|February 18, 2006
Audi with Top Line-Up at Sebring and Le Mans
AUDI AG wants to achieve its ambitious goal, to be the first automobile manufacturer to win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with a diesel engine, with a high-calibre driver line-up: The two Audi R10 prototypes will be driven by Frank Biela (D), Dindo Capello (I), Tom Kristensen (DK), Allan McNish (GB), Emanuele Pirro (I) and Marco Werner (D) – all seasoned campaigners who have proven their driving skills at the wheel of the Audi R8 over the course of the last few years.
The R10 is powered by a newly developed V12 TDI engine producing almost 650 hp and 1100 Newton metres of torque. "The R10 project is the greatest challenge ever to face Audi Sport,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "It goes without saying that we needed drivers with experience in depth for this project, who also play an important roll during the development. I’m delighted that we have managed to form such a strong driving squad for Le Mans and for the test race at Sebring.”
Each of the six Audi drivers has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12-hour race at Sebring at least once, as a group they have recorded 17 Le Mans and twelve Sebring wins. Heading the list is the Dane Tom Kristensen (38) who has already won seven times at Le Mans and three times at Sebring.
The six contest their first race with the R10 at the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA) on 18 March which is seen as a test race for Le Mans. With the exception of Tom Kristensen all the Audi drivers have already tested the new Audi R10 extensively. Kristensen was at the wheel of the R10 during the presentation in Paris in December and will get ample opportunity during the test and practice days before the Sebring race to familiarise himself with the new diesel sportscar.
The two Audi R10 prototypes will be entered in Sebring and Le Mans by Reinhold Joest’s team, which previously supported the Audi Sport Development Team during the successful R8 project years. Both Audi R10 prototypes will race under the Audi Sport North America banner in Sebring.