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Thread: Audi R15 TDI Plus 2010-2011

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    Audi R15 TDI Plus 2010-2011

    Audi R15 TDI Plus

    Audi plans test run at Le Castellet

    Racing debut of latest specification Audi R15 TDI brought forward
    Participation in 8-hour race at Le Castellet (France)
    Total of three starts in 2010 Le Mans Series


    Ingolstadt, February 2, 2010 – To further prepare for the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi Sport is planning an additional racing commitment with the Audi R15 TDI that has undergone additional development. For April 11, the participation in the 8-hour race at Le Castellet in southern France is planned for testing purposes.

    Originally, the diesel racing sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus” was to make its racing debut at the 1000-kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian endurance classic continues to be on Audi Sport Team Joest’s race schedule as the final dress rehearsal for Le Mans. However, to complement these plans, Audi Sport also wants to use the season opener of the 2010 Le Mans Series (LMS) on the high-speed circuit at Le Castellet to test the "R15 plus” in racing conditions.

    "We’re on schedule with the additional developments we’re making on the R15 TDI and so this race should be possible,” says Head of Audi-Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Le Castellet is a race track that lends itself pretty well to testing for Le Mans, and we’ve frequently used this circuit for our Le Mans preparation. The 8-hour race distance makes the race of further interest to us.”

    Purely for logistical reasons, Audi Sport Team Joest has registered for the 2010 Le Mans Series. "But this should not at all be interpreted to mean that we will be contesting all five LMS races,” said Dr. Ullrich. "At the moment, we are only planning to race at Le Castellet, Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone.”

    The 1000-kilometer race at Silverstone (Great Britain) on September 12 will mark the finale of the 2010 Le Mans Series and simultaneously kicks off the Le Mans Intercontinental Cup, which Audi Sport Team Joest will tackle with two R15 TDI cars.
    Audi banks on efficiency at Le Mans

    Evolution of R15 TDI diesel race sports car
    In-depth testing program in the United States and Europe
    TAG Heuer is new Audi partner in LMP1 project


    Ingolstadt, March 15, 2010 – Audi will fight for victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 12/13 with an evolution of the R15 TDI diesel race sports car. An extensive testing program with the revised LMP1 vehicle has just begun in the United States.

    "From Audi’s perspective, the LMP1 is the better alternative to Formula 1 because this motorsport category features technologies and developments which are relevant to production vehicles,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "At Le Mans, efficiency is of paramount importance – and today, more than ever before, it is a key deliverable of production vehicles as well and it is one of Audi’s special strengths.”

    Therefore, efficiency was a focal point during the R15 TDI evolution project – particularly in the complex area of aerodynamics. "This year, the Le Mans regulations prescribe air restrictors with a smaller diameter and reduced supercharging pressure for diesel-powered vehicles,” says Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport. "Due to the reduction of engine power as a result of the regulations we have tried to make the car’s aerodynamics even more efficient than before and to improve the Cd value and downforce parameters.”

    A late change in regulations that was announced only in November made the work of the engineers more difficult and forced Audi to completely modify the front section of the R15 TDI. Consequently, the diesel race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus” now has a new, distinctive face featuring a split nose.

    The entire shape of the R15 TDI’s body has been revised for maximum efficiency. The same is true for the modified cooling and fuel tank system. The V10 TDI engine has been optimized for the smaller air restrictors and reduced supercharging pressure. "Our objective was to keep power loss to a minimum despite the limitations imposed by the regulations,” explains Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Technology at Audi Sport. "We managed to do that through a lot of detailed work.” The 5.5-liter power plant continues to deliver more than 440 kW.

    "After Le Mans 2009, our specifications for the R15 plus listed about 20 key items,” says Dr. Martin Mühlmeier. "Efficiency and reliability were at the top of the list but we also looked at details like improved nighttime lighting of the track. We were able to meet this wish of the drivers with a new headlight concept.”

    The evolution version of the Audi R15 TDI completed its roll out on the Audi test track at Neustadt (Germany) on March 3. The vehicle was subsequently flown to the United States for two weeks of in-depth testing. Before the race at Le Mans in June, Audi Sport Team Joest will complete an extensive testing program on various European race tracks and test races at the 8 Hours of Le Castellet (France) on April 11 and at the 1000-kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) on May 9.

    A new partner has now joined the project: the logo of the renowned watchmaker TAG Heuer will be featured on the Audi R15 TDI. Some of the brand’s fame stems from U.S. actor Steve McQueen wearing a TAG Heuer watch in the movie "Le Mans.”
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    Audi R15 TDI Plus #2

    Audi names its driver line-up for Le Mans

    Three Audi R15 TDI cars to run in most important sports car race
    Capello/Kristensen/McNish to spearhead the squad
    Strong driver teams also for the other two cars


    Ingolstadt/Le Mans, February 4, 2010 – Audi will start the 78th edition of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12/13 with a total of three diesel-powered racing sports cars. At a press conference of the organizer, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), in Le Mans (France), Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich announced Audi’s driver line-up for the most important sports car race of the year.

    The Audi squad will be spearheaded by the Italian Dindo Capello, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and the Scot Allan McNish, who in total, have scored 13 Le Mans victories. In 2008, they jointly clinched the eighth Le Mans triumph for Audi.

    With eight wins under his belt, Tom Kristensen (42) is the most successful Le Mans driver of all time and has just been voted "sports car driver of the decade” by the British racing magazine "Autosport.” Allan McNish (40) was the runner-up in this voting. With a track record of 29 overall wins, Dindo Capello (45) leads the roll of honor in the American Le Mans Series by a wide margin.

    The second Audi R15 TDI will be shared by Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Mike Rockenfeller (Germany). The two Porsche "factory” drivers Timo Bernhard (28) and Romain Dumas (32) made a strong showing in their first race for Audi at Le Mans last year. Audi "factory” driver Mike Rockenfeller (26) won the Le Mans Series in 2008 in the Audi R10 TDI and successfully began his 2010 season with an overall victory at the 24-hour race at Daytona (USA) at the end of January.

    New signings Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Belgium) and Benoît Treluyer (France) have been selected to drive the third R15 TDI. Marcel Fässler (33) and Benoît Treluyer (33) have contested the 24-hour race at Le Mans several times before. André Lotterer (28) performed admirably last year on his Le Mans debut at the wheel of a privately fielded R10 TDI.

    All three Audi R15 TDI cars are entered by Audi Sport Team Joest and designated as cars number 7, 8 and 9. The third sports-prototype will officially run as "Audi Sport North America,” the name under which it was nominated.

    "We are pleased that the ACO has accepted our three nominations for the world’s most important sports car race and that we will again be able to compete with three cars,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Our stated goal is to bring back the Le Mans trophy to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Three cars mean three chances – and we feel that all three R15 TDI cockpits have been filled with top-class drivers. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues from Porsche for again making two of their best drivers – Timo (Bernhard) and Romain (Dumas), with whom we were very pleased at their first Le Mans race for Audi – available to us.”

    Eight victories in just eleven Le Mans races

    Audi has been competing in the 24-hour race at Le Mans since 1999 and, having started just eleven of the events, has won the French endurance classic as many as eight times. By clinching its ninth win, the brand with the four rings would equal Ferrari’s ranking in the race’s roll of honor. Only Porsche has scored more victories in its long Le Mans history.

    Audi has deliberately opted for a long-term commitment at Le Mans. In addition to speed, reliability and efficiency are the key factors of success in this race. Furthermore, the LMP1 class is unrivaled by any other motorsport category in terms of offering the opportunity to field production-derived technologies and to test them in racing conditions.

    Audi’s victorious campaign at Le Mans has been closely tied to technological innovations from the outset. In 1999, Audi clinched a podium result at its first Le Mans race thanks to reliable technology. In 2000, the pioneering Audi R8, which dominated the sports car scene for more than six years and celebrated a total of five Le Mans victories, made its debut.

    From 2001 onward, a TFSI engine was used. Audi then successfully introduced the combination of gasoline direct injection and turbo-charging into production vehicles as well. Today, this technology has become an integral element of Audi AG’s model range.

    Triumph of TDI technology

    In 2006, Audi made worldwide headlines by clinching the first victory of a diesel-powered racing sports car in the 80 plus year history of the Le Mans race. As with the Audi R8, Audi Sport Team Joest scored three successive Le Mans wins with the revolutionary Audi R10 TDI. This makes Audi the only automobile manufacturer in the world to "own” as many as two Le Mans trophies. Only a team that manages a hat-trick at Le Mans may keep the silverware.

    In 2010, Audi again banks on TDI technology which continues to be considered the world’s most efficient technology for the French endurance classic. The Audi R15 TDI that was fielded for the first time last year, has been subjected to further development in numerous details and internally bears the project name "R15 plus.” It is the first second-generation diesel racing sports car to be powered by an Audi V10 TDI engine with a power output of over 440 kW and features numerous technological innovations such as a lithium ion battery and a higher-voltage onboard power supply system.

