|February 25, 2006
Audi Competes with TDI power in the USA
The AUDI AG motorsport programme for the 2006 season extends beyond the DTM and the 24 Hours of Le Mans: Audi will also contest the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with the new R10 diesel sportscar during the second half of the season. As a result, Audi returns to the world’s most popular sportscars series at a factory level.
The Audi R10, which is powered by a V12 TDI engine with almost 650 hp, celebrates its eagerly awaited race debut on the 18 March at Sebring (USA). The 12-hour race in Florida acts as a test race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 17/18 June and is also the opening race of the 2006 American Le Mans Series, in which Audi Sport, Team Joest and Champion Racing will cooperate closely.
After the premiere at Sebring the two Audi R10 prototypes will be flown back to Europe to be prepared for the season’s highpoint at Le Mans on June 17/18. Afterwards, Audi Sport North America will contest the remaining six ALMS races, starting with the Grand Prix of Utah on 15 July on the new circuit near Salt Lake City, with two R10 prototypes and the support of Champion Racing.
At the three ALMS races between Sebring and Salt Lake City the Audi Sport North America squad relies once again on the well proven Audi R8, which has already recorded 61 wins from 77 races.
Audi have already competed with a factory team in the ALMS between 2000 and 2002. Audi of America continued its involvement in the following three years with importer teams and celebrated sixth successive ALMS championship titles.
"The main reason for developing the Audi R10 was to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as we want to be the world’s first automobile manufacturer to win with a diesel engine,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "From the very beginning it was however our intention to enter the R10 in every racing series based on Le Mans. The USA is an extremely important market in which the subject ’Diesel’ is currently coming in vogue. The ALMS programme with the R10 is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the Audi TDI engines in America.”
"Audi of America is looking forward to our seventh season of participation in the American Le Mans Series,” added Johan de Nysschen, executive vice-president of Audi of America. "The R8 success was very instrumental in building awareness for Audi technology and performance and we hope the R10 will achieve the same success. With Audi Sport, Joest and Champion we have the ideal partners for a successful season.”
2006 American Le Mans Series schedule