Monza: Audi preview

Audi comes to Monza as leader Ingolstadt -- On 29 November 2005 the Audi R10 TDI completed its first laps around the Italian race track at Misano. What was regarded as a sensation two-and-a-half years ago has become, in the meantime, the ...

Audi comes to Monza as leader

Ingolstadt -- On 29 November 2005 the Audi R10 TDI completed its first laps around the Italian race track at Misano. What was regarded as a sensation two-and-a-half years ago has become, in the meantime, the norm: Audi has proven that diesel engines are a genuine alternative also in motorsport. Two successive victories at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and two championship titles in the American Le Mans Series have proven this.

880 days after its 'roll-out' at Misano the powerful diesel sports car, producing more than 650 hp, competes for the first time in Italy and, as a result, in a country in which the TDI engine has always had a particularly large market share. Audi begins the 1000-kilometre race at Monza, the second round of the European based Le Mans Series, as leader in the Manufacturers' Championship. The goal of Audi Sport Team Joest is to leave the Royal Park of Monza as leaders on the evening of 27 April.

Audi has celebrated several of its greatest motorsport victories to date in Italy. Michele Mouton recorded the first victory for a woman in a round of the World Rally Championship with the Audi quattro at the San Remo Rally in 198. In 1982, Stig Blomqvist won with the quattro in Italy. Walter Rohrl's victory in the San Remo Rally in 1985 with the spectacular Audi Sport quattro S1 is unforgotten.

Audi won the Italian Super Touring Car Championship three times in succession in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Even though it was considered almost impossible to win around Monza's high-speed circuit with a four-wheel drive touring car Audi did just that: Dindo Capello won both races at Monza in 1996. In 2007, Gianni Morbidelli repeated this triumph with the production based, four-wheel drive Audi RS 4 at the Italian Superstars Touring Car Series finale.

Audi initially revolutionized rallying with the quattro concept before repeating this in touring car racing. Other manufacturers followed. It is similar today with the sports prototypes: Audi was the trendsetter with the R10 TDI, Peugeot has followed suit.

The duel between the Audi and Peugeot diesel sports cars enthralled the spectators at the Le Mans Series season opener in Barcelona. Round two follows at Monza. Audi Sport Team Joest once again faces a difficult task as Le Mans Series newcomer: The Audi R10 TDI has never completed a lap at Monza.

With its long straights, fast corners and slow chicanes the Italian Grand Prix track has a unique character for which the optimum set-up must be found.

The 1000-kilometre race at Monza starts on Sunday (27 April) at 12:50 p.m. Eurosport broadcasts the opening stages live from 12:45 p.m. and transmits the race highlights between 11:00 and 11:30 p.m.

Facts & figures

The driver teams at Monza 1 Dindo Capello/Allan McNish 2 Alexandre Premat/Mike Rockenfeller

Dindo Capello about Monza: "My home track has four very fast straights. The speeds are comparable with those seen in Le Mans. Braking for the first and second chicane is decisive. You have to find a good compromise between top speed and downforce."

Interesting facts

Monza hosts a LMS race for the fourth time after 2004, 2005 and 2007 ... Monza was the scene of the first LMS race in history on 9 May 2004 ... Audi celebrated a one-two-three with the R8 then ... Dindo Capello and Allan McNish were on the podium at Monza in 2004 ... Alexandre Premat knows Monza from the GP2 series, Mike Rockenfeller started there already in the LMS, in the FIA GT Championship and in the Porsche Supercup ... Alexandre Premat and Mike Rockenfeller contest two races in Italy for Audi within one week: The DTM stars at Mugello a week after the 1000 kilometre race at Monza ... The ALMS race in Long Beach was the 25th race for the Audi R10 TDI ...

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Allan McNish , Walter Rohrl , Alexandre Prémat , Mike Rockenfeller , Gianni Morbidelli , Michèle Mouton , Stig Blomqvist , Dindo Capello
Teams Audi Sport Team Joest