Archive for March, 2012

Boardwalk Audi has earned the 2011 Audi Magna Society Award

  • Magna Society program honors the best of the best among all U.S. Audi dealers
  • To earn the award, dealers must meet customer service and business objectives
  • The recognition fits alongside growth of Audi exclusive dealerships in the U.S.

Audi identified its top performing U.S. dealerships throughout 2011, a year that saw the brand and its retail partners post record sales results. Boardwalk Audi has earned the prestigious 2011 Audi Magna Society Award recognizing the Top Audi Dealers in the U.S.

“The Audi Magna Society Award represents the excellence that Boardwalk Audi is committed to. We are thrilled to have earned this prestigious award from Audi and I want to thank the entire team at Boardwalk Audi for making this happen,” said Corstiaan Westerhuis, General Manager.

Audi established the Magna Society to recognize U.S. dealerships that stand out as the best of the best. To qualify, dealerships can’t just meet or exceed sales targets. They must also demonstrate they are maintaining a solid financial foundation, merit high customer satisfaction scores and show their facilities and staffs represent the progressive Audi culture.

“At Audi, we intend to continuously improve the experience our customers encounter each time they interact with our premium brand,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America.  “With the annual Magna Society awards we celebrate our dealer partners who’ve done the most to further that goal in the past year, while ensuring their franchise rests on a thriving business model.”

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2011, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visit http://www.audiusa.com or http://www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

ABOUT BOARDWALK AUDI
Boardwalk Audi, 2011 Magna Award recipient was recently named 2012 DealerRater Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas. With its distinctive 42,000 square foot dealership–the largest in the Audi USA dealer portfolio—Boardwalk Audi is committed to interlacing Audi’s unparalleled engineering prowess with exceptional service performance. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, Boardwalk Audi cultivates a focus on top-flight performance.

ABOUT BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP 
Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Volkswagen.

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Audi one-two victory at FIA World Endurance Championship opener

  • Capello/Kristensen/McNish win with a four-lap lead
  • Successful farewell performance of the Audi R18 TDI
  • Tenth victory for Audi at Sebring 12 Hours

On the R18 TDI’s farewell performance Audi managed a brilliant start into the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). With victory by Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish the brand celebrated its tenth overall success in total at the famous Sebring 12 Hours in the U.S. state of Florida. New signing Loïc Duval completed Audi’s one-two victory together with his team-mates Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas.

Suspense through to the end: In a race that was interrupted by a total of eleven caution periods, Capello/Kristensen/McNish in the Audi R18 TDI designated as car number “2” had to work hard for their victory. Their rivals from their own team in car number “3” consistently remained within a striking distance with gaps of a few seconds in the first ten of the race’s 12 hours. The safety car repeatedly reduced the gaps of the trio at the front but Bernhard/Dumas/Duval lost four laps shortly before the end of the race due to body contact with a competitor.

At the same time, Audi Sport Team Joest kept its opponents at bay with perfect tactics. The squad set alternating pit stop intervals for its two best Audi R18 TDI cars which consistently kept their quickest rivals from HPD-Honda one lap behind the two diesel-powered sports cars. The race was dominated by heavy traffic and a large number of accidents in the field of 63 entrants but thanks to the precision-work of the drivers the victorious R18 TDI managed to cover the whole distance without any body damage.

Yet not only the tenth Audi victory at the 60th anniversary run of the Sebring 12 Hours is a milestone in the history books. Tom Kristensen as the record holder celebrated as much as his sixth personal success at the classic race in Florida, Dindo Capello his fifth and Allan McNish his fourth. Three years before, the trio had clinched Audi’s last victory to date.

The third Audi initially had perfect chances of finishing in a top position as well. André Lotterer, who had clinched the first pole position in qualifying for the new FIA World Endurance Championship for Audi, together with his team-mates Benoît Tréluyer and Marcel Fässler was the fiercest rival of the subsequent winners. Shortly before the race’s midpoint, car number “1” lost 17 laps though. A defective electrical shifting unit on the transmission forced the team to make an unscheduled repair in the tent. In the end, the three Le Mans winners from last year finished in 16th place overall and fifth in the LMP1 category of the WEC classification.

While the Audi R18 TDI in the presence of Jean Todt, the President of the FIA, delivered its successful farewell performance at Sebring, media and guests of Audi of America had the chance to get a glimpse of the future. On the fringes of the event Audi presented to them the new R18 e-tron quattro which like the new R18 ultra will be fielded as of the second WEC round on May 5 at Spa (Belgium). A week before, the new Audi A5 DTM will also be making its eagerly awaited debut at the Hockenheimring.

