BREAKING: Audi to build cars in North America

BREAKING: Audi to build cars in North America


BREAKING: Audi to build cars in North America

Posted: 11 Jul 2011 05:27 AM PDT


Audi AG has decided to build a vehicle assembly plant in North America and is considering an additional engine and transmission plant.

Volkswagen Group’s premium brand is completing details of the assembly plant — including models, location and capacity. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said all decisions will be made within three years.

“It is totally clear that we need new production capacity in the U.S.,” Stadler said in an interview here. “The question only is when.”

An Audi source also told Automotive News that the carmaker is considering building an engine and transmission plant in North America to increase local content. That second plant could be shared with VW division.

Inventory is an issue for Audi, which set a sales record in 2010 with 101,629 sales in the United States.

Stadler said Audi plans to increase U.S. sales by 10 to 20 percent this year and could surpass 150,000 units by 2015.

“Our dealers currently ask for more cars than we can deliver,” he said. “Our delivery times are still too high.”

On July 1, Audi had a 21-day supply of vehicles in the United States.

Under Audi’s “Strategy 2020″ plan, Stadler said the brand aims to nearly double its global sales by the end of the decade. Last year, Audi sold 1.1 million new cars.

The original goal of 1.5 million cars for 2015 will be reached a year earlier than planned, Stadler said, and by 2020 Audi wants to sell 2 million cars.

Globally Audi’s lineup will increase from 38 models this year to 42 in 2015 and 50 by 2020.

- Automotive News

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BREAKING: Audi to build cars in North America

Trackspeed Porsche just misses second win at Spa-Francorchamps

Posted: 10 Jul 2011 11:35 AM PDT


British GT SPA Trackspeed

Gregor Fisken and Tim Bridgman of Trackspeed Porsche rallied from a twelfth place start to missing the race in by 0.9 seconds. Richard Westbrook led the way from pole position but after building up an eight second lead, the Trackspeed Porsche would retire with tire damage.

On lap 16, Fisken would move past the CRS Racing Ferrari for third and the Beechdean Aston Martin for second three laps later. The lead MTech Ferrari was 7 seconds out and Fisken was on the move.

By the final lap, Fisken was one second down and came across the line 0.9 off the win.

“It was very close,” said Gregor. “I certainly wasn’t going to settle for second if I could have taken the win. The team kept telling me I was taking time out of him, but it would have needed a mistake from Duncan really to get past him cleanly. Duncan was driving very well; it was a real good scrap.”

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Trackspeed Porsche just misses second win at Spa-Francorchamps

Porsche podium’s at ALMS Lime Rock

Posted: 10 Jul 2011 07:58 AM PDT


ALMS Lime Rock Porsche

Gallery after the jump!

Across the globe, Porsche has been of to a rough start but the past few weeks have been gaining ground on the competition. During an intense 2 hours and 45 minutes around the 1.5 mile track, the no45 Flying Lizard Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 RSR finished second in the GT class at the Northeast Grand Prix in Lime Rock. Joerg Bergmeister and Patrick Long improved to 34pts in the title race. Four Porsche’s finished in the top seven.

Right from the start, Patrick Long wasted no time shooting past the no55 BMW of Auberlen/Werner for second place. From there, he put the pressure on the leading BMW at times running nose to tail. Long would maintain a strong second place up to the first pitstop where Joerg Bergmeister would take over.

“I’m very satisfied. Today we have earned plenty of championship points. Because all of our direct competitors had problems, these points are especially valuable. Our car was perfectly set-up over the entire weekend. It’s a shame that we were just a few seconds off clinching victory.”

Bryan Sellers started off from ninth on grid. Sellers had a great run, stayed far from the chaos, handing over a perfect car to Henzler.

Bergmeister put in one of his finest drives and again bringing the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR right up to the leading BMW. As Bergmeister pitted, fellow Porsche driver Wolf Henzler was moving quickly and put the Falken Tire Porsche into second place.

