And Sebring Looks Back On Too.
Tonight’s Audi Sport Finale in Ingolstadt saw several significant announcements from the factory team as they look to defend their FIA WEC and LE Mans 24 Hours titles from the Toyota threat.
“Successful motorsport is part of our brand DNA,” stated Wolfgang Dürheimer, Member of the Management Board for Technical Development. “The victories on the world’s race tracks underscore our technical expertise in a particularly authentic way – and they strengthen our position on the most important world markets.”
In the FIA WEC Audi will field two updated Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars, and a third R18 e-tron quattro will enter both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC race at Spa.
The e-tron quattro retains its flywheel energy storage system (and it’s front axle hybrid power delivery, but the 2013 version is “becoming even more powerful without any substantial increase in weight and size.”
Audi Sport has already begun “intensively working on the successor car for the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect as of 2014.”
With the return of Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard to the Porsce fold the Audi driver lineup for the WEC and Le Mans in 2013 consists of the current WEC World Champions Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer plus new signing Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval, Marc Gené, Oliver Jarvis, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. No LMP1 seat then for either Mike Rockenfeller or Marco Bonanomi.
And despite reports of the factory team cancelling plans to enter the 12 Hours of Sebring the factory team has also confirmed that an entry of a single R18 e-tron quattro “is in planning as well”.
“It looks like this may be the last opportunity to compete with an LMP1 car at Sebring,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We’d really like to use this chance and say goodbye to the fans with a nice showing after our fantastic success story in recent years.”