Asked to comment on the sad news of the death of the former F1 champion and motor sports legend Sir Jack Brabham, Kimi Raikkonen said it’s a shame modern F1 drivers are no longer allowed to compete in other motor sport series, mainy because of all the safety concerns, which can also be translated as investments risks. What happened to Robert Kubica not so long ago is still fresh in everyone’s mind and today F1 drivers are held on a very short leash. That does not stop them from visiting various motor sports events and races, which boosts their and the image of the race or series they visit. Like it or not, Formula 1 is still the number one in popularity and when F1 stars show their faces at this or that race, fans and media gather.
“The problem is everything just gets so much more expensive these days and obviously people are more scared that you get hurt and they try to limit everything what you do. So it’s a shame because I think it would be more fun for everybody and the other sports would also benefit from it, and F1. It would be nice to do stuff like that”, said Ferrari F1 driver about the idea of racing in different series, which Kimi is no stranger to.
From time to time, World Rally Championship stars can also be seen competing in other disciplines, mostly for PR reasons, but sometimes for pure pleasure and fun, also known as “I’ll do whatever I damn want”. Being the number one driver (or at least the one with the title) in Volkswagen’s WRC team, Sebastien Ogier is one of the leading promoters of brand’s sporting successes. Sometimes that means he will go around doing not very exciting things, but sometimes he can relax doing a nice Porsche Cup race or a round of the ADAC GT Series championship, driving a 550 HP Audi R8 LMS Ultra. Not just for giggles and when nobody’s watching but for real, other competitors, spectators and all. He’s a World Rally Champion and that will look nice on ADAC GT Series promo materials and previews.
Should World Rally Championship try and get motor sport stars from other disciplines to take part in a rally or two. Sure, compared to circuit racing, rallying does take more time and preparation not to mention actually driving for three days. It would be difficult, but maybe not impossible?
World Rally Champion in Audi R8 LMS ultra
The Audi customer sport team Prosperia C. Abt Racing will make for a defining moment in the ADAC GT Masters next weekend. Two World Champions from completely different motorsport disciplines are sharing a 550-hp race car at the Lausitzring – an Audi R8 LMS ultra.
World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier will be running in the ADAC GT Masters as a guest entrant. The French Volkswagen race driver, 2013 World Rally Champion and current leader of the standings in a Polo R WRC, will be contesting round three of the sports car series. His team-mate is the 2012 FIA GT1 World Champion Markus Winkelhock.
“I’m looking forward to my first race in the Audi R8 LMS ultra of Team Prosperia C. Abt Racing,” says Sébastien Ogier. “I don’t know the Lausitzring yet but visited the ADAC GT Masters at Oschersleben. The drivers’ field is strong. In Markus Winkelhock, I’ve got a very fast and seasoned team-mate. We’ve already had our first joint briefing and he showed me the cockpit. His tips help me start the weekend perfectly prepared. Not to forget, the Audi and Prosperia C. Abt Racing were on podium each time this season. With me as a rookie that’ll obviously be difficult, but I’m going to give my best.”
The 30-year-old Frenchman received some initial advice on Thursday. Following a joint photo shoot at the race track, Winkelhock inducted the rally pro into the operation of the R8 LMS ultra. “In our case it’s better not to run through the dirt but to make sure you stay on the road,” jested the German. “But all kidding aside, it’s fascinating to compete alongside a world star like Sébastien Ogier in the ADAC GT Masters. He’s not driving here just for fun but is ambitious and eager to be successful. Plus, we’re sharing one of the world’s best GT race cars, the Audi R8 LMS ultra.”
“Such a swapping of roles between different motorsport disciplines of two brands shows what possibilities are available within the Group,” says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development. “When Sébastien Ogier joined Volkswagen we supported him as best we could and he became World Rally Champion. Now he’s selected the ADAC GT Masters and the Audi R8 LMS ultra in order to pursue new avenues on a guest run. We wish him a lot of success in this endeavor.”
Team Prosperia C. Abt Racing decided the team classification in the ADAC GT Masters in its favor last year and on the second race weekend of the series two weeks ago clinched four podium places in the races at Zandvoort. At Lausitz, another 60-minute single race is scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. With 23 worldwide title wins to its credit since 2009 the Audi R8 LMS ultra is one of the most successful present-day GT3 sports cars.