N24 Win proves Audi’s “concept can work as it is” – Sportscar365

Photo: Gruppe C Photography

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

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

The victory came amid a much reduced presence for the Ingolstadt brand at the event, with no official entries from Audi Sport and three R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs competing in the SP9 class, compared to six last year.

Audi ended its factory-supported GT3 operations early this year, instead moving to a customer-support model while moving the majority of its contracted factory drivers elsewhere.

While Mies made the crucial, race-winning move aboard the No. 16 Audi on Saturday evening, he previously explained to Sportscar365 that the drive is the result of a ‘private agreement’ between himself and Scherer Sport PHX after switching to the Ford Performance factory roster .

Fred Vervisch also joined Ford, while Mattia Drudi signed up to become a factory driver at Aston Martin.

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

“For now, we are happy that our success story (has) the opportunity to continue through our customers,” said Reinke.

“We have always said that customer racing means the customer first, then the racing. As we proved in Dubai with the 24 win there (and) with the podium in Bathurst.

“Now we come to the Nürburgring and we can extend our R8 LMS winning streak here too. It proves that the concept can work as it is and we are proud and happy to continue.

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

“Here we are clearly the ones who got beat this weekend, so it’s definitely a moment where we continue to keep momentum with this car.”

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

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

“With the teams here at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it is a unique setup, you need unique knowledge,” said Reinke.

“You have a huge identification with the area here, with the circuit, with the pride they take in it.

“And now it is the first time that Scherer Sport has won this, following on from Phoenix’s many victories. It is also a good confirmation for them that a new era has begun.”

Davey Euwema is the European editor of Sportscar365. Based in the Netherlands, Euwema’s activities include the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS.