Audi equals Ferrari at Le Mans

For
the ninth time Audi has won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and thus
equalized Ferrari’s position in the roll of honor in the French endurance
classic. Only Porsche’s track record reflects more victories.

At
the 78th edition of the race, efficiency and reliability were the decisive
factors yet again – both are special fortes of the Audi brand which has a reputation
of developing highly efficient automobiles. The three Audi R15 TDI cars of Audi
Sport Team Joest ran without the slightest technical problems over the entire
distance and occupied the top three places after the fastest Le Mans race of
all time. After 2000, 2002 and 2004, Audi thus managed to achieve a
one-two-three triumph at Le Mans for the fourth time. That fact pleases Audi
Chairman Rupert Stadler.  

“Everyone
at Audi can be proud of this historic exploit. Reliability, efficiency and
sustainability are particularly important topics for car manufacturers today.
And these are exactly the areas in which we have demonstrated our expertise,”
Stadler said. “It was one of the most thrilling races in Le Mans history, a
do-or-die battle. This victory is no doubt the most valuable victory claimed
after the fiercest battle in our company’s history. I express my thanks and
great respect to the entire squad. They have performed an incredible and
flawless feat of energy. Peugeot was a formidable rival who required us to give
everything. We express our respect to the French squad for this.”

The
ninth triumph – in total – of the brand at Le Mans was also made possible by a
technology which Audi Sport developed for racing during the past three years in
strict secrecy: the V10 TDI engine of the Audi R15 TDI with an approximate
power output of 440 kW has a turbo-charger with Variable Turbine Geometry. The
victorious Audi R15 TDI with Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and
Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) completed a total of 397 laps in the 24 hours.

“At
Le Mans we’re dealing with temperatures above 1,000 degrees centigrade which
have not been encountered with production engines so far,” explains Ulrich
Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “As a result of downsizing,
production development will enter into similar temperature ranges. This makes
VTG another good example of how the technology transfer between motorsport and
the production side of the house works at Audi.”