Audi has participated in Le Mans since 1999, and in its its 18th Le Mans, Audi will compete with less fuel energy at its disposal than ever before. Still, the new Audi R18 LMP sports car will battle for the top spot on June 18 and 19 with its notable efficiency. The German marque has won the 24-hour 13 times till date and is the only brand to rely on a highly efficient diesel hybrid powertrain with special low-drag aerodynamics.
Speaking on this, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, said, “We’ve already seen how great the challenges are this year in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). However, it would be premature to draw clear conclusions from this for the race at Le Mans. We have great respect for our strong opponents.”
On June 5, Audi raced with strong rivals and won the round two at Spa (Belgium) with Lucas di Grassi/Loïc Duval/Oliver Jarvis, achieving the best time on the test day at Le Mans with di Grassi. Logging their leading Kilometres in the FIA WEC, each of the three manufacturers are battling for overall victory with their hybrid sports cars. The duration of 24 hours is unique on the FIA WEC calendar and the “marathon” at La Sarthe is the world’s most prestigious endurance race.
A practice run is not suitable on the 13.629-kilometre circuit as it largely consists of public roads and is closed to normal traffic only for the test day and the race week, making its conditions differ from those of the WEC rounds at Silverstone (UK) and at Spa (Belgium). Lucas di Grassi marked an average speed of nearly 244kmph at the test day.
Being the first manufacturer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours with a diesel engine in 2006, Audi conclusively settled eight victories with the TDI since then with a new distance record in 2010. The Audi R10 was powered by a 5.5-litre V12 TDI engine and now the new R18 is packed with a 4-litre V6 TDI unit which uses 43.3 percent less fuel along with good aerodynamic, lightweight design, converted innovative ideas in the suspension, system solutions and more.