AUDI HAVE SCORED the first win at the legendary Le Mans 24 hours race for a hybrid car with their R18 e-tron Quattro.
Desipte pressure early on from Toyota, Audi’s two R18 e-tron Quattro’s battled between them for the race win. Car number one, driven by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, took the win by one lap over the more experienced line-up in the second placed car number two of Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
This is Audi’s 11th win in 13 years at the Circuit de la Sarthe, increasing the team’s 21st century domination of the race. The R18 e-tron Quattros use a V6 diesel to power the rear wheels and a hybrid system, which stores energy lost under braking in a flywheel, to send power to the front wheels under acceleration.
It was a full podium lock-out for Audi as the two e-trons were followed in third place by the non-hybrid number four car of Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller. The number three Audi also finished the race, coming home in fifth place behind the number 12 Rebellion Lola.
“This was a race of the kind you can arguably experience only at Le Mans,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “On the whole, I can only take my hat off to the entire squad of Audi Sport that worked extremely hard for a year to make this triumph possible. It was a very big challenge to develop a hybrid car in such a short time that is quick and able to hold up for 24 hours. The fact that, as in 2001 with the TFSI engine and in 2006 with the TDI, we managed to be successful right on the first run simply proves the level of technological expertise that is available at Audi. This is a great day for Audi Sport, for Audi and for the e-tron quattro.”