APR Motorsport adds a second Audi R8 to the Grand-Am Rolex Series' GT class at next month's Sahlen's Six Hours at the Glen. The team's No. 52 will be driven by Marc Basseng and Frank Stippler; additionally Ian Baas, who drove for the team at Daytona, will race alongside team regulars Dion von Moltke and Dr. Jim Norman in the No. 51 car.
"It's a great feeling to be running two cars with involvement from Audi Sport and with two of their factory drivers at Watkins Glen next weekend," said APR Motorsport team owner Stephen Hooks. "We've enjoyed our relationship with Audi as their official launch partner for the GRAND-AM program. With the second round of the North American Endurance Championship, all the partners decided it would be a great time to apply the lessons we've learned and bring all the weapons to the table and see what kind of result we can get."
Stippler, from Bad Munstereifel, Germany, drove the Audi Sport Test Car - dubbed the “Captain America” car - during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Stippler has been a factory development driver for the Audi R8 LMS since 2008.
It marks Stippler's first start at Watkins Glen. Basseng, another German-based driver (Neusalza), has prior Grand-Am experience and a GT class win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on his resume (2007). More recently, he has spent the last three seasons competing in the competitive GT1 World Championship, in which he scored three wins in 2011 driving a Lamborghini. Last season, behind the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS, he drove to victory in the 12 Hours of Bathurst and to a class win in the 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
As the second round of Grand-Am's three-race North American Endurance Championship, new this year, Watkins Glen is expected to have a larger field than most races with more points on offer and distributed at various points in the race. It's the second longest event of the 2012 season.