Quotes after the race

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
“Obviously, it’s nice that after the tenth pole position for Audi at Sebring we managed to achieve the tenth victory as well. For us, it was a great start into the season and into the new FIA World Endurance Championship. We had three cars here that were running at absolutely equal speed. They allowed us to score this one-two victory. Unfortunately, there was a small problem with the third car which prevented us from having all three cars in front in the end. Still, everyone in the squad can be proud of this result.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest):
“That was a pretty strenuous race. And our rivals were really close on our heels. They were a tiny bit slower than we but in the caution period they wouldn’t ease up on us. They only started having problems in the end. Those were eleven hours of hard work for us. Well done to Dindo (Capello), Tom (Kristensen) and Allan (McNish). It was a superb drive. Fortunately, we made believers out of all those who thought we’d forgotten how to drive cars. Congratulations, too, to the drivers of the other two cars. They were all at the same level. It’s a shame that car number “1” had the shifting problem. One repair stop at the tent and your race is over. The other car was a bit unfortunate in the caution periods in which we also had to act strategically. On the other hand, it had benefited from the yellow flags in the beginning. In the end, after slight body contact, they finished as the runners-up. And I’m proud of our mechanics too, who practiced a lot during the winter. A nice WEC opening victory! That motivates the whole squad.”

Dindo Capello (Audi R18 TDI #2): “Allan (McNish), Tom (Kristensen) and I have been waiting for this victory for three years. It was the right time to be back on the top of the podium. It’s a sweet success, also because we drove the Audi R18 TDI for the first time here at Sebring. Bringing the car home without any scratches in a field of 63 vehicles is no easy feat. We learned a lot last year. Today we showed that we can get through traffic without body contact in a closed car as well.”

Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 TDI #2): “Audi Sport Team Joest did a fantastic job. Our R18 TDI had a good set-up. Allan (McNish) and Dindo (Capello) did a perfect job of driving. We had a tremendous battle with our team-mates. But the HPD-Hondas and the Rebellion-Toyota cars chased us for a long time as well. We were always able to work out a small advantage but that could also have easily gone wrong with the many caution periods. The car was running well but traffic was a real challenge and the temperatures around noon, when I was sitting in the cockpit for a long time, were pretty high. It was tough clinching victory here. Everyone in the team and at home at Audi can be proud of this. It’s great that we won the anniversary race and the WEC opener here. But we’re already looking forward to the next race when we’ll have something in our hands that production development will benefit from yet again as well: a hybrid vehicle.”

Allan McNish (Audi R18 TDI #2): “I’m very proud of the team. We worked very hard for this victory. Together with the engineers and the mechanics Tom (Kristensen), Dindo (Capello) and I invested a lot of time in working out the optimal race setup. That paid off because I think we had the best race car today. It was consistently fast and made it possible for us to be in contention from the beginning to the end. The new world championship couldn’t have started better for us than with a victory.”

Timo Bernhard (Audi R18 TDI #3): “It was a great race and we finished as the runners-up after being in contention for victory for a long time. Unfortunately, there was a collision with a slower car on the straight toward the end of the race. That’s why we had stop for a short repair in the pits. Afterwards, I drove to the car to a second-place finish. These are valuable championship points. The one-two victory is fantastic for Audi – well done to the team.”

Romain Dumas (Audi R18 TDI #3): “That was a nice race with good battles. We gave our best and were in contention for victory for a long time. Unfortunately, there was an incident of slight body contact toward the end. But ultimately we scored a nice second place.”

Loïc Duval (Audi R18 TDI #3): “Sebring yet again showed that it’s a difficult race. As late as on the final laps we encountered a small problem but achieved the aim nonetheless: Audi won and also took second place. Finishing on the podium right on my first run for Audi was a nice experience for me – a good race!”

Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 TDI #1): “We took off from pole, had a good start and were among the front runners in terms of speed. The car was running really well and I was very pleased. About halfway through the race we had a shifting problem which cost us a few laps. At least we scored a few points in the end. Obviously, we’re a bit disappointed because we could have achieved a better result. But we were among the front runners today and that’s why I’m looking ahead with a positive mindset.”

