Audi TDI power wins again at Sebring

Audi TDI power wins again at Sebring  
Filed under:
Motorsport, Audi
on 03/19/2007

Source: Audi

Despite new regulations, the Audi R10 TDI remains the sports car to beat. By achieving an impressive victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring (USA), AUDI AG made a perfect start into the 2007 motorsport season with its revolutionary diesel sports car and also a successful dress rehearsal for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 16/17 June. It was the eighth victory in a row in the classic American endurance race for the manufacturer from Ingolstadt.

The Audi R10 TDI, which remains unbeaten in its ninth consecutive race, had to start for the first time with a 10 percent smaller fuel tank (81 instead of 90 liters). This meant the Audi had to come to the pits for refueling up to five laps earlier than their competitors. Despite the R10 TDI being the fastest car on the 3.7-mile track, also setting a new track record, newcomer Acura/Honda was able to get into the lead on various occasions with its 150-kg lighter LM P2 cars. Only in the penultimate hour, Frank Biela (Germany), Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) took the lead for good in an extremely exciting and competitive sports car race. Frank Biela equaled Tom Kristensen’s record of four overall Sebring victories.

The 2007-spec R10 TDI ran without the slightest technical problem during the whole 12 hours on the extremely demanding track. The only unscheduled pit stop was caused by a puncture in the second hour costing the winning car two laps. Also two time penalties and a stop-and-go penalty were imposed against the winning Audi team.

The updated engine, featuring among other things more compact diesel particle filters from Dow Automotive, further developed suspension, the latest generation of Michelin tires and the weight-optimized transmission of the R10 TDI worked perfectly during the Le Mans dress rehearsal.

Meanwhile the Sebring week did not run to plan for the second Audi team with the defending champions of the American Le Mans Series, Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) plus Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark). Following an accident in Thursday evening’s night practice session, the R10 TDI had to be completely rebuilt over night. Despite not having the opportunity to set up the car perfectly, Capello/McNish/Kristensen were leading the race before the starter and the battery had to be changed twice. Finishing fourth overall, they finished second in the LM P1 class scoring precious points.

The results at Sebring

1 Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) 364 laps in 12h 01n 14.838s
2 Herta/Franchitti/Kanaan (Acura/Honda) - 6 laps
3 Fernandez/Diaz/Martinez (Lola-Acura/Honda) - 8 laps
4 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R10 TDI) - 11 laps
5 Dumas/Bernhard/Castroneves (Porsche) - 13 laps
6 Brabham/Johansson/Dayton (Acura/Honda) - 18 laps
7 Beretta/Gavin/Papis (Chevrolet) - 23 laps
8 O’Connell/Magnussen/Fellows (Chevrolet) - 23 laps
9 Wallace/Leitzinger/Lally (Porsche) - 24 laps
10 Dyson/Smith (Porsche) - 31 laps

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