After 12 hours and more than 1800km, the two-car team of Audi Sport experience Team Joest crossed the line in a flying formation to claim the top two spots of the podium at the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race a.

In Audi’s first attempt to conquer Mount Panorama, the dedication and professionalism of the drivers and the entire team shone through to ensure a dream 1-2 finish on debut.

The Audi Top Service team drove a nearly faultless race and set a blistering pace all day – with the all-star international driving line-up quickly coming to grips with the notoriously challenging 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit – while maintaining a strategy that ensured good fuel economy and longevity of the tyres, both of which are crucial factors in endurance racing.

It was a battle of the titans for the victory, with both Audi R8 race cars swapping leads several times over the course of the 12 hours and wowing the crowd with some white-knuckle racing. After 12 hours and 1800km, the gap was just 0.7 seconds as the two R8 LMS’ crossed the finish line.

Craig Lowndes also set a new lap record for this category behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT3.

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi race experience Team Joest):
“Very honestly: this race was almost more nerve-wrecking than quite a few Le Mans races. A real thriller! As predicted, it took quite a while until we got a clear idea of everyone’s performances. There were different pit stop rules for different cars. It was exciting right up until the end. The Porsche that finished third also had a fair chance as did one Cup car. Our number 7 car just had bad luck. Without the puncture, it could have clearly won the race. We drove for quite a long time on slick tires in wet conditions. The experience of our ‚local heroes’ paid off. In these conditions, they were faster sometimes by a few seconds. Thus, the Australians built up a considerable lead. They were unfortunate to lose it due to the additional stop. As this incident happened shortly after a mandatory pit stop, it didn’t count – there has to be a minimum of ten laps in between them. It got tense towards the end as the guys really went for it. Both cars were free to race for victory. Ten minutes before the end, there was a splash and dash pitstop for the number 8 car. We’ve guided the cars to the finish in this order in the remaining three laps. A big thank you also to Mark Eddy. Nine of his team members supported us in Bathurst. Within five days, we’ve gelled into a fantastic team.”

Marc Basseng (Audi Top Service R8 LMS #8)
“Incredible! It was my first win with Audi in an endurance race lasting 12 hours. The car was perfect. Such a close fight inside one team – unbelievable how evenly-matched those two cars have been. I’m over the moon.”

Christopher Mies (Audi Top Service R8 LMS #8)
“I’m speechless! After twelve hours, we’ve won by a margin of 0.7 seconds. Both cars fought for victory. Craig Lowndes tried everything in the number seven car. At the end, it was enough for Marc, Darryl and myself to win. I’m delighted. Now I’ve clinched my first win in an endurance race with Audi.”

Darryl O’Young (Audi Top Service R8 LMS #8)
“A wonderful weekend. The R8 LMS was fantastic, as were my team mates Christopher Mies and Marc Basseng. Towards the end, I was under immense pressure. Then I made a mistake in the pit exit and touched the wall. Thus the number seven car had a chance to put pressure on us. I didn’t want to risk anything in that situation. But when it became clear that I had to do one more splash-and-dash pitstop, I went flat out again. The 1-2 win is a great result. Audi race experience Team Joest has worked perfectly.”

Mark Eddy (Audi Australia R8 LMS #7)
“That was a fantastic race for both the German and the Australian Audi line-up. For Audi to get a 1-2 victory in their maiden race at Bathurst is just a testament of how good the R8 LMS cars are. I would love for Audi to come back again to Bathurst.”

Craig Lowndes (Audi Australia R8 LMS #7)
“The weekend was sensational. It was a great weekend for Australians to be involved. It was unbelievable that Audi would consider to coming here to Bathurst. It’s our grand final, it’s our track that we love so much. It’s great for Audi and Audi race experience Team Joest to come and campaign two cars at this event. We didn’t know the car, Marc, Christopher and Darryl didn’t know the circuit. I think we combined very well as a team. And we got a result that the team deserved, a 1-2.”

Warren Luff (Audi Australia R8 LMS #7)
“It was an amazing day. Full credit to Audi and Team Joest. They’ve just done an amazing job from the moment they’ve arrived. They’ve given us great cars and are a great team. And we’ve been up to produce a great result for everyone. It’s been great to have been part of this. I hope it’s not the last time that I race an Audi R8 LMS. It’s an amazing car. It’s the best car I’ve ever raced. Audi have got such a great history in endurance racing. I hope to continue to be a part of it.”

Race results

1 Basseng/Mies/O’Young (Audi R8 LMS), 292 laps in 12h 01m 30.7045s
2 Eddy/Lowndes/Luff (Audi R8 LMS) + 0.7141s
3 Baird/Quinn/Quinn (Porsche) -1 lap
4 Wall/Mawer/Crick (Porsche) -3 laps
5 Lago/Kingsley/Russell (Porsche) -10 laps
6 Simonsen/Searle/Lester (Ferrari) -16 laps
7 O’Donnell/McLennan/Konopka (Porsche) -28 laps
8 Dippie/Thompson/Maddren (Porsche) -35 laps
9 Conroy/Robson/Brame (Mitsubishi) -36 laps
10 O’Donnell/Hansen/D’Agostin (BMW) -40 laps

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