30.07.2017 - The much awaited Total 24 Hours of Spa confirmed the speed and competitiveness of I.S.R. racing, that has claimed a positive ninth absolute place with the n.76 car officially supported by Audi Sport with Pierre Kaffer (GER), Frank Stippler (GER) and Kelvin van der Linde (ZAF) exchanging behind the wheel.

On the legendary circuit of Spa Francorchamps, I.S.R. racing has fielded, alongside the n.76 challenger, also the Audi R8 LMS n.75 driven by Filipe Albuquerque (P), Filip Salaquarda (CZ) and Clemens Schmid (AUT). Both driver lineups confirmed their great feeling with the circuit, despite changing weather conditions that characterized the first two racing days, and managed to convert the motivation of the Czech outfit into very strong performances. Following a first free practice session focused on devising the best setup, I.S.R. racing's cars have been shining in Pre Qualifying with the n.75 challenger posting the fourth quickest time, followed by the n.76 in fifth, only a few hundredths shy of the sister car.

The very high level of rivals and the very small gaps did not prevent I.S.R. racing to keep its momentum in the fascinating qualifying held on Friday evening at sunset and overnight and the Czech team managed to place both cars in the top twenty, earning the right to take part in the Super Pole. Such a performance was obtained in the first exciting session, when, despite 36 cars ended within a second, Albuquerque, Salaquarda e Schmid posted a great eleventh time on the n.75 car in 2:18.977s and were followed by Kaffer, Stippler and Van der Linde, twelfth on the n.76 car, that posted a quickest lap of 2:19.003s.

After leading the Saturday's warm up for a long time, Clemens Schmid has driven the n.75 car in the Super Pole. He was ninth absolute completing his best loop in 2:18.047s, that was worth a fifth row start. Kelvin van der Linde was twelfth on the n.76 in 2:18.164s instead.

The race has been exciting as always and it has been run mostly on dry conditions. The Audi R8 LMS n.75 started the race with Albuquerque behind the wheel. The Portuguese driver drove very effectively and on a great race pace. Schmid then kept his momentum, posting also very interesting lap times. During the fifth hour, Salaquarda, who was at the beginning of his stint, went off at Blanchimont collecting a lot of grass in the radiator, which made the car overheat and eventually retire.

The Audi R8 LMS n.76, officially supported by Audi Sport and run by I.S.R. racing, has therefore been the only one left on track to defend the colors of the Czech outfit. The extraordinary strategy and the solid performance of the drivers allowed the drivers lineup to gain several positions, making the most of some key moments of the race without putting a single step wrong during neutralization periods or the overnight rainfall. After ninteen hours, the car was ninth with a big gap on its rivals and Kaffer concretized this result at the chequered flag.

Igor Salaquarda (I.S.R. racing, Team Principal):

"It has been an intense race, the level of the rivals is very high and did not leave any room for error, therefore we are really happy on ending within the top ten also in this occasion, as happened before in 2016. We are obviously disappointed for the early retirement of Filipe, Filip and Clemens, because their pace was really remarkable and I am pretty sure they could have fought for top positions. Ending the race with the Audi Sport supported car is a really prestigious result for our team, Pierre, Frank and Kelvin have been really effective behind the wheel and correctly managed every race phase with their experience. We are really proud on giving our contribution to the great weekend of the Ingolstadt's manufacturer that took the victory after the last one back in 2014".

I.S.R. racing will now stop for the summer break before getting back on track for the closing round of the series on September 15-17 at Nürburgring.