It was a story of highs and lows for Audi at this weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour.
On the positive side, privateer entry Audi Sport Team WRT came away from its first-ever tour around the storied Mount Panorama Circuit in Australia’s Blue Mountains with an overall victory in its Audi R8 LMS.
Drivers Robin Frijns of The Netherlands, Stuart Leonard of the United Kingdom, and Dries Vanthoor of Belgium shared duties at the wheel. This was Audi’s third overall win at the Bathurst 12 Hour, following on back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012.
On the less-positive side, the race was put under red flag conditions with 22 minutes to go and later called after a devastating crash involving Australian drivers Ash Walsh and John Martin at McPhillamy Park. Walsh was sent to hospital with a severe injury to his right elbow requiring surgery.
Incredibly, Walsh’s Supabarn team–also running an Audi R8 LMS with co-drivers James Koundouris, Theo Koundouris, and Duvashen Padayachee–won the Am class due to being in the lead just prior to the stoppage. Walsh’s teammates celebrated on the podium and later presented Walsh with his own trophy in his hospital bed.
“Sincere congratulations to our winners and to Audi Sport Team WRT who delivered an incredible race,” said Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “They lost a lap at the beginning of the race, but never gave up, fought back and clinched a deserved victory.”