Hard fought, but close Race of Legends

Audi Sport had chosen to finish off their Audi Sport TT Cup after the third season of running. The talent development class was a successor of series like VW Polo Cup, and Volkswagen Scirocco Cup.

As a special gimmick, they had invited 16 of the current and former works driver to the big finale, in a race called Race of Legends.

The final was held at Hockenheim and the legends didn’t get their hands on the cars, until after the usual TT Cup drivers had done all their driving on Saturday afternoon.

The GT legend Frank Stippler started from Pole Position ahead of Le Mans and touring car legend Frank Biela. The Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen started from P3 while the most likely coming legend outside of Audi, in the shape of Filipe Albuerquerque, has previously driven Le Mans, DTM and GT3 for Audi Sport

The start of the race was about 30 minutes delayed due to a drain cover issue during the DTM qualifying session.

Audi Sport TT Cup, Race of Legends
Photo: Audi Sport

Biela got the best start of all, and shot in front from second starting position. Albuerquerque and Kristensen made contact, so Tom K went backwards through Turn 1, and hit the side of Biela, before crossing the track again and going into the barrier. Kristensen was out on the spot while Biela could crawl back to the pits. Albuerquerque got his front suspension damaged and had to retire too.

That send the Safety Car out on the track, with Frank Stippler as the leading car ahead of Stephane Ortell and Marcel Fässler. Lucas di Grassi had made it all the way up to P4.

The race was restarted after only one lap behind the SC and instantly Fässler started attacking Ortellin, and making it past. Ortelli tried to fight back, but he ended up losing a spot to di Grassi instead.

di Grassi outbraked Ortelli at the start of Lap 5 and then began to hunt down Stippler. Lucas Luhr made a fantastic outbraking manouvre of Ortelli, right in front of the Mercedes Tribune.

Lucas Luhr, Dindo Capello
Photo: Audi Sport

Ortelli and Rahel Frey had a bit of contact in the Motodrom corners. Marco Werner was on the move forward too, and was able to move into P5, ahead of both Frey and Ortelli.

Frey send Ortelli off the road one lap later, in what was looking very much like payback from the previous manoeuvre. Ortelli had to retire with a broken suspension.

Christian Abt and Emanuele Pirro were also rubbing fenders, but both could continue in the race.

The two old Le Mans competitors Fässler and Luhr had a tough through one entire lap, ending up with Luhr in front. One lap later, Fässler got back in front, while Marco Werner also sneaked past Luhr.

With three laps to go, Stippler was still leading the race, but had di Grassi right behind his rear bumper.

Luhr made a very ambitious overtaking attempt on Werner, and ended up breaking Werner’s front suspension. Luhr also had to retire with mechanical problems.

Frey also had to park her car in the pits, when it didn’t run as intended either.

Frank Stippler
Photo: Audi Sport

Vanina Ickx and Hans-Joachim Stuck had an amazing fight over 7th, with the Austrian ahead of the Belgian. Ickx later made it past in the Motodrom.

Frank Stippler and Lucas di Grassi drove side by side towards the hairpin on the final lap, but Stippler could defend the lead all the way to the line and take the victory in the Race of Legends.

Marcel Fässler crossed the line in third, ahead of Emanuele Pirro, Dindo Capello, Jean-Marc Gounon, Vanina Ickx and Hans-Joachim Stuck. Only 8 cars out of the 16 entries saw the chequered flag.

So that was a hard fought end to the Audi Sport TT Cup. Later today, there will be another kind of celebration for Audi in the DTM, where they already have secured all three titles, with only the best Audi driver yet to be found in the Drivers Title.

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