To implement such an ambitious project like the worlds first diesel powered sports car which can fight for overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a high-calibre team is required. Audi Sport, located for more than 25 years in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, is a guarantee that Audi races from victory to victory and that the Audi brand also demonstrates “Vorsprung durch Technik in motorsport.
The Audi R10, developed in conjunction with trusted and proven partners, was also completely developed by Audi Sport. Head of Audi Motorsport and Audi Sport since November 1993 is Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. His squad of around 150 employees are principally responsible for the development and testing of the racing cars. In charge of the R10 were as was the case with the successful R8 Wolfgang Appel on the chassis side, Ulrich Baretzky for the TDI engine and Rainer Kammergruber as Sportscar Project Leader.
Every project previously undertaken by Audi Sport was rewarded with a victory or championship titles. The success story began in 1981 with the Audi quattro. The dominating victories of the “original-quattro in the World Rally Championship at the start of the 1980s were an important factor in the successful marketing of quattro drive and demonstrated impressively that the company slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik should be taken literally. The quattro celebrated its first victory in only its second World Championship. It helped Michèle Mouton become the first woman to win a round of the World Rally Championship and Audi to a total of four World Championship titles.
After Audi had turned the rallying world upside down and stormed up the famous mountain Pikes Peak in the USA in record time on three successive occasions, Audi made quattro drive trendy in circuit racing. Initially in 1988 and 1989 with the Audi 200 quattro TransAm and the Audi 90 quattro IMSA-GTO in the USA, in 1990 and 1991 with two championship titles for the Audi V8 quattro in German Touring Car Championship (DTM), and finally with A4 in the production based Super Touring Cars. In 1996, Audi won the national championships in seven countries.
After the all-conquering quattro drive was banned from touring car racing at the end of the 1997 season Audi changed to sport-prototypes and went on to demonstrate its technological prowess in this motorsport category as well. In 2005 the Audi R8 celebrated its fifth triumph in Le Mans. The R8 has won a total of 61 races from 77 a unique balance.
The “works comeback in the DTM also came up trumps: Audi won all three titles in the 2004 season with the newly developed A4 DTM.
Just as Audi Sport broke new ground with quattro drive and the TFSI engine, it once again opens up completely new territory with the Audi R10. “The R10 project is the greatest challenge ever to have been placed in Audi Sports hands, says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “TDI technology has not been pushed to its limits in motorsport yet. We are the first to confront the challenge; the demands of such a project are accordingly high. Long-term technology partners such as Bosch, Michelin and Shell support us in our quest. Together we have the chance to write new chapters in the history books of motorsport and diesel technology.