Audi Sport announced Tuesday its driver line-up for next weekend's Twelve Hours of Sebring, the opening round for the American Le Mans Series. The two-car LM P1 attack is headed by defending series champions Allan McNish and Rinaldo "Dindo"...
Audi Sport announced Tuesday its driver line-up for next weekend's Twelve Hours of Sebring, the opening round for the American Le Mans Series. The two-car LM P1 attack is headed by defending series champions Allan McNish and Rinaldo "Dindo" Capello, joined by seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen. The other R10 TDI will be piloted by "youngsters" Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and 2007 Sebring winner Marco Werner.
Audi is aiming to continue its hot streak at the famed ex-World War II airfield, being unbeaten in the 12-hour classic for the last eight years. The German marque will be one of three teams racing diesel-powered entries at Sebring. Peugeot Sport and ECO Racing will debut their cars for the first time on North American soil.
In addition to its Sebring plans, Audi previously confirmed a full-season program in the European-based Le Mans Series (LMS). McNish, Capello and Rockenfeller as well as Alexandre Premat recently took part in a two-day LMS preseason test at Paul Ricard, gearing up for the start of the season at Barcelona in April. Audi also has three cars entered for the 24 Hours of Le Mans but has yet to confirm its ALMS plans, aside from the season-opening race.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, realizes the strong competition they are up against at Sebring. Peugeot's 908 HDI FAP in the hands of Stephane Sarrazin unofficially shattered the track record in January during winter testing. LM P2 contenders Penske Racing and the three Acura teams could also pose as threats for the overall win.
"We'll do everything possible to win again this year," Ullrich said. "However, we are well aware just how strong the competition is, and in saying this I don't just mean Peugeot, but also the LM P2 cars from Acura/Honda and Porsche, which still have a significant weight advantage in American and can compete with larger fuel tanks. As result they can save several pit stops. Apart from that Sebring is always a very hard and hot race and a real test for man and machine."
Before the drop of the green flag, Audi will be inducted into the Sebring "Hall of Fame." Ullrich and Vice President of Audi of America, Johan de Nysschen, will be present to accept the award, which only two other manufacturers have received.
The two freshly built R10 TDIs that will compete at Sebring will also be used at Le Mans. As done in past years, Audi also plans to stay at Sebring following the race's conclusion to run an additional 12-hour test with one of its two cars.