André Lotterer (Audi R18 TDI #1):
“Congratulations to Audi, to Tom (Kristensen), Dindo (Capello) and Allan (McNish). They did a perfect job. It’s nice that Audi won again at Sebring. I’m a little disappointed with the result of our car. We had a technical problem and afterwards the race was unfortunately over for us. We’ve got to settle with the fastest time in qualifying and the fastest race lap. These things can happen in motorsport. But the potential was there. Next time we want to at the front of the field again.”

Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 TDI #1):
“For Audi, it’s been a great day with a one-two victory. A nice team success! We would have liked to make our contribution to it. Our lap times were good but we had a difficult day. We were on the same lap as the leading car for a long time and took no risks. Unfortunately, a problem with the shifting unit came up about halfway through the race. That cost us a lot of time. Afterwards, the race was only about finishing without any mistakes.”

Race results

1 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 TDI) 325 laps
2 Bernhard/Dumas/Duval (Audi R18 TDI) – 4 laps

3 Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) – 6 laps
4 Tucker/Bouchut/Barbosa (HPD-Honda) – 6 laps
5 Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla (Morgan-Judd) – 7 laps
6 Collard/Boullion/Jousse (Pescarolo-Judd) – 7 laps
7 Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari (Oreca) – 8 laps
8 Dyson/Smith/Kane (Lola-Mazda) – 8 laps
9 Zugel/Gonzalez/Julian (Zytek) – 9 laps
10 Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 9 laps

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2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta smiles on us all with 740 horsepower

Ferrari yanked back the sheets on the company’s F12 Berlinetta at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and the grinning horse has plenty cause to smile. It boasts a ludicrous 740 horsepower V12 under its hood that’s capable of launching the vehicle to 62 mph under 3 seconds. Hesitate for another 5.3 seconds, and you’ll waltz through the triple-digit barrier with ease.

Ferrari took the time to let the F12 Berlinetta loose for a few blistering laps around Fiorano, and the coupe managed to snatch the lap record from the 599 GTO. The newcomer did the deed in a scant 1:23, besting the previous champ by a full second, and the mighty Ferrari Enzo by two seconds.

Engineers positioned most of the vehicle’s weight toward the hind quarters, with 54 percent of the vehicle’s curb weight pushing on the rear rubber. While the styling certainly isn’t for everyone, there’s no denying the performance on tap.

About Boardwalk Ferrari

Boardwalk Ferrari is committed to the Ferrari performance legacy. With a championship Ferrari Challenge team, rallies, concours shows and lifestyle events, Boardwalk provides its clients with Ferrari ownership experiences that are second to none.  As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group we cultivate a focus on top-flight performance. It’s the driving force behind every nameplate we represent, every car we maintain, and every customer we have the privilege to serve. Performance.  It’s what we do.

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2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta with 740 horsepower

Ferrari yanked back the sheets on the company’s F12 Berlinetta at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and the grinning horse has plenty cause to smile. It boasts a ludicrous 740 horsepower V12 under its hood that’s capable of launching the vehicle to 62 mph under 3 seconds. Hesitate for another 5.3 seconds, and you’ll waltz through the triple-digit barrier with ease.

Ferrari took the time to let the F12 Berlinetta loose for a few blistering laps around Fiorano, and the coupe managed to snatch the lap record from the 599 GTO. The newcomer did the deed in a scant 1:23, besting the previous champ by a full second, and the mighty Ferrari Enzo by two seconds.

Engineers positioned most of the vehicle’s weight toward the hind quarters, with 54 percent of the vehicle’s curb weight pushing on the rear rubber. While the styling certainly isn’t for everyone, there’s no denying the performance on tap.

About Boardwalk Ferrari

Boardwalk Ferrari is committed to the Ferrari performance legacy. With a championship Ferrari Challenge team, rallies, concours shows and lifestyle events, Boardwalk provides its clients with Ferrari ownership experiences that are second to none.  As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group we cultivate a focus on top-flight performance. It’s the driving force behind every nameplate we represent, every car we maintain, and every customer we have the privilege to serve. Performance.  It’s what we do.

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2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta smiles on us all with 740 horsepower

Ferrari yanked back the sheets on the company’s F12 Berlinetta at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and the grinning horse has plenty cause to smile. It boasts a ludicrous 740 horsepower V12 under its hood that’s capable of launching the vehicle to 62 mph under 3 seconds. Hesitate for another 5.3 seconds, and you’ll waltz through the triple-digit barrier with ease.

