Silverstone: Audi preview

Audi with title chance at Silverstone Ingolstadt -- Audi competes in a second race in Great Britain only 14 days after Timo Scheider's victory at Brands Hatch in the Audi A4 DTM: The finale of the European based Le Mans Series (LMS) is held on...

Audi with title chance at Silverstone

Ingolstadt -- Audi competes in a second race in Great Britain only 14 days after Timo Scheider's victory at Brands Hatch in the Audi A4 DTM: The finale of the European based Le Mans Series (LMS) is held on 14 September at Silverstone where Audi Sport Team Joest still has chances of winning the title.

Audi has good memories of the 1000-kilometre race at Silverstone: In 2004, Allan McNish won together with Pierre Kaffer, a year later the Scot triumphed in a memorable battle in the rain with Stephane Ortelli -- both times at the wheel of an Audi R8.

The win at Silverstone in 2005 was the 59th of 63 overall victories for the legendary R8 with which Audi dominated the Sports Prototype scene for more than six years. The engine in particular made the R8 unique: It was powered by a TFSI engine from mid 2001. Until then, no one in motorsport had risked the combination of turbo-charging and direct injection, which are now successfully used in Audi road cars (for example the Audi TTS).

The same applies to the Audi R10 TDI: Audi wrote an important chapter in motorsport history with the first -- and to date only -- diesel sportscar to have won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The know-how gathered from the Le Mans victories on 2006, 2007 and 2008 pours into the next generation of TDI engines.

"With both the R8 and R10 TDI we really could impressively demonstrate the technology transfer between motorsport and the production line which is important for Audi," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Today, many Audi customers around the world benefit from the TFSI Technology which we used at Le Mans for the first time in 2001. The further development of TDI Technology is accelerated as a result of the Le Mans programme."

At Silverstone on 14 September the now three-year old Audi R10 TDI starts for the last time this season at a race in Europe and for the first time in Great Britain. The two Audi youngsters Alexandre Premat (26) and Mike Rockenfeller (24) trail the Peugeot duo Marc Gene/Nicolas Minassian by only two points in the LM P1 Drivers' Championship. Audi is six points behind Peugeot in the Manufacturers' Championship.

"The leads are not insurmountable," says Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "Our competition is very fast, but a great deal can happen during a 1000-kilometre race. Let's not forget that the weather at Silverstone is often very changeable."

So as not to leave anything to chance, Audi Sport Team Joest completely rebuilt the car driven by Dindo Capello and Allan McNish for the Silverstone race. The two Le Mans winners complained about the unusual handling of their R10 TDI last time out at the Nurburgring.

The 1000-kilometre race at Silverstone starts on Sunday (14 September) at 11:20 a.m. local time. Last year's race lasted almost five and three-quarter hours. Eurosport broadcasts the start and opening stages live from 12:15 to 12:45 a.m. and the race highlights between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m.

Facts & figures

The Audi driver line-up at Silverstone 1 Dindo Capello/Allan McNish 2 Alexandre Premat/Mike Rockenfeller

Allan McNish about Silverstone: "The Silverstone circuit is very fast, especially the 'Becketts' section where you really do see both man and machine on the limit. Because the circuit is built on a former airfield and the countryside is so flat it, is normally very windy which heavily influences the balance of the car."

Interesting facts

After 2000, 2004 and 2005, Audi competes for the fourth time in a sportscar race at Silverstone.

Audi Sport Team Joest raced for the last time in 2000 at Silverstone.

Dindo Capello and Allan McNish started together in the year 2000 with the Audi R8R and went on to finish third.

Mike Rockenfeller knows the circuit at Silverstone from the FIA GT Championship, Alexandre Premat from the GP2 series.

Mike Rockenfeller celebrated victory in the GT2 Class at the FIA GT Championship in 2005.

Only four drivers, Marc Gene, Nicolas Minassian, Alexandre Premat and Mike Rockenfeller, have a chance of winning the LM P1 title.

Between the two LMS races at the Nurburgring and Silverstone, Dindo Capello contested the ALMS race at Mosport where he recorded, with his average speed of 222.276 kph (138.116 mph) in qualifying, the fastest ever lap in the American Le Mans Series.

Silverstone is the 36th race for the Audi R10 TDI, nineteen of which ended in victory.

Due to time constraints there is no warm-up on Sunday.

-credit: audi

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Allan McNish , Nicolas Minassian , Marc Gene , Stéphane Ortelli , Timo Scheider , Alexandre Prémat , Mike Rockenfeller , Pierre Kaffer
Teams Team Joest