Eye-Catching Audi Makes GTD Debut at Lime Rock via IMSA

Compass360 Racing Team Principal Karl Thompson shares his thoughts on racing in the GT Daytona class in the new No. 76 AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology/Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS this weekend at Lime Rock Park.

Article originally appears on IMSA.com

The wait is finally over for Audi fans, with a new eye-catching R8 LMS set to compete in the GT Daytona (GTD) class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park.

The anticipation has been building since May, when Compass360 Racing unveiled its plans to compete in the TUDOR Championship with an Audi R8 LMS in an announcement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 

The Toronto-based team also put the car on display in the paddock for the most recent Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.This weekend, the team takes the next step, putting the No. 76 AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology/Children’s Tumor Foundation Audi R8 LMS on the grid with drivers Pierre Kleinubing and Ray Mason. That will give the team three entries for the weekend, including a pair of Audi S3s in Continental Tire Challenge’s Street Tuner (ST) class. 

“Ray and Pierre are excited to finally get the car on the track in a race situation,” said team owner Karl Thomson. “We’ve tested at three different tracks – Sonoma, Road America and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park – and the car has been on pace with the times from the other GTD cars.  

“I’m looking forward to Lime Rock, because it’s only GTD and Prototype Challenge. We’re going to have a good number of cars on the track without being too congested, and the racing should be pretty good.” 

Kleinubing joined Compass360 for the final eight Continental Tire Challenge races of 2014, finishing third at Road America. The Brazilian-born Floridian is a two-time winner in the series, including a victory at Lime Rock en route to capturing the 2012 Street Tuner championship for i-MOTO. He was also a five-time champion of the SPEED Touring Car Series, in addition to being a three-time Brazilian karting titlist. 

Mason also has GT experience, driving Corvettes in the Rolex 24 for Michael Baughman Racing. He has raced 101 times in the Continental Tire Challenge, with four podium finishes including second overall at Barber Motorsports Park in 2006. His best finish in seven races at Lime Rock was eighth in Grand Sport for Rehagen Racing in 2009. 

“Racing in GTD is something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years, and I’m excited to finally debut the car,” Mason said. “Although I’ve raced a few times in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, this is completely different.” 

Compass360 Racing will host a large contingent of guests this weekend, including more than 50 from the New York City-based Children’s Tumor Foundation, in addition to the local Audi club.-

See more at: http://www.imsa.com/articles/compass360-makes-gt-daytona-debut-audi-r8-lms#sthash.s0ILHEdZ.dpuf

Video courtesy of the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship/YouTube