Audi R10s to return in July

AUDI TO RACE TWO DIESEL-POWERED R10S IN SECOND HALF OF 2006 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES Braselton, Ga. - Audi AG announced Saturday that two of its new revolutionary diesel-powered R10 prototypes will compete in the second half of the American Le...

AUDI TO RACE TWO DIESEL-POWERED R10S IN SECOND HALF OF 2006 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES

Braselton, Ga. - Audi AG announced Saturday that two of its new revolutionary diesel-powered R10 prototypes will compete in the second half of the American Le Mans Series in 2006. It signals Audi's return to the world's most popular sports car racing series at a factory level.

The Audi R10, which is powered by a V12 TDI engine with almost 650 hp, will celebrate its eagerly awaited race debut at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the opening race of the American Le Mans Series, on March 18. Sebring will see Audi Sport, Team Joest and Champion Racing cooperating closely on the R10 project.

America's greatest sports car race will serve as a test for Audi and the R10 as the factory prepares for its two-car campaign at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After the premiere at Sebring the two Audi R10 prototypes will be flown back to Europe to be prepared for the season's highpoint at Le Mans on June 17-18. Afterward, Audi Sport North America will contest the remaining six American Le Mans Series races, starting with the Grand Prix of Utah on July 15 at the new Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City. Champion Racing, which has won the last two LMP1 team championships in the Series, will provide support throughout.

At the three Series races between Sebring and Salt Lake City the Audi Sport North America squad will rely once again on the well-proven Audi R8, which has already recorded 61 wins in 77 races worldwide including 47 in the American Le Mans Series.

Audi already has competed with a factory team in the Series between 2000 and 2002. Audi of America continued its involvement in the following three years with Champion Racing and celebrated six successive Series championship titles.

"The main reason for developing the Audi R10 was to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as we want to be the world's first automobile manufacturer to win with a diesel engine," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "From the very beginning it was however our intention to enter the R10 in every racing series based on Le Mans. The USA is an extremely important market in which the subject 'Diesel' is currently coming in vogue. The American Le Mans Series program with the R10 is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the Audi TDI engines in America."

"Audi of America is looking forward to our seventh season of participation in the American Le Mans Series," added Johan de Nysschen, executive vice-president of Audi of America. "The R8 success was very instrumental in building awareness for Audi technology and performance, and we hope the R10 will achieve the same success. With Audi Sport, Joest and Champion we have the ideal partners for a successful season."

The American Le Mans Series begins its 2006 season with the 54th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 12-hour endurance classic is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. EST on March 18 at Sebring International Raceway. It will be televised live on SPEED Channel in North America and MotorsTV in Europe. In addition, Greenlight-Television will distribute the race worldwide to more than 510 million households. American Le Mans Series Radio will have flag-to-flag coverage available at www.americanlemans.com, along with IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

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