This weekend's Audi Sport TT Cup season opener will receive a bit more star power, as Audi announced today that Volkswagen Motorsport's Andreas Mikkelsen and Scott Speed will bring their talents to the spec-series.  Mikkelsen will certainly be a strong contender as he currently sits fourth in the overall FIA World Rally Championship points standings, but has little professional experience on a traditional circuit.  Speed on the other hand, the reigning Red Bull World Rallycross champion, has an impressive amount of experience, karting since the age of 10 and having spent time in Formula One with both Red Bull and Scuderia Toro Rosso.

These two superstars will join the 16 permanent entrants at Hockenheim in identically prepared cars, including 10 series rookies vying to become recognized as the best newcomer.  The weekend's races will be broadcast live on both SPORT1, and audimedia.tv for international viewers.

Read the full press release below.
  • Audi one-make cup to start second season as part of the DTM events
  • 16 permanent entrants from eleven nations to battle for the title
  • SPORT1 to broadcast all races on free-TV and by live streaming

The starting signal for the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup will be given at the Hockenheimring this weekend. As part of the DTM’s supporting program, one race each will be held on Saturday, May 7, and on Sunday, May 8. In addition to the permanent entrants, two internationally renowned guest drivers will be contesting the races.
With the first in a total of seven race weekends the Audi Sport TT Cup will be starting its second season at the Hockenheimring. Following several months of preparation, the 16 international talents will be on the grid in competitive conditions for the first time on the 4.574-kilometer track. “We have a very good mix of rookies and seasoned campaigners who competed in the Audi Sport TT Cup last year,” says Project Leader Philipp Mondelaers.

New this year is the Rookie classification in which, in addition to the overall classification, the ten newcomers are going to battle for the title of the best budding driver. “Following the impressions from the tests, I’m expecting to see very close races and a lot of variety on the podiums,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing.

This year, high-caliber national and international guest drivers will be contesting the races again as well. For the season-opening weekend at Hockenheim, the organizational team managed to secure the participation of Andreas Mikkelsen (N) and Scott Speed (USA) at the wheel of the 310-hp Audi TT cup car. 26-year-old Mikkelsen is a Volkswagen factory driver in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), won Rally Spain (2015), and in the past two years took third place in the overall classification. Speed competed in Formula One (2006 and 2007) and won the Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) title in a Volkswagen Beetle last year.
On free-TV, SPORT1 will be airing live coverage of all the rounds or show current highlight reports of the day. Race one at Hockenheim will be aired on Saturday starting at 22:30 (CEST). Coverage of the second race will follow on Sunday starting at 23:15 (CEST). All the rounds can be watched live or delayed-as-live on SPORT1+ and  www.sport1.de .

Events at the Hockenheimring will kick off with free practice on Friday starting at 11:25. The 30-minute qualifying session will start on Saturday at 09:05, followed by the start of race one at 12:10. The second race on Sunday will start at 16:20. Both rounds will be broadcast by live streaming at  www.audimedia.tv .

2016 Audi Sport TT Cup permanent entrants with car numbers and car colors

#2 Strohschänk, Kevin (D, *May 24, 1989), Rookie – Green
#3 Rdest, Gosia (PL, *January 14, 1993) – Blue
#4 Lappalainen, Joonas (FIN, *March 1, 1998) – Gray
#5 Nielsen, Nicklas (DK, *February 6, 1997), Rookie – Yellow
#6 Lefterov, Pavel, (BG, *November 12, 1997), Rookie – Orange
#7 Hofbauer, Christoph (D, *July 15, 1991) – Green
#11 Hofer, Max (A, *May 23, 1999), Rookie – Gray
#12 Larsson, Simon (S, *May 13, 1997), Rookie – Gray
#14 Caygill, Josh (GB, *June 22, 1989) – Yellow
#23 Ellis, Philip (GB, *October 9, 1992), Rookie – Gray
#27 Marschall, Dennis (D, *August 15, 1996) – Yellow
#31 van der Linde, Sheldon (ZA, *May 13, 1999), Rookie – Blue
#33 Lindholm, Emil (FIN, *July 19, 1996) – Blue
#42 Egsgaard, Patrick (DK, *December 15, 1994), Rookie – Yellow
#76 Holton, Paul (USA, *October 11, 1996), Rookie – Orange
#91 Meyer, Yves (CH, *June 12, 1991), Rookie – Green