Ferrari took the time to let the F12 Berlinetta loose for a few blistering laps around Fiorano, and the coupe managed to snatch the lap record from the 599 GTO. The newcomer did the deed in a scant 1:23, besting the previous champ by a full second, and the mighty Ferrari Enzo by two seconds.

Engineers positioned most of the vehicle’s weight toward the hind quarters, with 54 percent of the vehicle’s curb weight pushing on the rear rubber. While the styling certainly isn’t for everyone, there’s no denying the performance on tap.

About Boardwalk Ferrari

Boardwalk Ferrari is committed to the Ferrari performance legacy. With a championship Ferrari Challenge team, rallies, concours shows and lifestyle events, Boardwalk provides its clients with Ferrari ownership experiences that are second to none.  As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group we cultivate a focus on top-flight performance. It’s the driving force behind every nameplate we represent, every car we maintain, and every customer we have the privilege to serve. Performance.  It’s what we do.

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A new era begins for Audi at Sebring

  • Premiere of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC
  • Le Mans winning Audi R18 TDI modified for season opener
  • First run for new signing Loïc Duval

The 12-hour race at Sebring (U.S. state of Florida) on March 17 is shaped by major developments. For Audi, the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is ringing in a completely new era. The brand with the four rings last won a world championship title in 1984 – then in rallying. At the same time, Audi has the chance of clinching its tenth overall victory on the 60th anniversary of the classic endurance race.

Audi is starting into its most important sports car season so far. For the first time, the brand with the four rings will be battling to clinch a world champion’s title in road course racing. Audi has been successfully competing in sports car races since 1999 and has won many series, including the American Le Mans Series on nine occasions. This year, for the first time since 1992, the FIA is again awarding a world champion’s title for Le Mans prototypes, the race cars that currently feature the most sophisticated technology of all.

The technical development at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm is running at full stretch. No less than three different versions of the R18 LMP1 race car will be fielded during the course of the season. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Audi R18 ultra cars unveiled at the end of February are currently subjected to an extensive testing program and will be making their racing debut at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) at the beginning of May. At the world championship season opener at Sebring, Audi Sport Team Joest will rely once more on the R18 TDI that was victorious at Le Mans last year.

Effective immediately, new rules will reduce the engine output of the diesel-powered vehicles by around seven percent. To achieve this, the size of the air restrictors will be reduced from a diameter of 47.4 to 45.8 millimeters. The charging pressure drops from 3,000 to 2,800 millibar. The fuel tank capacity has been reduced as well. At a pit stop, the Audi R18 TDI can be filled with a maximum of 60 instead of the previous 65 liters of diesel fuel. In addition, it has to take 15 kilograms of ballast on board. The ballast compensates for the fact that the complex aerodynamic modifications of the fenders, which are prescribed as of 2012, have not been implemented on the R18 TDI but will only be made on the successor cars. Surprising but true: On its farewell, the R18 TDI will be experiencing a premiere as the closed-wheel sports car has never before competed in a 12-hour race at Sebring. The engineers, though, can draw on valuable historical data gathered with the Audi R18 TDI on many kilometers of testing on the famous race track in Florida.

Acid test for “man and machine”

The challenging 12-hour classic on the old airfield complex at Sebring stands for a notorious acid test at the season opener. The bumpy track consisting of tarmac and concrete slabs is rough on the race cars and the drivers’ physical condition. Sweltering heat was often another challenge in the past. Plus, being a 12-hour race, the competition in Florida is the second-longest one on the 2012 WEC calendar. With currently 61 entries – 31 from the American Le Mans Series and 30 from the WEC – the race will demand maximum concentration. Heavy traffic on a track that is slightly less than six kilometers long harbors the risk of body contact and accidents while lapping. For Audi, the 60th running of the race marks an anniversary as well. For the tenth time since 2000 a race car emblazoned with the four rings will have the chance of clinching victory. On achieving its ninth success in 2009 with Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish, Audi set a distance record that has remained unbeaten to date. The trio covered 2,280.5 kilometers in the Audi R15 TDI back then.

