Perfect Three Days For The Audis
Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx completed its three day test at Road Atlanta yesterday (Feb 23), and the two cars covered 1,500 miles in total – absolutely trouble-free.

All six drivers posted a lap time that would have earned a front row grid position in the 2003 Petit Le Mans. Allan McNish set the fastest time, a 1:11.26, on Monday morning.

Frank Biela only drove on the first day (last Wednesday), the two ex-F1 men (McNish / Herbert) drove on Friday and Monday, while the other three (Kaffer / Smith / Davies) drove on all three days. The drivers’ comments regarding the simulated race runs with both cars are rather ominous for this year’s opposition…

The driver groupings for Sebring haven’t been announced, but the cars were ‘labelled’ Biela / Kaffer / McNish and Davies / Smith / Herbert for the test days.

Audi R8 - #18
Frank Biela “It was really nice to get behind the wheel of an R8 again and immediately the car felt good and I was able to set competitive times. The team worked well and I believe everything will be fine with my new team - success is not guaranteed but if we all work hard, we should be in the reckoning.”

Pierre Kaffer
“Driving an Audi R8 is a big difference from what I have been used to - like the gear change being on the steering wheel, the carbon fibre brakes, and the engine power but it’s a beautiful car and I cannot wait for the Sebring race. I was very happy with the way the test went for me and I had some experience of driving the car in damp conditions on Monday. "

dailysportscar.comAllan McNish
“I initially concentrated on getting used to driving a sportscar again compared to the characteristics of a F1 car - like right foot braking, changing up and down the gears and the extra weight. The biggest difference from the Audi R8 I drove four years ago is the FSI [petrol direct injection] engine which felt tremendous - very smooth and ‘drivable’.”

Audi R8 - #28
Jamie Davies
“It’s an awesome machine and completely lives up to its tremendous reputation. I immediately felt comfortable in the car and it’s relatively easy to drive - it gives you a lot of confidence. Every last detail of the sportscar is superbly engineered and you can feel the quality when you’re behind the wheel.”

Johnny Herbert (below)
“Both cars did a race simulation lasting almost three hours during Monday which was run in cool, overcast and showery weather conditions. I broke in to the 1min 11secs, which was pleasing, but the more rewarding aspect was the consistency of pace throughout the race run by all three drivers, in changeable conditions. Both cars are evenly matched – we started the race simulation nose to tail and finished together.”

Guy Smith
“I had a good feeling in the car immediately. The Audi R8 is a very different car to drive than the Bentley that I have been used to in recent years and it requires a different driving style. It’s a relatively easy car to drive which now features subtle aerodynamic changes compared to the R8 I drove in 2001. The team has made a massive leap forward.”

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