Friday 10 February 2012

24 H. Le Mans 2012: Audi's double programme

Audi's double programme
Unveiled on 2nd February, the entry list for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2012 has four entries for Audi, with two R18 in Diesel and two in hybrid version. A dual programme reminiscent of 1999.

That year, in the first 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi arrived with four prototypes, two open called R8R (for Roadster) and two closed, called R8C (for Coupe). One R8R was entrusted to Michele Alboreto / Dindo Capello / Laurent Aiello (#7) and the secod to Emanuele Pirro / Frank Biela / Didier Theys (#8). The first R8C to Christian Abt / Stefan Johansson / Stephane Ortelli (#9) and second to Andy Wallace / James Weaver / Perry McCarthy (#10). Under the checkered flag, the R8R took the best results: the #8 finished third and #7 fourth, respectively, after starting in the eleventh and ninth on the grid. The R8C were less fortunate. Qualified 23rd, #9 retired after five hours of racing, and #10, that started in 20th position, gave up on Sunday morning at 8:20.

The promising results of the R8C started the fabulous line of R8, R10 and R15 TDI, scoring nine wins at Le Mans for Audi, but the tenth success in 2011 was by the R18 TDI, which marks the return to the closed prototype. In 2012, two R18 and two R18 Diesel hybrids are expected in La Sarthe. The objective for the first two is to claim an eleventh trophy, and the second air to prepare for the future ... Wll the 80th edition of Le Mans 24 Hours be the first won by a hybrid car? We will know on June 17 at 15:00!

Jean-Philippe Doret

Photo: CIRCUIT SPA-Francorchamps (Belgium), 1000 KM OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, QUALIFICATION, May 6, 2011. One year after its racing debut at Spa-Francorchamps, the Audi R18 TDI will be joined in 2012 by its hybrid version, which will make its debut on the same circuit, in the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship cheduled on May 5th.
Photo : Pascal SAIVET - Vision Sport Cars

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