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Bathurst 12 Hour: Phoenix Racing as best Audi team in fifth place at Bathurst

Phoenix Racing Press Release

As the best of six Audi teams Phoenix Racing took fifth place in the Bathurst 12 Hour. The Swiss Rahel Frey, the German René Rast and the Belgian Laurens Vanthoor in the #3 Audi R8 LMS ultra completed 296 laps on the 6213-kilometre Mount Panorama Circuit, 200 kilometres west of Sydney, and in the end were trailing the victorious Ferrari by a gap of just 36 seconds.

“Best Audi, on the same lap as the winners – we’re basically happy with that, although fifth place isn’t quite up to our expectations,” said Phoenix Team Director Ernst Moser. The outfit from Meuspath at the Nürburgring, which had won the Bathurst 12 Hour two years ago and finished in fourth place last year, due to a puncture and a drive-through penalty resulting from a misunderstanding at the end of a safety car period, lost some time but was able to recover it with a good strategy and excellent pit stops. The major handicap for the red-white GT3 sports car was the insufficient top speed. “The vehicle’s rating doesn’t fit. On the two long straights we had no chance against the other top cars. You could clearly see that in the TV footage too. Although we were faster on the winding track section at the mountain we kept running up to slower vehicles,” said Team Coordinator Bernhard Demmer.

“We weren’t really competitive. On the straights we were too slow and that caused us to lose a lot of time. Considering this, it’s a good result even though we’d expected more. The conditions were difficult, not least due to the heat,” said René Rast.

“More wasn’t possible,” Laurens Vanthoor, the winner of the 2013 FIA GT Serie, agreed. “I don’t want to complain about the rating but it was obvious that we were chanceless on the straights. That made it impossible for us to battle, to defend ourselves. We’re not particularly pleased, although we all gave our best. Still, Australia was worth the visit. It’s a tremendous track and I’d like to return and battle for victory then.”

For Rahel Frey fifth place meant the best position ever to have been achieved by a female racer in the history of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. “Of course it was fun; this track is simply great. We finished the race but fifth place no doubt isn’t what we drivers, Phoenix and Audi expected. We were simply lacking top speed to finish farther in front. That’s a shame because the whole team showed a superb performance.”

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