|June 16, 2012
Source: Audi Motorsport
· Premiere of the new Audi SQ5 at Le Mans
· Audi presents new model at 24-hour race
· International guests at Le Mans
· Awards for Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer
Ingolstadt- Audi presented a new flagship model with a diesel
engine on the fringes of the world’s most important endurance race.
World premiere with race driver: Audi used the Le Mans 24 Hours to present the
latest top-of-the-line model of the recently updated Q5 model range. The threetime
Le Mans winner Marco Werner was involved in the presentation of the new Audi
SQ5 TDI. Werner, who in 2006 together with Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro was the
first diesel winner at Le Mans, was thrilled by the new car. The 3.0 V6 TDI engine
delivers an output of 230 kW (313 HP) and develops 650 Nm of torque although the
vehicle only has an average fuel consumption of 7.2 liters.
Downtown debut: For the first time, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît
Tréluyer saw their own handprints in the center of the city of Le Mans. The three
Audi factory drivers won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time a year ago. On
Tuesday, they took a look at the plaque with their handprints in the presence of
Mayor Jean-Claude Boulard.
International line-up: Audi welcomed numerous guests from the world of sport and
show business at Le Mans. They included Vicki Chandhok, President of the
Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India, the former Le Mans winners Derek Bell,
Jochen Mass and Richard Attwood, the former World Rally Champion Hannu
Mikkola, skiing pros Kjetiel Jansrud, Andrea Limbacher, Andy Matt, Anna Wörner
and Adrien Théaux, violinist Vanessa Mae, R&B vocalist Beverley Knight, comedian
Django Asül as well as actors Thomas Heinze, Tobias Moretti and Gul Panag.
High-caliber book presentation: “X” is the title of a biography about Le Mans legend
Jacky Ickx. The Belgian won the Le Mans 24 Hours six times. At the Audi Racing
Arena at Le Mans, Ickx presented the limited edition of the large-size work and
handed a copy over to Audi factory driver Tom Kristensen. Both combined have 14
victories at the endurance classic under their belt.
In father’s footsteps: Cristoforo Pirro, the son of former Audi factory driver
Emanuele Pirro, is currently at home in Ingolstadt. The 19-year-old is a student of
mechanical engineering at the Nottingham University in England and currently
completing an internship in AUDI AG’s Technical Development.
Nice prizes: Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer were pleased to
receive three nice prizes. Audi’s partner Michelin honored the 2011 Le Mans winners
with three gifts on Tuesday. Fässler chose a bicycle from Scott while his two teammates
opted for KTM electric motorcycles.
Pit lane guest: Audi’s visitors at the Le Mans 24 Hours also included Emerson
Fittipaldi. The two-time Formula One World Champion from Brazil took a look at the
Audi R18 e-tron quattro in Audi’s garage.
Clear identity: The 22 official cars which the ACO relies on at the Le Mans 24 Hours
in 2012 are again provided by Audi. Two Audi R8 V10, four RS 5, five Audi S6 Avant,
five Audi Q5 and six Audi Q7 are available to the race directors and the rescue teams.
An Audi A1 quattro led the field on the formation lap.
Commitment to the brand: The Audi Sport Camp met with strong response again at
Le Mans this year. 600 employees who privately traveled to the 24-hour race kept
their fingers crossed for the brand on location.
Loyal supporters: The Audi brand is keeping a huge fan community spellbound at Le
Mans and Audi Sport Team Joest has particularly loyal fans as well. A group from
Laichingen in the Alb-Donau County in southern Germany that has been traveling to
Le Mans for many years handed over several gifts to team boss Reinhold Joest on
Thursday. The champagne and beer bottles were individually decorated with team
photos and labeled for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Happy birthday: Loïc Duval celebrated his 30th birthday on Tuesday during the Le
Mans week and Dindo Capello was 48 on race Sunday.
Close to the wind: Audi factory driver Edoardo Mortara is catching a whiff of sailing
air this weekend. The winner at the Red Bull Ring will be a guest at the Kieler Woche
Visit from the DTM: Five members of Audi’s DTM team came to visit their brand at
the Le Mans 24 Hours. Team director Arno Zensen and team manager Kimmo
Liimatainen from Audi Sport Team Rosberg, team director Ernst Moser and team
manager Dirk Theimann from Audi Sport Team Phoenix plus Audi factory driver
Miguel Molina would not miss the race.
A word from … Miguel Molina
You reeled off DTM tests at the Lausitzring in the first half of the week and then
traveled to Le Mans. How did your week start?
“For three days, we tested the Audi A5 DTM at the Lausitzring. We made positive
progress as everyone is helping to continue to develop the car. I then traveled to Le
Mans where I was at the track for the first time on Saturday.”
This is the first time in your life at Le Mans. What are your impressions so far?
“Ever since I’ve been driving for Audi my wish has been to have the chance of
experiencing the Le Mans 24 Hours. Now I’m here for the first time. This is pretty
impressive. I’m floating through the paddock as if I was on a cloud. But I’m not here
only privately but am spontaneously working a bit as well. Audi Spain has brought
numerous guests along who have a strong interest in motorsport. Marc Gené and
I’ve been pleased to answer all their questions.”
Your weeks are filled with a lot of variety at the moment. Do you get to take a
break now and then too?
“I’ve got a nice program and I’m delighted about that. A few weeks ago I was driving
the Audi R8 LMS for our partner Red Bull together with Carlos Sainz through the
steep turns of the old Sitges-Terramar track. That reached a large audience and I’m
still answering a lot of questions about it. Then we’ve got our test and race program
in the DTM. And it’s been fun experiencing Audi’s WEC program at Le Mans for a
change. The two weeks before the Norisring I’ll be spending at home in Lloret de
Coming up next week
Jun 23 Nürburgring (D), round 4, Endurance Championship
Jun 23 Elkhart Lake (USA), round 7, GRAND-AM
Jun 23 Brands Hatch (GB), round 4, British GT Championship
Jun 24 Winton (AUS), round 3, Australian GT Championship
Jun 24 Val de Vienne (F), round 3, French GT Championship
Jun 24 São Paulo (BR), round 3, Brazilian GT Championship