Audi hit with post-Le Mans penalties for engine seal violation

The engine seal penalty compromises Audi's WEC title campaign.

Audi hit with post-Le Mans penalties for engine seal violation
Pit stop for #7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Pit stop for #7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
Audi Sport Team Joest: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer, Lucas di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis, René Rast, Filipe Albuquerque, Marco Bonanomi
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer
#7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 e-tron quattro: Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer

Audi face an additional complication in winning the 2015 World Endurance championship after being penalised and fined for an engine seal irregularity on the No.7 Audi R18 etron quattro of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer.

The offense came to light after the morning warm up session at the Le Mans 24 Hours last month when Audi Sport Team Joest engineers removed and swapped the positions of two engine seals without the approval of the scrutineers. This was deemed a breach of Article - 65.2.2.3 of the Supplementary Technical Regulations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Breach of Sporting Regulation 65.B

As a result of the tampering, the electronic seals did not engage and were not readable, either by the scrutineers or by Audi. This in turn constituted a breach of WEC Sporting Regulation article 65.B. Audi homologate the installation of the engine seals and are solely responsible for the assembly of them.

A hearing was assembled for the 23rd June in Paris where Audi attended to explain the situation to the stewards of the meeting. They were headed by Chairman of the Stewards – Jean-Francois Veroux. The Audi representation was led by Audi Sport Team Joest Managing Director, Ralf Jüttner.

The penalty

A punishment of a €50,000 fine was handed out, but more damagingly for Audi came news of the decision to penalise the No.7 car further by effectively considering the engine used in the race to be the fourth consumed so far in 2015. Audi acknowledged that some of their team members had removed and swapped the engine seals after the warm-up.

Significant blow to Audi title aspirations

The electronic seals are used to check the use of engines in LMP1, as each entry is allowed five units for the whole season. Following the penalty for the Audi No.7 car after Le Mans, it now has just one new unit allowed, and then the three already used ones from Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans.

There are five races remaining in the WEC, all six-hour events: Nurburgring in August, COTA in September, Fuji in October and then Shanghai and Bahrain in November.

The 2015 WEC Sporting Regulations dictate that a 3-minute stop/go penalty will be ‘carried out during the race by order of the Race Director in the first half of the race,’ should an entry go over its allocated five engines.

Lotterer/Treluyer and Fassler currently enjoy a 20 point lead in the FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Championship. However, this lead is over Nick Tandy who is not scheduled to race again for Porsche in LMP1 this season. The British Le Mans winner will however be eligible for points with the KCMG team in LMP2. The next permanent WEC LMP1 drivers in the points table are Lieb/Dumas and Jani on 57 points.

Audi trail Porsche by 16 points in the Manufacturers title chase, despite winning both the Silverstone and Spa 6 Hours earlier this season.

shares
comments
A word from... André Lotterer
Previous article

A word from... André Lotterer

Next article

Audi admits to "series of mistakes" that "won’t happen again"

Audi admits to "series of mistakes" that "won’t happen again"
Load comments
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
9 h
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021