    Racing debut at the 8-hour race at Le Castellet

    The roll-out of the "R15 plus” is scheduled for the end of February. In March, an extensive testing program is on Audi Sport Team Joest’s agenda, and the first racing commitment on April 11, at the 8-hour race at Le Castellet (France). As a dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi will contest the 1000-kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) on May 9 with three cars.

    After the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 12/13, Audi plans to participate in the newly incepted Le Mans Intercontinental Cup featuring races in Great Britain, the United States and Asia with two R15 TDI cars. The Cup will precede a worldwide racing series for Le Mans sports cars to be staged from the 2011 season onward.

    The Audi Teams at Le Mans 2010

    #7 Dindo Capello (I)/Tom Kristensen (DK)/Allan McNish (GB)
    #8 Marcel Fässler (CH)/André Lotterer (D)/Benoît Treluyer (F)
    #9 Timo Bernhard (D)/Romain Dumas (F)/Mike Rockenfeller (D)
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    Audi R15 TDI #3

    Progressive design for the Audi R15 TDI

    Diesel race sports car with a fresh outfit
    Audi design team demonstrates “pleasure in efficiency”
    Test in racing conditions at Le Castellet

    Ingolstadt, April 5, 2010 - Audi wants to surprise the spectators at this year’s 24-hour race at Le Mans (France) with a progressive design: the Audi Design Team created a fresh outfit for the innovative diesel race sports car that bears all the hallmarks of "pleasure in efficiency.”

    Whereas silver was the dominant color of the Audi R15 TDI last year, the 2010 model boasts a radical new design that features more red. In addition, large areas of the Le Mans race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus” will be kept in a purist black carbon-fiber look.

    "We’re happy that we were allowed to give the car such a progressive look,” say Markus Auerbach and Tobias Drews from the Audi Design Team. "We wanted to add a dash of surprise when the Audi leaves the pits at Le Mans. We practically opened up the bodywork and are exposing the light-weight construction and its uncompromising technical development - and with a little rock ’n’ roll for good measure.”

    The Audi R15 TDI sporting its new design will make its debut at the Le Castellet 8 Hours on April 11. Audi Sport Team Joest will contest the 2010 season opener of the Le Mans Series in preparation for the Le Mans (France) 24 Hours on June 12/13. Another test race is planned at the 1000-kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium).

    "The race at Le Castellet comes at a very early point in time for us and is nothing but a test in racing conditions,” stresses Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director of Audi Sport Team Joest. "Even though it’s a difficult logistical undertaking, we wanted to gather experiences with the R15 plus at a race as early as possible. Le Castellet offers the opportunity to do this.”

    The 2010 version of the Audi R15 TDI completed a roll-out at the Audi test track in Neustadt at the beginning of March. The prototype was subsequently flown to the USA for initial tests which primarily featured aerodynamics trials. A five-day endurance test followed at Sebring (Florida) at which about 5 500 kilometers were reeled off without any technical problems worth mentioning.

    In Europe, the final set-up work with a view toward Le Mans is on the agenda. Further track tests will now be followed by the first run in a race at which the result will be of secondary importance for Audi though. "Le Castellet will strictly be about gathering additional experience with the R15 plus,” emphasizes Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Racing conditions simply can’t be simulated in normal track tests; that’s why we’re contesting a race at such an early stage.”

    It is planned to field the R15 plus with chassis number 202. Audi Sport Team Joest has nominated Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland) as drivers. "However, we will only decide whether all three drivers will actually race at short notice,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

    Since Audi has performed several endurance tests for the Le Mans 24 Hours at Le Castellet in recent years, the team and drivers are intimately familiar with the circuit in southern France.

    Audi, by the way, has very good memories of its most recent racing commitment at Le Castellet: in 1995, Frank Biela won the Touring Car World Cup there in the Audi A4 quattro against strong rivals.

    The schedule at Le Castellet

    Friday, April 9
    12:40–13:40 hrs free practice 1
    16:10–17:10 hrs free practice 2

    Saturday, April 10
    09:45–10:45 hrs free practice 3
    13:40–14:00 hrs qualifying (GT vehicles)
    14:10–14:30 hrs qualifying (prototypes)

    Sunday, April 11
    08:20–08:40 hrs warm-up
    11:00–19:00 hrs race
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    Audi R15 TDI Plus #6

    R15 plus wins its race début

    Audi Sport Team Joest wins Le Mans Series opener
    Clear victory for Dindo Capello and Allan McNish
    Important findings for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

    Ingolstadt/Le Castellet, 11 April 2010 – The Audi R15 TDI, model year 2010 (internally labeled "R15 plus”) has won its race début at Le Castellet (France) and in doing so left a strong impression.

