At 10.35am today, Wednesday June 10, 2009, and in compliance with Article 29.2 of the specific regulations of the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours, Team Peugeot Total lodged a protest with the Race Director and the President of the Sporting Stewards of the Le Mans 24 Hours concerning the entrant Audi and the non-compliance of the three Audi prototypes with the ACO's 2009 technical regulations.
It would indeed seem that two features of the Audi R15 -- in the configuration in which it was
shown at technical scrutineering for the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 8 -- do not comply
with Article 3.6.2 of the current technical regulations:
- The flap which links the two front wings.
- The appendages fixed to the inner surface of the front wings.
These appendages and this flap effectively form part of the bodywork and their sole purpose is to generate downforce. These bodywork parts are considered to be aerodynamic elements. Since they do not appear on the list of aerodynamic elements authorised by Article 3.6.2, they are consequently not permitted.
Certain aspects of the car's non-compliance were pointed out to the ACO last March at the 12 Hours of Sebring, a round of the ALMS. "Our protest dossier was already ready at the time, but the Automobile Club de l'Ouest made assurances that it would take the necessary steps ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours," explains Olivier Quesnel. "I insist on the fact that our approach is constructive and not aggressive. It seeks to clarify what is an unclear situation with a view to obtaining clear, precise regulations in order to prepare for the future. All competitors need stable, firm regulations that apply to everyone, with a strong regulatory body capable of taking decisions. We intend to take this matter to its conclusion, not with the intention of weakening endurance racing but of making it stronger. Should our protest not be upheld by the sporting stewards, we will lodge an appeal with motor sport's supreme governing body, the FIA".
"Now that this procedure is underway," concludes Olivier Quesnel, "all our energy is now focused entirely on our priority objective for 2009, which is to try to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. May the racing begin."