Roughly 20 minutes in the no55 BMW and both Corvettes no02 ESM Ferrari were involved in a heavy tangle. At the time they were running third through sixth.

We would go on to witness a great 1-2-3 GT battle with the BMW M3 of Joey Hand and these two Porsches. While this was happening, Sascha Maassen and Bryce Miller were having a great run against the Robertson Racing Ford GT for 4th.

The Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR was showing that Porsche were back in the fight.

ALMS Lime Rock Porsche

Misfortune would hit the two at the front. With three laps to go and Bergmeister on the move for the lead, a tire puncture would bring him and their hopes of another win to pit-lane. Once back out, he would maintain second and a podium finish.

“That was a lively race,” said Joerg Bergmeister. “Today we were able to fight for victory and I’ve tried everything to continue my winning streak after five straight Lime Rock victories. Unfortunately, a puncture prevented this. Still, it was our best result so far this season. Our entire team has worked extremely hard for this.”

Wolf Henzler would also have tire issues creep up ion the remaining 30 minutes. Thinking he had a puncture, he brought the GT3 RSR in only to find out it was pickup off the track. He was back out but a bit later fuel pressure problems came into play and a very fast Ford GT was gaining. In the final turn, the two were nose to tail with Henzler blocking a bit to much. The two touched, raced across the line side by side with Henzler squeaking the third place podium spot.

However, the contact cost Falken Tire greatly as they were given a 90-sec penalty. This moved them back to fifth. The penalty hurt, but the overall performance was the best finish for the team.

“We are pleased for the Falken Tire Porsche team to be competitive with the GT leaders, and only a late fuel pressure problem prevented us from finishing on the podium. We had a good strategy, and felt we could run with the leaders before our problem,” said Henzler.

ALMS Lime Rock Porsche

Bryce Miller and Sascha Maassen would finish sixth in the Paul Miller Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. An exhaust issue would hold them back.

Marc Holzer would show some very fast times, even on par with the leaders. He and Seth Neiman would finish seventh.

We also saw a great race in GTC. With the lead teams swapping back and forth, it came down to the final minutes. Dion von Moltke put in a drive that would take him past Spencer Pumpelly for the win. On another note, this gave TRG a 1-2.

“We had a winning strategy which gave us fresher tires in the end, and I was able to get by my teammate Spencer Pumpelly on the last lap when he was stuck in traffic behind a slowing GT car. It was bad luck for Spencer, but we were able to bring the TRG Porsche to victory. With Spencer and Duncan Ende finishing second, it was a one-two TRG finish, the team’s best ever in ALMS,” said von Moltke.

Result GT class
1. Muller/Hand (D/USA), BMW M3 GT, 176 laps
2. Bergmeister/Long (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 176
3. Murry/Lazzaro (USA/USA), Doran Ford GT, 174
4. Sharp/van Overbeek (USA/USA), Ferrari F458 Italia, 174
5. Henzler/Sellers (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 174
6. Maassen/Miller (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 172
7. Holzer/Neiman (D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 165

Result GTC class
1. von Moltke/Pierce (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164 laps
2. Pumpelly/Ende (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164
3. Leitzinger/Sweedler (USA/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 164

Drivers Points’ standings GT class
1. Dirk Muller, Joey Hand, BMW, 70 points
2. Oliver Gavin, Jan Magnussen, Chevrolet, 37
3. Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Long, Porsche, 34
4. Olivier Beretta, Tommy Milner, Chevrolet, 33
Dirk Werner, Bill Auberlen, BMW, 33
6. Augusto Farfus, BMW, 26
7. Jaime Melo, Toni Vilander, Ferrari, 25
8. Seth Neiman, Porsche, 23

1. BMW, 70 points
2. Porsche, 44
3. Chevrolet, 41
4. Ferrari, 34

1. BMW Team RLL, BMW, 70 points
2. Corvette Racing, Chevrolet, 41
3. Flying Lizard Motorsports, Porsche, 37

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Porsche podium’s at ALMS Lime Rock