for the Audi R8 LMS, which can boast an impressive run of results in its first two years of competition: In 197 races, the Audi R8 LMS can claim 64 wins, a total of 163 podium finishes and seven championship titles to date.
Up to now the focus of customer sport activities was Europe and the Audi R8 LMS – in 2011 it will be further expanded: The next market to enter Audi’s sights is Asia. Furthermore, customer sport should have a modular structure and expanded to encompass other models such as the Audi TT RS.
First successes “down under”
Audi was also victorious in touring car racing in Australia in the 1990s. The Audi R8 LMS has also claimed its first successes “down under”: Last year Mark Eddy entered a privately run R8 LMS in the Australian GT Championship. The entrepreneur from Melbourne took four podium finishes. It is almost self-explanatory that the 2008 Australian GT Champion belongs to the Audi driving squad for Bathurst. Eddy is one of three drivers in the Audi Australia R8 LMS with start number “7” lining up in Audi Australia Dealer Network colors with three local aces at the wheel. Alongside Mark Eddy are Warren Luff, a regular in the national V8 Supercar Championship since 2002, and Craig Lowndes long since a touring car legend in Australia with three titles and 71 race wins to his name.
Germans Marc Basseng and Christopher Mies share the number “8” Audi Top Service R8 LMS with the Hong Kong-Chinese Darryl O’Young. Basseng has claimed 21 overall victories in VLN long-distance races around the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring; drove the Audi R8 LMS six times there last year and has already contested the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring twice with the model. Christopher Mies celebrated the greatest victories of his career in the sports car adorned with the Four Rings: He won the 2009 FIA GT3 European Championship in the R8 LMS and last year finished the ADAC GT Masters season as runner-up. All three drivers are new to Bathurst.
The circuit on Mount Panorama is also new territory for Audi race experience Team Joest. Last year, the team, which is an offshoot of the successful Audi Le Mans factory team, was mainly active on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and provided Audi customers with the opportunity to contest races themselves in the Audi R8 LMS. In August 2010 the team contested a long-distance race in Asia for the first time with the GT3 sports car. The team finished the 12 hours of Malaysia in second position and, in doing so, paved the way for further events.
Bathurst – endurance race with a young tradition
Now Bathurst, Australia’s most famous race track. The start flag for a 12-hour race fell for the first time here exactly two decades ago. Following two short breaks the traditional race has been staged regularly since 2007. Over the last few years production-based touring cars have fought for overall victory. Fascinating GT3 sports cars such as the Audi R8 LMS enrich this year’s event on the famous Mount Panorama.
The 6.213 kilometer long temporary race track, which includes closed-off public roads, is an unforgiving roller coaster ride. Concrete walls line the majority of the 23 corners and straights. If the corner layout is not challenge enough, the difference in altitude of more than 170 meters around the 6,213 meter long circuit completes the tremendous challenge for man and machine. Bathurst is regarded as spiritual home of Australian motorsport and is the scene every year for the Bathurst 1000 race. Australian racing legend Craig Lowndes has already won this world-famous motorsport event five times – now he competes in an Audi R8 LMS.
Regulations with room for adjustment
The organizer has developed sophisticated regulations to guarantee exciting races. From the technical aspect the race car’s FIA homologation is essentially valid. On top of this comes the “balance of performance” which attempts to compensate for car performance by air intake restrictor, weight and engine revs. Furthermore some special rules are also valid. The organizers have declared a lap time of 2 minutes 8 seconds as “sound barrier.” Fuel tank volume and pit stops are also subject to special rules in Australia. In contrast to the standard factory layout of the customer sport race car, the on-board fuel capacity was reduced by 20 liters to 100. The re-fuelling system also had to be modified for Australia; with the pit lane being on the in-field and the circuit running anti-clockwise the R8 LMS must be re-fuelled from the left hand side and not from the right as is usually the case. For a race duration of twelve hours at least twelve pit stops of a minimum of 90 seconds are stipulated.
In Australia the Joest team, based in Wald-Michelbach in the Odenwald region, will have to adjust to the tires provided by the event’s official supplier Michelin. “With versions eight and nine we have a medium and hard compound available. They should be ideal for the warm temperatures encountered during the late Australian summer,” says Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director of Audi race experience Team Joest.
