Audi driver Robin Frijns has been forced to withdraw from this weekend’s Nurburgring 24 Hours due to what the German manufacturer has called a ‘flu-like infection’.
DTM and Formula E regular Frijns was due to contest the German endurance classic for the Car Collection Motorsport team, sharing the #3 Audi R8 LMS with Mirko Bortolotti, Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock.
However, ahead of Friday’s third qualifying session, Audi released a brief statement saying that Frijns would take no further part in the weekend.
It added that the Dutchman was tested for COVID-19 and returned a negative result.
Although not confirmed, it appears unlikely Frijns will be replaced in the #3 car.
Frijns arrived at the Nurburgring off the back of three consecutive race weekends in the DTM, the latter two of which were also held at the Eifel track, and lies second in the points behind Abt Audi squadmate Nico Muller.
The #3 Audi was sixth-fastest in Thursday’s first qualifying session, eight seconds shy of the pace-setting Lamborghini Huracan GT3, but slipped to eighth after the night session.
It’s one of three works-supported Audi entries in the top SP9 class, along with a car entered by reigning champion outfit Phoenix Racing for Muller, Frank Stippler, Dries Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch, and a Team Land-run R8 LMS for Mattia Drudi, Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies and Rene Rast.
However, the fastest Audi entry on Thursday was Phoenix’s second car, the #15 entry shared by Michele Beretta, Jules Gounon, Kim-Luis Schramm and Stippler (pulling double duty), which was second-fastest, 3.915s off the pace.
The second Car Collection Audi, the #7 car will be without Miro Konopka, who was “disqualified from further participation” in the weekend after a speeding offence in second qualifying.
It leaves Milan Dontje, Patric Niederhauser and Mike David Ortmann potentially racing as a trio.
#15 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3: Kim-Luis Schramm, Michele Beretta, Jules Gounon, Frank Stippler
Photo by: Audi Communications Motorsport
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