Chris Reinke talks about the preparation for the remaining WEC races...
Following Audis 13th victory at Le Mans, the prerequisites have slightly changed. The FIA and the WEC have adjusted the rating of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro after Le Mans. What does this mean for Audi? Following a very thrilling edition of the 24-hour race, in which all three LMP1 manufacturers were leading, it was to be expected that there would be no major shifts in the rating. The FIA and ACO thoroughly examined the results of the data gathered at Le Mans and made minor adjustments to the rating of our race cars. Starting at Austin, our fuel flow rate will be increased by a little less than one percent while the available amount of diesel energy per lap has been reduced by 0.29 percent. Were not expecting any miracles of this minimal modification but the prerequisite for a thrilling WEC up to the end of the season.
At the inaugural event last year, the drivers enthusiastically responded to the circuit at Austin. The track has more than 20 corners with highly different forms and radii. Will Audi be able to continue its Le Mans success there? There are several tight turns in which the hybrid race cars with higher amounts of energy might have an advantage. But were going to compete with an operation-optimized system in Texas because we, too, want to be in contention for victory. At the same time, were returning to the aerodynamics variant with higher downforce. So, our aim is to continue the Le Mans success.
How do you assess the situation in the standings with five more rounds to go? Were going to leave no stone unturned to defend our titles in the third consecutive year. In the manufacturers standings, were trailing the leader, Toyota, with a gap of just a single point. Theoretically, this difference can even be made up for in qualifying because one point is awarded for the best time. In the drivers classification, our Le Mans winners Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer are short 20 points of the top spot. But up to 130 more points are yet to be awarded in the five remaining rounds.
Is the most challenging phase of the year now coming up for the logisticians of your squad? Of course the overseas races require a special effort in advance. Garage equipment, tools and material have been on their way in sea containers since July while our race cars will be sent to the USA by air freight next week. Afterwards, three races in Asia and, ultimately, the finale in South American will follow. Our team is very adept and impeccably mastered the task in the previous years. So, while logistics remain a challenge, weve long gotten used to it.