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  • Writer's pictureVIVIEN STREBELOW

First Racing Weekend for Sophie Hofmann in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup 2020

Updated: Aug 11, 2020

Following the cancellation of her DTM Trophy commitments, Sophie Hofmann successfully landed a seat in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup for her first full season. At Nürburgring, the first event of the season was the first with limited spectators access.

Photo credits: Gruppe C / Tim Upietz

The third season of the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup finally came to a start and, after the promotion of 2019 series champion Robin Rogalski to the GT World Challenge Europe - where he forms a brand new-team with Kris Heidon, who won the R8 Cup in 2018 - the hunt for the 2020 title is finally underway.

Drivers like Tim Reiter and Mike Hesse, both with previous podium finishes in the series that last year supported the DTM, now have their eyes on the championship and will target the next step in their GT sport career.

More returnees are Matthias Kämpf and Guido Heinrich, both AM-champs from the last season, and Sophie Hofmann - who drove selected races in 2019 and now competes for the first time in the full season.

Hofmann, who previously announced an entry in the new DTM Trophy, has subsequently switched her focus to the R8 LMS Cup, which started last weekend at the Nürburgring, with also former DTM champion and Le Mans winner Frank Biela as guest driver. A legendary name in motorsport, Biela won the German, British and French touring car championships in the 1990s and was five times winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans. He was understendably the man of the weekend and everyone wanted to beat him. A second spontaneous guest driver was Frank Schmickler, also a DTM legend.

5.000 spectators were allowed per day and watched both races as part of the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix weekend. And it was Reiter to set the first lasting impression, as he got both pole positions for the two first races of the new season and subsequently won the first race from a start-to-finish dominant performance.

At the start, Patrick Schneider made contact with another driver and dropped back towards the back of the grid, while Biela tried to avoid him and lost positions as well.

On the other hand, Reiter pulled away and led the race from the straight-away. But behind him, Tom Spitzenberger and Mike Hesse fought hard for both the remaining podium places.

Hesse tried everything in his power, but Spitzenberger kept calm and collected and crossed the line second ahead of Hesse. Sophie Hofmann finished her first race this season in P10.

The second race was in the hands of Reiter again: he came out on top at the start and pulled away. Schneider followed him, but had no chance. In third place, it was Marcus Graf von Oeynhausen, but he spun in the second lap and dropped back at the tail-end of the field.

Biela was third - he pulled away from Schmickler, but was not able to keep up with the pace of his rival.

More action was in the duel for fifth place between Guido Heinrich, Spitzenberger and Max Zschuppe. Spitzenberger passed Heinrich for the 6th place and went for Zschuppe, who defended hard his 5th place and secured it over the finish line.

Heinrich had troubles with Christian Wicht, David Serban and Graf von Oeynhausen - all of them would overtake him before the end of the race. Serban got a 30 seconds time penalty after the race, following his contact with Heinrich's car.

Sophie Hofmann finished the race in P11, barely outside the top-10. She lamented "some physical issues and problems with the car at the beginning" of the race.

The next race will be at Most, Czech Republic, in three weeks time.



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