Audi boss: MPC represents blueprint customer GT programme
Friday 3rd June, 2022 - 1:18pm
Head of Audi Sport Customer Racing Chris Reinke believes Melbourne Performance Centre is doing the German manufacturer proud.
MPC operates the Australian arm of customer racing for Audi and fields competitors in Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS as well as Supercheap Auto TCR Australia.
It’s a relationship that dates back to 2011, sparked by business partners Troy Russell and Lee Burley who still today lead MPC with a hands-on approach.
As one of the few satellite Audi teams outside of Germany, MPC has helped to net the brand title crowns in Australian GT and TCR Australia.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is the biggest undertaking for the squad each year and this year MPC ran six Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II entries for its customers with four factory Audi drivers from Europe.
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Reinke, who attended last month’s Mount Panorama enduro, said he couldn’t ‘wish for a better partner anywhere in the world’ than MPC.
“Absolutely [I am proud], not only recently but ever since this partnership [began] it is really our blueprint of partnerships around the world,” Reinke told Speedcafe.com.
“What Troy and Lee pull out at the Melbourne Performance Centre is sensational to us; it has always been very independent but very customer orientated, technical and [at a] supreme level.
“Obviously, through the pandemic situation even with less support from our end continued on a very high standard with many, many successes.”
The philosophy of a customer racing programme is that each continent should operate on their own with support from Audi Sport’s headquarters in Neuberg, rather than be run by Audi itself.
Reinke explained that local knowledge of the different ‘racing cultures’ plays a critical role in the success of the programme.
“In Europe, the business is a direct [relationship] with us in headquarters, so therefore it differs quite a bit,” Reinke commented.
“But it is very important because we cannot have a permanent resident down here in [Australia] and it also wouldn’t make sense because you have to adjust the business to the racing culture, which differs from region to region.
“Therefore it is essential to pull also the cultural components in so, therefore, we do it on each continent we operate.
“All regions should operate on their own; they have a liaison person within Audi Sport Customer Racing that makes sure all the information is connected into headquarters.
“But then the business itself should be run on each continent, that is the philosophy.”
Having made it to Australia for the first time in two years after the Bathurst 12 Hour was impacted by the pandemic, Reinke was back on the ground with both Russell and Burley at an event.
But if anything, it affirmed the strength of the ties between Germany and its Australian customer racing satellite team.
“I’m married for so many years and I’m not checking with my wife if we continue or not,” Reinke joked when asked about the desire to keep what is in place with MPC.
“So I couldn’t tell you when we started to work together with MPC and I wouldn’t foresee any end of doing so. Not a question in this great relationship.
“It’s a long built trust on both ends, they know what they get with us, the access, the possibilities; we know what kind of expertise we have here in the market in Australia making us the strongest GT brand down here.”
The next event for MPC will be Queensland Raceway in early August, taking in both TCR Australia and GTWC Australia.