Auburn Hills, Mich., The three R8 prototypes entered by Audi Sport are anticipating a competitive race for the June 17th classic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With a one-two victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, Audi Sport Team Joest...
Auburn Hills, Mich., The three R8 prototypes entered by Audi Sport are anticipating a competitive race for the June 17th classic of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With a one-two victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, Audi Sport Team Joest will add another car for the Le Mans race. This brings the Audi entries competing for top honors to three.
The driver lineup will be:
#7 Christian Apt (D), Frank Biela (D), Tom Kristensen (DK)
#8 Michele Alboreto (I), Rinaldo Capello (I), Emanuele Pirro (I)
#9 Allan McNish (GB), Laurent Aiello (I), Stephane Ortelli (MC)
Hoping to carry the excellent performance into the race from last month's practice, the team is poised for competitive race. "The practice last month was a good performance, but basically only confirmed to us that the car was quick around Le Mans," said Allan McNish, driver of the number 9 Audi R8. "Without stating the obvious, the Le Mans race is very long and one which nowadays sees us racing flat-out for the entire 24 hours - it's a day long sprint from the green light to the checkered flag and there really is no chance for a driver to take it easy behind the wheel."
The Audi's will be distinguished by the colors on the front nose, the number seven car has a black finish, the number eight is red and the number nine will carry yellow. In addition, at night the lights on the rearview mirrors will show colored beams reflecting those on the nose to help distinguish them in the evening.
The three Audi R8's will go through the traditional technical scrutineering in downtown Le Mans on Tuesday, June 13th from 2:50 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. EST.
"The race is extremely demanding for both man and machine as the drivers will complete a distance equaling an entire Formula 1 season during this 24 hour race - mind you without interruption," Audi Chairman of the Board, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen.
"Le Mans is the crown jewel of endurance racing for Audi," said Len Hunt, head of Audi Sport North America. "We have designed and engineered the cars for this race, with a focus on dependability and aerodynamics. We are excited to compete and hope for a strong finish."
On Wednesday, June 14th and Thursday, June 15th the R8's will be battling for pole position against the rest of the prototype field.
The race will start at 10:00 a.m. EST on Saturday, June 17th and make two laps around the clock finishing on Sunday morning. Speedvision will carry the entire event live beginning at 9:30 a.m. with only a one-hour interruption for Formula 1 qualifying.
Audi Sport North America is the motorsports arm of Audi of America, Inc.