Veloqx Motorsport has confirmed that it will representing Audi UK in next year's Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as the inaugural Le Mans Endurance Series, having been granted customer support by the German marque to run an R8 prototype.

The Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx car will also contest the Sebring 12 Hours in March, following a winter in which the Brackley-based Veloqx squad will familiarise itself with the LMP900 class R8.

"The 2004 Le Mans race will mark the third occasion an Audi entered by Audi Sport UK has contested the famous French race, and I'm eagerly looking forward to next June," commented David Ingram, Audi UK's motorsport manager, "Apex Motorsport ran the Audi R8C in 1999 while, this year, Arena Motorsport prepared the Audi R8 that we bought from Audi Sport almost twelve months ago. Both teams did a fantastic job for us and we are very much looking forward to our new partnership with Veloqx Motorsport.

"Our sportscar programme will consist of six races in 2004 and Veloqx is totally focused towards the Audi programme in these races. Sam Li's team is hungry for success, and has already made its mark in motorsport, but he now wants to build a long-term relationship with a manufacturer in the prototype class - which Audi feels is very important."

The Veloqx team, under Li's direction, enjoyed great success with class wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Le Mans 1000km this season with the potent Ferrari 550 Maranello GTS machine, and also proved itself in the highly-competitive FIA GT Championship, where it ran a brace of GT class Ferrari 360 Modenas.

"All involved with professional motorsport today recognise that there is no better technical partner than Audi," Li admitted, "Consequently, Veloqx Motorsport is honoured to have been chosen by Audi Sport and Audi UK to represent their brand on the motor racing circuits of Europe.

"No other team will be more committed to winning the 2004 Le Mans Endurance Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans itself than Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx - of that I can be certain. Veloqx Motorsport captured class honours in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the recent Le Mans 1000km, and we aim to return to La Sarthe next June with Audi UK and claim overall glory.

"The competition will be strong, especially from our fellow Audi competitors who know the R8 extremely well but we are confident that our winter test programme will ensure our success."

The Audi 'factory' team run by Reinhold Joest scored three successive victories in the 24 Hours between 2000-02, while a customer R8 entered by US squad Champion Racing recorded a fifth consecutive rostrum finish for the marque in this year's round-the-clock encounter. Champion and Kazumichi Goh's eponymous team will also field customer R8s in 2004, following Joest's decision to concentrate on securing DTM honours for Audi.

Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx's 2004 programme will take in the 1000km races at Monza, the Nurburgring, Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps in addition to its commitments at Sebring and Le Mans.

There has been no word on the identity of the driver line-up as yet, but some of Veloqx's 2003 regulars can be expected to find their way into the Audi cockpit. The factory has also promised to lend a 'works' driver to the three customer teams if required, citing Rinaldo Capello, Marco Werner and newcomer Pierre Kaffer as the most likely to be loaned out.

 

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