    The technically further developed diesel racing sports car ran the entire distance without the smallest problem during the test race. On the opening lap of the 8-hour race Allan McNish overtook the Peugeot which had started from pole position in the hands of Frenchman Stéphane Sarrazin and on the third lap the Lola-Aston Martin of Stefan Mücke. From then on Allan McNish and teammate Dindo Capello did not relinquish the lead. At the checkered flag after 266 laps the two Audi drivers held a five-lap lead from the Lola-Aston Martin of defending champion Stefan Mücke, Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez. The Oreca team Peugeot finished fourth after succumbing to a technical problem during the opening stages of the race.

    The only unscheduled pit stop was made just seven minutes before the end of the race, when Audi Sport Team Joest switched to rain tires for safety reasons as rain began to fall.

    Audi Sport Team Joest used the Le Mans Series 2010 season opener as preparation for the 24-hour race at Le Mans on 12/13 June. In the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday morning’s warm-up the team compared different set-up configurations before selecting a version which allowed Dindo Capello and Allan McNish to record constantly fast laps in the relatively low temperatures. The Audi R15 TDI was almost always the fastest car in the field throughout the eight hours and also set the fastest race lap.

    Audi Sport Team Joest gained important knowledge for Le Mans during the victorious race at Le Castellet, which will now be evaluated by Audi Sport in Ingolstadt and which go into further fine tuning of the R15 plus.

    Next on the agenda is a 30-hour test and the Le Mans dress rehearsal at the 1000-kilomtere race at Spa-Francorchamps on 9 May, which Audi Sport Team Joest will contest, exactly like Le Mans, with three Audi R15 TDI.
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    Quotes after the race

    Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "It is impressive that Audi Sport has developed a prototype for a fourth consecutive time which was able to win its début race: after the R8, the R10 and the R15 now the R15 plus. Of course we are very happy that the R15 plus has won the Le Castellet 8 Hours in its test entry. But even more important is the fact that the car is already very fast and reliable. We did not have the slightest technical problem here and without the rain shower in the end we would have completed the whole distance without any unscheduled pit-stop. This success is a small milestone on the way to Le Mans and a first reward for the hard work of the previous weeks and months. But we know very well that there is still plenty of work to do until Le Mans.”

    Dindo Capello (Audi R15 TDI #7): "For sure it is nice to be back on the highest step of the podium – especially at the début of a new car. What makes me happy is that the changes we have done with the car – even the ones after the warm-up – worked quite well. Our next task is to make the R15 plus more consistent.”

    Allan McNish (Audi R15 TDI #7): "We have achieved three things: First of all we gave the R15 plus its début victory. This continues a tradition for Audi’s début wins of new LMP1 cars. We won the race, which for the team and the drivers was very important especially after our difficulties last year. And for the engineers and the drivers it was very good experience for Le Mans. I think we ticked all the boxes and achieved our goals for this one.”

    Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): "This was a good race for us. After the Oreca-Peugeot had problems so early in the race, the pressure was missing a little bit. But we just tried to continue to go flat out. We did this for eight hours without any problems. But we’ve seen this weekend as well that we still have to learn a lot with the car – and this was the purpose of this test race. We’ve already completed a lot of kilometers with the R15 plus, but these have all been endurance tests. We just started to play with the car here at Le Castellet and this weekend has given us a lot of knowledge and a big step forward. Thanks to the team which has done a great job. This is a superb result we can build on.”

    Race results

    1 Capello/McNish (Audi R15 TDI) 266 laps in 8h 00m 36.415s
    2 Primat/Mücke/Fernandez (Lola-Aston Martin) - 5 laps
    3 Belicchi/Boullion/Smith (Lola-Rebellion) - 5 laps
    4 Panis/Lapierre/Sarrazin (Peugeot) - 8 laps
    5 Ayari/Andre/Duval (Oreca-AIM) - 8 laps
    6 Ragues/Mailleux/Ickx (Lola-Aston Martin) - 10 laps
    7 Leventis/Watts/Kane (Acura/Honda) - 16 laps
    8 Moreau/Gulliaume/Hein (Pescarolo-Judd) - 16 laps
    9 Erdos/Newton/Wallace (Lola-Honda) - 17 laps
    10 Lahaye/Nicolet (Pescarolo-Judd) - 17 laps
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