Several premieres in the driver line-up

Whereas Audi Sport Team Joest fielded two cars at each of the past runs at Sebring, the squad is now putting three R18 TDI vehicles on the grid. Car number “1” is shared by Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), with each of the three Le Mans winners from last year experiencing a Sebring premiere. Fässler has never before started from the Sebring grid in a sports prototype. André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer have never raced at Sebring before at all but know the track from tests. Car number “2” is shared by Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (I/DK/GB). Kristensen, with five victories under his belt, is the record holder, Capello has won the endurance race four times, and McNish three times. Car number “3” will be driven by Timo Bernhard (D) and Romain Dumas (F), who jointly mounted the winners’ podium as early as in 2008. They will be sharing their R18 TDI with Audi’s new signing Loïc Duval (F). The Frenchman is bringing a fitting “inaugural gift” to the squad. He was celebrated as a winner at the 12-hour race at Sebring last year. The nine drivers combined thus boast as many as 15 individual Sebring successes.

Topics of the weekend

– Will the diesel-powered vehicles still be competitive with the new rules?
– What will be the impact of the 15 kilograms of weight handicap on the cars with last year’s specifications like the Audi R18 TDI have to compete with at Sebring?
– Who will be Audi’s strongest challenger at Sebring?

Quotes by the officials

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):
“Sebring is just around the corner; we’ve completed our preparations. It’ll be a grand and no doubt thrilling inaugural event of the new WEC. The entire fields of the WEC and the American Le Mans Series will be competing together. So, the field of entrants will be made up of more than 60 cars. For the fans and for motorsport, this is a tremendous beginning of a world championship. For those who are driving there and wanting to take their cars across the finish line unharmed, this is a pretty complex and strenuous mission. We’re running with three cars, which also serves to get the team to gel again at an early stage of the year. It’ll be difficult to get through such a race without any collisions. You need to stay clear of all trouble while maintaining a good pace, which is always important at Sebring. Only then will you have a chance of being at the very top in the end. Last year we had a quick car but, unfortunately, weren’t successful. Obviously, we want to make up for that this year and clinch Audi’s tenth victory on this historically important race track.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “This is the first world championship round for all of us. For the first time, we’re running with three cars at Sebring, which will be a great challenge. Naturally, we’re happy that the season will open there and we’ll be competing with the modified 2011-spec model. Things are continuing the way we experienced them last year at Atlanta – with an incredibly full field of more than 60 cars. You’ve got to get through without any problems and mistakes. If you do, then you’ll have good chances of taking places at the front. Our tasks are clear. We need to get into a rhythm for the full season and score as many championship points as possible.”

Facts and quotes by the Audi drivers

Marcel Fässler (35/CH), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
– Last year’s Le Mans winner has never driven a sports prototype at Sebring before
– He is sharing the Audi R18 TDI with his fellow Le Mans winners
“We’re in for a thrilling race because the situation will be a bit tight for everyone with more than 60 cars on the track. Of course I’m expecting for us to be able to set the pace at the front of the field. I’m personally pleased to be able to battle for overall victory in an LMP car for the first time at Sebring. I’m also hoping for us to have the necessary bit of racing luck to do so.”

André Lotterer (30/D), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

– The German has never been on the Sebring grid before
– Last year’s Le Mans winning trio is competing together again for the first time
“I’m really excited because the new world championship will no doubt be very interesting. Expectations are high. Naturally, we’re driving to win. I’ve never contested this 12-hour race before. I’ve reeled off a large number of test kilometers at Sebring though. The track really suits me well. It is great fun and I enjoy driving there. That’s why I’m really looking forward to the event.”

Benoît Tréluyer (35/F), Audi R18 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
– The Frenchman is starting his third season with Audi
– In 2011, he won Le Mans with Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer
“I’m very much looking forward to my run. For the first time I’ll be racing on this track that I’ve only known from tests so far. This probably won’t be an easy task but the atmosphere is excellent with a large crowd. I’ve heard a lot about this race – and now I’m finally part of it.”

Dindo Capello (47/I), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

– With four victories, is ranking in second place of the Sebring roll of honor
– In 2001, celebrated his first victory at the endurance classic in Florida
“At Sebring, the Audi brand and we drivers have seen many nice successes. I’ve personally won four times there. Naturally, another victory with Audi Sport Team Joest would be a great thing that I would truly enjoy. We last achieved that in 2009. That seems like a pretty long time ago. Our adrenaline level is rising again. A success at the 60th anniversary of this endurance race that is really significant in the United States would be particularly nice and important.”

Tom Kristensen (44/DK), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

– No other driver has been more successful at Sebring than the five-time winner
– On the debut of new Audi sports prototypes at Sebring he clinched victory in 2000, 2006 and 2009
“The 2012 season is starting with a nice big race – the Sebring 12 Hours. In all these years the circuit has remained almost unchanged. The track’s character, the bumps, the tarmac – almost everything is the way it used to be in the past. A legendary circuit plus more than 60 entrants on the anniversary event: The season could hardly be off to a better – or tougher – start.”