Topical points of interest at the weekend
- Can Audi start the 2011 motorsport season with a win?
Comments from the responsible personalities
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi race experience Team Joest): “The last time Team Joest raced in Australia was in the year 2000, also with a car called Audi R8 – however, with the sports prototype in Adelaide where we won. Now we compete at Bathurst on an absolutely legendary track with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports car. I think you can certainly use the term ‘adventure’ in a positive sense for this event: As was the case at the 12-hour race in Malaysia in August 2010, we compete with the R8 LMS in a country outside of Europe on a track unknown to us and in an event where we must first familiarize ourselves with the rules. We come up against opponents we have previously never met. We can also not judge the balance of performance – this is classification of all cars. Presumably the 12-hour race will be a few hours old before we can really completely assess the sporting and tactical aspects. All these factors make this long-distance race an extremely appealing event which we are already looking forward to. Our target is to fight for victory.”
Facts and comments from the Audi drivers
Marc Basseng (32/D), Audi R8 LMS #8 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
Mark Eddy (50/AUS), Audi R8 LMS #7 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
Craig Lowndes (36/AUS), Audi R8 LMS #7 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
Warren Luff (34/AUS), Audi R8 LMS #7 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
Christopher Mies (21/D), Audi R8 LMS #8 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
Darryl O’Young (30/GB), Audi R8 LMS #8 (Audi race experience Team Joest)
The Audi drivers at Bathurst
Marc Basseng (D): * 12/12/1978 in Engelskirchen (D); domicile: Neusalza (D); single; height: 1.83 m; weight: 76 kg; Audi driver since 2009; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 0; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Mark Eddy (AUS): * 12/05/1960 in Melbourne (AUS); domicile: Canterbury (AUS); married to Margaret, one son (Daniel) and one daughter (Tayla Portia); height: 1.80 m; weight: 86 kg; Audi driver since 2010; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 2; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Craig Lowndes (AUS): * 21/06/1974 in Melbourne (AUS); domicile: Mt Kilcoy (AUS); married to Natalie, one son (Levi), one daughter (Chilli); height: 1.82 m; weight: 81 kg; Audi driver 2011; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 1; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Warren Luff (AUS): * 21.04.1976 in Sutherland (AUS); domicile: Hollywell (AUS); single; height: 1.83 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2011; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 5; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Christopher Mies (D): * 24/05/1989 in Velbert (D); domicile: Heiligenhaus (D); single; height: 1.72 m; weight: 66 kg; Audi driver since 2009; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 0; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Darryl O’Young (CN): * 26/03/1980 in Vancouver (CDN); domicile: Hong Kong (CN); single; height: 1.73 m; weight: 75 kg; Audi driver since 2010; 12 Hours Bathurst: races: 0; wins: 0; pole positions: 0; fastest laps: 0.
Circuit length: 6.213 km
Craig Lowndes about Bathurst: “Even though the track is used as public road outside of race weekends, it still feels more like a permanent track. This is down to the fact that it was originally conceived as race circuit and not as public road. Every corner apart from the last two is a real challenge to driver. However, the most difficult section is between the mountain and the Skyline and Forest’s Elbow sections. You can’t see into the corners here. The best place for overtaking is at the end of Conrod Straight as you enter The Chase. At every other point overtaking is difficult because the speed is so high everywhere and the walls on the mountain are very close to the tarmac. The surface which has been renewed recently is relatively easy on the tires. The most difficult thing about Bathurst is memorizing the layout. Luckily I know the circuit like the back of my hand.”
Schedule (local time; CET +10 hours
Friday, February 4
Saturday, February 5
Sunday, February 6
Posted: 02 Feb 2011 03:01 PM PST
Saturday Night Live comedian Bill Hader and Volkswagen Product Specialist Danielle Gumro discuss the 2011 Touareg in our hilarious new educational series, “Inside the VW Academy.”
**The Touareg Hybrid is available in the U.S. in very limited quantities and only at participating Volkswagen dealers.
21 city/25 highway mpg (2011 3.0L supercharged hybrid, automatic transmission). EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary.
Maximum 7700 lbs. (brake weight) towing capacity requires optional factory-installed towing package. Maximum towing capacity of 1650 lbs. (unbraked weight) without factory-installed towing package. See owner’s manual for details.
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