Following the first win for a TFSI engine 2001 and the historical first triumph for a diesel powered car 2006 the brand with the four rings targets yet another technical milestone at the world's most famous and most important endurance race. "To develop the hybrid technology for Le Mans is at least as ambitious and challenging as our diesel project was in its early stages," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
The first test results are very encouraging and we are intrigued to see just how this technology performs in combination with our ultra lightweight technology on the race track at Le Mans. As before, we still, however, see potential with the conventional drive – just as our colleagues do in production development. This is why we are absolutely delighted that the ACO and FIA selection committee has accepted our entries and that we can join the grid with four cars at the commemorative running of the Le Mans race."
Audi Sport Team Joest has entered two cars for the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Audi plans to field additional cars at selected races such as the 12-hour race at Sebring USA and in the 6-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps Belgium which doubles as a dress rehearsal for Le Mans for the Audi squad.
At the 80th running of the French endurance classic, Audi competes with the start numbers '1' and '2' hybrid drive as well as '3' and '4'. As stipulated by the regulations one driver per car is now nominated. Those drivers are André Lotterer, Allan McNish, Timo Bernhard and Oliver Jarvis.
The new Audi sports prototype with hybrid drive will be presented at the end of February. The first competitive outing follows in the 6-hour race at Spa- Francorchamps on May 5. For the World Championship opener at Sebring on
March 17 Audi Sport Team Joest relies once again on the Audi R18 TDI that proved victorious at Le Mans last year. Audi has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans a total of ten times since the year 2000 and is, as a result, the most successful brand by far in race's recent history.