Audi Plans Two-Car Effort for 2008 ALMS Season
Audi announced its plans Friday to go for an unprecedented ninth consecutive LMP1 championship in the American Le Mans Series with a two-car effort for the 2008 season. For the second straight season, it is planned that two diesel-powered Audi R10 TDIs will be on the Series’ grid for 12 rounds of the world’s leading sports car series under the banner of Audi Sport North America.
In addition, Audi will shoot for its eighth championship at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and third straight for the Audi R10 TDI with a three-car effort. Audi’s confirmation is dependent upon certain technical details being confirmed by IMSA, the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series.
Audi’s record in the American Le Mans Series is unmatched. The German marque has posted 69 victories (second only to Porsche) and has captured every driver, team and manufacturer championship since 2000. With a stirring overall victory for Allan McNish and Dindo Capello in the 2007 finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Audi established a new benchmark with its 22nd consecutive class win.
“Dating back to our first race at Sebring in 1999, Audi has been an integral part in the success of the American Le Mans Series,” said Series President and CEO Scott Atherton. “The relevance of Audi’s American Le Mans Series program and the transfer of its TDI clean diesel technology to its passenger cars is unmatched in any form of motorsport. As we prepare to celebrate the 10th season of the American Le Mans Series, it is truly fitting that Audi one of our key founding partners once again is positioned to be at the forefront.”
Audi’s driver pairings for Le Mans will be the same as in 2007: Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner, Capello/McNish/Tom Kristensen and Lucas Luhr/Alexandre Premat/Mike Rockenfeller. Primary drivers for Audi’s sports car effort will be Capello, McNish, Werner and Luhr.
The first race for the 2008 model R10 TDI is scheduled to be the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. The American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for January 28-30 at Sebring International Raceway.