Mikaela accelerates to the next level
Press release Audi Sweden:
Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky will take the step from Audi Sport TT Cup to GT Masters in 2016. She has now signed a 3-year contract with Team Aust Motorsport and will drive the international racing series ADAC GT Masters in an Audi R8 LMS.
GT Masters is the biggest racing series after the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) in Germany. The series will run mainly in Germany, but will also take part on Red Bull Ring in Austria and Zandvoort in Holland.
”I’m happy and proud to present my program for this season, it’s many hours and hard work behind it and now I can’t wait to sit behind the steering wheel of the R8 LMS again” says Mikaela who recently signed the 3-year contract for Aust Motorsport.
The ADAC GT Masters program has been made possible for 2 reasons; Audi Sweden together with Audi Dealers of Sweden has given Mikaela the economical support as main sponsors, and Team Aust Motorsport has given her the opportunity to grow and develop in the team and series for upcoming 3 years.
“We are happy to support Mikaela in her challenge towards the goal of becoming an DTM-driver. She is a fantastic brand ambassador and has a long history with Audi. Here role as a women in a world of male drivers makes it even more special and important” says Marco Schubert, head of Audi Sweden.
Many of the biggest car manufactures are represented in GT Masters, and there will also be lots of factory drivers on the starting grid. For 2016 there will be a full grid with 34 cars and drivers from 14 different nations, which means tough and tight racing on the 7 different European racing tracks. On the starting grid there will also be some drivers that are former Formula 1 and DTM drivers.
“It’s going to be tough for sure and many quick drivers, but I’ll try to use my female intuition, and it has worked before” says Mikaela, who as the first and only woman won a race in Volkswagens Racing history. In 2014 she stepped up to the top of the podium at Norisring, a race win that got very known within the racing world. During 2015 when she participated in Audi Sport TT Cup she also stepped up on the podium at Norisring, that time a 3rd place.
Mikaela will now take the next step from a front wheel driven car, 310 hp, to a rear wheel driven car with 585 hp. She will race together with the Audi Sport factory driver Marco Bonanomi, who the last years raced in LMP1 with Audi.
“I feel very confident and comfortable with Marco, he is a great driver and he’s helping me a lot. I’m looking forward to race together with such an experienced driver and I’m sure we’ll be a good team.”
“This will really be a step into the “big racing world”, she adds. “I’m leaving my comfort zone since everything will be new for me. The team, series, team mate, car and some of the tracks. Until now I’ve only driven front wheel driven cars and for sure this will be a challenge but also a step closer to my goal, which is to drive in the DTM.”
Marco Bonanomi: “I’m really happy to share the car with Mikaela, She is young and very talented driver plus has the charm and the beauty in her pocket. It will be a great challenge and together We will work hard to get to the top.”
“This is an amazing opportunity and my goal is to manage it in the best possible way. Now I’m so excited to jump into my racing suit again and press the start button on the R8 LMS!” summarizes Mikaela.
For more information: Irene Bernald – PR Audi Sweden +46 8 553 865 51 Irene.Bernald@audi.se
Pictures free for use
Calendar GT Masters 2016
15-17/4 Oschersleben (D) 29/4-1/5 Sachsenring (D) 3-5/6 Lausitzring (D)
22-24/7 Red Bull Ring (A)
5-7/8 Nürburgring (D)
19-21/8 Zandvoort (NL)
Facts about Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky
Born: 13th november 1992
Family: Mother Susanne Kottulinsky-Ahlin, father Jerry Åhlin, brother Fredrik and boyfriend Max Verstappen
Club: Värmlands KC
Racing car: Audi R8 LMS
Start nr: TBA
Racing CV: Win on Norisring VW Scirocco R-Cup, Audi Sport TT Cup – 3rd place Norisring
Languages: Swedish, English, German
Facts about Marco Bonanomi
Born: 12th March 1985
Racing CV: Factory driver at Audi Sport since 2011. Champion of Italian GT 2011 ( Audi R8 lms Ultra) 3rd place at Le Mans 2012 (Audi R18 Ultra)
Team Aust Motorsport
Team manager: Frank Aust Aust Motorsport have many years behind them within motorsport. Frank Aust was factory driver for VW Motorsport in Rally, and started up his own team in 2004. Since then the team has participated in endurance racing on Nürburgring, such as VLN and 24h, and also the 24h race in Dubai. From 2011 they drove with 2 cars in the German Porsche Carrera Cup with many top 3 finished, and will from 2016 run a 2 car team in ADAC GT Masters.