Audi ready for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
All three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars on 2nd and 3rd rows of the grid.
After an arduous day’s work on Thursday, Audi Sport Team Joest is now ready for the greatest challenge of the 2015 motorsport season – the 24 Hours of Le Mans (start Saturday at 1500 CEST).
After first qualifying on Wednesday, the Audi Sport Team Joest mechanics worked in shifts from midnight onwards to completely rebuild the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars for the race. All three hybrid sportscars were ready to go in good time for second qualifying at 19:00.
“This procedure has been standard for us now for many years and well-practiced,” said Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport. “Even so, it’s always an exceptional achievement by the entire team and a superb logistical feat, for which I can only thank everyone involved: that was Audi Top Service
Besides speed, it’s efficiency and reliability that count here at Le Mans more than anything else – and those are exactly the strengths of Audi.!”
Lucas di Grassi
Audi Sport Team Joest used the two qualifying sessions on Thursday evening to further optimize the race set-up of the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars, and to test tire specifications for the race. To this end, the conditions were considerably better than the previous day, even though valuable track time was lost again due to interruptions.
“We concentrated solely on working for the race again today,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “I am convinced that we are well prepared and have three very good race cars, in which our drivers feel comfortable. This is important for Le Mans. Using the tires to their optimum will be an extremely crucial factor in the race. I think we are in a good position as far as this is concerned.”
For the 83rd running of the famous endurance classic, Audi Sport Team Joest relies on the efficiency technology Audi ultra, which has its roots at Le Mans and is found today in all production cars from AUDI AG. The latest Audi R18 e-tron quattro is one of the world’s most efficient racecars owing to its new aerodynamics and the combination of TDI power on the rear axle and an electrically driven front axle. On the Hunaudières straight at Le Mans, it reaches a top speed of around 340 km/h.
The three Audi R18 e-tron quattro start the race on Saturday behind the three Porsches and ahead of the two Toyotas. Lucas di Grassi (BR), Loïc Duval (F) and Oliver Jarvis (GB) start from the second row in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro with start number ‘8’. The third row is shared by last year’s winners André Lotterer (D), Marcel Fässler (CH) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) in the R18 with start number ‘7’ and Filipe Albuquerque (P), Marco Bonanomi (I) and René Rast (D) in the hybrid sportscar with start number ‘9’.
Loïc Duval set the fastest lap within the Audi squad on Wednesday evening with an average speed of 245.5 km/h. André Lotterer moved up the grid from sixth to fifth on Thursday. Filipe Albuquerque recorded the fastest time in the third R18.
Audi Sport quotes
The starting grid at Le Mans
1 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 3m 16.887s
2 Bernhard/Webber/Hartley (Porsche) 3m 17.767s
3 Hülkenberg/Bamber/Tandy (Porsche) 3m18.862s
4 di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 3m19.866s
5 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 3m 20.561s
6 Albuquerque/Bonanomi/Rast (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 3m 20.997s
7 Wurz/Sarrazin/Conway (Toyota) 3m 23.543s
8 Davidson/Buemi/Nakajima (Toyota) 3m 23.767s
9 Prost/Heidfeld/Beche (Rebellion-AER) 3m 26.874s
10 Imperatori/Kraihamer/Abt (Rebellion-AER) 3m 28.930s
Toyota starts from row four at Le Mans
Porsche 919 Hybrids to start one, two and three