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Audi Autotest Motorsport Team picks up two podium placements in Poland

Krakau, 09-07-2019

The duo of Fuzzy Kofler and Franco Gaioni from South Tyrol dominated large stretches of the e-rally, but victory on the Saturday ultimately went to local hero Artur Prusak and Thierry Benchetrit.

Kofler/Gaioni from the Audi Autotest Motorsport Team from Lana were on course to win the 9th stage of the FiA E-Rally in Poland, but a wrong turn on the 10th of 16 special trials cost them dearly. “We had a solid lead, but we took the wrong side road on a night-time stage, probably also because of the poor visibility. Mistakes like that are fatal in our sport,” was how co-pilot Franco Gaioni explained the mishap afterwards. As a result, the world championship leaders Kofler/Gaioni slipped backed to third spot and victory went to the previous year’s winners Artur Prusak/Thierry Benchetrit, ahead of the second car from the Audi Autotest Motorsport Team with Guido Guerrini/Emanuele Calchetti. “We were close to winning and on the tail of Prusak, who learned to drive here on the roads in Kraków’s hinterland. Perhaps we simply lacked a bit of luck,” said Guerrini. The two crews from the Audi Autotest Motorsport Team won 12 of the 16 special trials in Poland (Kofler/Gaioni took 7 and Guerrini/Calchetti 5).

Prusak has now captured the lead in the pilot’s championship thanks to his victory on home turf and leads Kofler by 7.25 points. Benchetrit is in top spot in the co-driver’s standings, 9.25 points ahead of Gaioni. The Audi Autotest Motorsport Team has a hefty 41.75 lead in the manufacturer’s championship. “I know our team’s strengths and we’ll hound Prusak in Slovenia,” was how team principal Josef Unterholzner commented on the new situation.

The reigning world champions Malga/Bonnel failed to capture a place on the rostrum. The two Frenchmen finished 4th in Poland despite adverse circumstances: They suffered two punctures on the first day of racing and lost a great deal of time.

The 10th stage of the FIA Electric and New Energy Championship will be held in Slovenia from September 19 to 21.