The Phoenix Audi squad has withdrawn from this weekend’s round of the FIA GT Series at the Slovakia Ring.
No comment was available from the German squad, which has run a single R8 LMS ultra for Belgians Anthony Kumpen and Enzo Ide, but series boss Stephane Ratel revealed that there was an unhappiness on the part of the team and drivers with the Balance of Performance in the championship.
Ratel said: “They say they are unhappy with the BoP. They may or may not be right. Don’t forget Audis are leading both the Pro and the Pro-Am classes [with pairings from WRT and Novadriver respectively].”
The BoP, the system by which machinery is equalized under GT3 rules, in FIA GTs and the sister Blancpain Endurance Series was brought into focus by the lack of pace of the R8 in last month’s Spa 24 Hours.
Ratel vowed in the immediate aftermath of the race that the BoP for the Audi would change on the evidence of the Blancpain round. But he explained that it had not proved possible to convene a meeting of the FIA GT Committee, which sets the BoP, between Spa and the Slovakia Ring event.
The FIA GT Series is sanctioned by the world governing body of motorsport and has to strictly adhere to its procedures. The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for Aug. 28, which would allow changes for the FIA GT round at Navarra on Sept. 28-29.
Ratel and his organization have more flexibility to adjust the BoP for the Blancpain series, which climaxes with a 1000km race at the Nurburgring on Sept. 22, because it is not an FIA championship.
The Racealliance team has also withdrawn its entry for a Ferrari 458 Italia to have been driven by Vitantonio Liuzzi and Mathias Lauda. The team, which was not available for comment, has blamed the non-arrival of sponsorship funds for the decision, according to Ratel.
Model and actress Pamela Anderson was announced earlier this week as a partner in the team, but the U.S. agency that represents the Canadian has stated that she has no connection with Racealliance.