Allan McNish (42/GB), Audi R18 TDI #2 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
– Was part of Audi’s last winning team at Sebring in 2009
– Was on the podium six times between 2000 and 2009
“This year, Sebring stands for something really special. The new world championship is attracting a lot of attention. And, as always, Sebring is a tough race. For the many fans it is a nice season opener. The atmosphere and passion there are unique. For Audi, this race is linked to a large number of nice successes. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue this list with the R18 TDI. This is an unusual feeling. We fielded the car for almost a whole season, but not at Sebring. Normally, our race cars are making their debut there but this time it’ll be the last run of the previous version of the car. After our test in December, I’m sure that the R18 TDI will be strong.”

Timo Bernhard (31/D), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

– Was the overall winner at Sebring four years ago
– Will be running with Loïc Duval as his new team-mate
“I’m very much looking forward to Sebring. I drove there for the first time in 2001. That was also my first endurance race and I’ve got many fond memories of this track. With Romain Dumas I managed to clinch overall victory there in 2008. Last year, our pace was good but we had two punctures which cost us any chance of victory. This year, I’m traveling there with high expectations. Sebring is always a great opener, a challenging race track and a superb event. I’m happy to be part of it again.”

Romain Dumas (34/F), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)

– Won at Sebring in 2008 together with Timo Bernhard
– The 2010 Le Mans winner is experiencing his fourth season with Audi
“Sebring is one of the nicest races of the year. It’s also a very difficult one – in 2012 more than 60 cars will be in the field. You’ve got to stay on track and avoid problems. I think the outcome will really only be decided in the final hour of the race. Timo (Bernhard) and I won in 2008, Loïc (Duval) last year. The three of us have a good chance for victory.”

Loïc Duval (29/F), Audi R18 TDI #3 (Audi Sport Team Joest)
– The Frenchman aims to repeat his 2011 Sebring victory
– He is the only new signing to compete in Audi’s driver line-up
“This is a special season opener for me. I’m running for Audi for the first time, which has been a dream of mine for quite some time. The inaugural race of the World Endurance Championship at Sebring marks the beginning of a new era. And for me personally the return to Florida is very special too as I won the race last year together with two team-mates. At Audi, I’m competing together with Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas and am eager to see how well we’ll gel. One thing is certain: In my first few weeks I noticed that the team spirit at Audi is outstanding.”

The Audi drivers at Sebring

Timo Bernhard (D): * Feb 24, 1981 in Homburg (D); residence: Dittweiler (D); married to Katharina; height 1.73 m; weight: 61 kg; Audi driver since 2009; Sebring victories: 1.

Dindo Capello (I): * Jun 17, 1964 in Asti (I); residence: Canelli (I); married to Elisabetta, one son (Giacomo); height: 1.72 m; weight: 66 kg; Audi driver since 1994; Sebring victories: 4.

Romain Dumas (F): *Dec 14, 1977 in Alès (F); residence: Basel (CH); single; height: 1.74 m; weight: 60 kg; Audi driver since 2009; Sebring victories: 1.

Loïc Duval (F): *Jun 12, 1982 in Chartres (F); residence: Tokyo (J); single; height: 1.78 m; weight: 70 kg; Audi driver since 2012; Sebring victories: 1.

Marcel Fässler (CH):
*May 27, 1976 in Einsiedeln (CH); residence: Gross (CH); married to Isabel, four daughters (Shana, Elin, Yael and Delia); height 1.78 m; weight 78 kg; Audi driver since 2008; Sebring victories: –

Tom Kristensen (DK): *Jul 07, 1967 in Hobro (DK); residence: Monaco (MC); single (partner: Hanne), two sons (Oliver and Oswald) and one daughter (Carla Marlou); height: 1.74 m; weight: 72 kg; Audi driver since 2000, Sebring victories: 5.

André Lotterer (D):
*Nov 19, 1981 in Duisburg (D); residence: Tokyo (J); single; height 1.84 m; weight 74 kg; Audi driver since 2010; Sebring victories: –

Allan McNish (GB): *Dec 29, 1969 in Dumfries (GB); residence: Monaco (MC); married to Kelly, one son (Finlay), one daughter (Charlotte Amelie); height: 1.65 m; weight: 58 kg; Audi driver in 2000, since 2004; Sebring victories: 3.

Benoît Tréluyer (F): *Dec 07, 1976 in Alençon (F); residence: Gordes (F); married to Melanie, 1 son (Jules); height 1.78 m; weight 68 kg; Audi driver since 2010; Sebring victories: –

All winners of the Sebring 12 Hours (since 2000)

2000 Frank Biela/Tom Kristensen/Emanuele Pirro (Audi)
2001 Dindo Capello/Laurent Aiello/Michele Alboreto (Audi)
2002 Dindo Capello/Johnny Herbert/Christian Pescatori (Audi)
2003 Frank Biela/Philipp Peter/Marco Werner (Audi)
2004 Frank Biela/Pierre Kaffer/Allan McNish (Audi)
2005 Tom Kristensen/JJ Lehto/Marco Werner (Audi)
2006 Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (Audi)
2007 Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner (Audi)

2008 Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Emmanuel Collard (Porsche)
2009 Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (Audi)
2010 Anthony Davidson/Marc Gené/Alexander Wurz (Peugeot)
2011 Loïc Duval/Nicolas Lapierre/Olivier Panis (Peugeot)

Track info

Track length: 5.954 km
Race duration: 12 hours
Pole position 2011: Stéphane Sarrazin, Peugeot 908, 1m 46.571s = 201.128 km/h (March 18, 2011)
Fastest lap 2011: Alexander Wurz, Peugeot 908, 1m 48.141s = 198.208 km/h (March 19, 2011)

Marcel Fässler about Sebring

“Compared with a modern European race track Sebring is a relic from the 1960s. This gives the track a lot of character. The concrete slabs of the old airfield are lined up with clearly notable joints that are offset quite a bit in certain places. Not least due to this fact the track has an incredible number of bumps. The first and final bends are regarded as courage testers. You can’t see into the first turn – the track width there is reduced from about 20 to only eight meters. At the end of the turn, you’ve got to watch out for heavy bumps. They can be tricky, particularly in the dark. Generally speaking, there’s not much lighting on the track but fortunately we’ve got LED lights at Audi. They helps us a great deal and I wouldn’t want to do it without them anymore. The trackside atmosphere is unique. The Turn 10 Club is famous. If you should retire near Turn 10 it’s pretty difficult to get back to the pits. The loyal fan club there really likes to hang on to the drivers for a long time.”

Schedule (local times; CET – 5 hours)

Thursday, March 15
10:00–11:00 Free practice
14:50–15:50 Free practice
19:35–21:20 Night practice

Friday, March 16

09:55–10:55 Free practice
15:20–15:35 Qualifying (GT vehicles)
15:35–15:50 Qualifying (GT vehicles)
15:55–16:10 Qualifying (LMPC/LMP2 vehicles)
16:10–16:25 Qualifying (LMP1 vehicles)

Saturday, March 17

08:00–08:25 Warm-up
10:30–22:30 Race (12 hours)

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Boardwalk Audi announces the addition of Debbie McNeilly

Boardwalk Audi is pleased to announce the recent addition of Debbie McNeilly to its sales team in Plano, Texas. Debbie McNeilly brings 10 years of automotive sales experience to Boardwalk Audi.

“Debbie McNeilly exemplifies the excellence that Boardwalk Audi is committed to. We are thrilled to have Debbie’s sales leadership and Audi expertise serving our clients in North Dallas,” said Corstiaan Westerhuis, General Manager.

Debbie McNeilly has been certified by Audi as an Audi Brand Specialist for many years. Debbie is consistently ranked one of the top five Audi Brand Specialists for the Texas region and her training and mentorship will help take Boardwalk Audi to the next level of client satisfaction.

Brian Ongaro, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Boardwalk Auto Group said, “We are honored that Boardwalk Audi is attracting sales professionals like Debbie McNeilly. Debbie will be an integral part of Boardwalk Audi’s aggressive expansion in 2012.”

About Boardwalk Audi
Boardwalk Audi, Magna Award recipient was recently named 2012 DealerRater Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas. With its distinctive 42,000 square foot dealership–the largest in the Audi USA dealer portfolio—Boardwalk Audi is committed to interlacing Audi’s unparalleled engineering prowess with exceptional service performance. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, Boardwalk Audi cultivates a focus on top-flight performance.

About Boardwalk Auto Group
Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Volkswagen.

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