Audi: Things hot up for European Motorsport for 2013

  • Three hybrid race cars at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours
  • Jamie Green joins DTM driver line-up
  • Evolution version Audi R8 LMS Ultra to begin delivery in February 2013

Audi has bigger plans for Motorsport in Europe in 2013 following Audi's successful defense of their title in the 2012 FIA World Championship (WEC), their continued commitment in the DTM, and by strong vehicle sales figures. Audi announced that last year's sales records were equalled after only 11 months with more than 1.34 million Audis delivered worldwide this year.

“Successful motorsport is part of our brand DNA,” stated Wolfgang Dürheimer, Member of the Management Board for Technical Development at AUDI AG, on Wednesday night at the “Audi Sport Finale” held at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt. “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.”

Three hybrid cars at Le Mans

When Audi Sport Team Joest defends their FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) title in 2013, they will do so in two updated Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars. A third R18 e-tron quattro will be running at the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC race at Spa.

At Le Mans and in the WEC, Audi will be putting their full backing into their hybrid technology which was first introduced, successfully, in 2012. The flywheel energy storage system will be even more powerful in 2013 without any substantial increase in weight and size. While the exterior of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro will barely differ from last year's winning car, there will be numerous technical innovations under the vehicle's ultra-light carbon fibre skin. Meanwhile Audi Sport already has a successor car underway to meet the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect in 2014.

Audi will feature the following drivers for the WEC and Le Mans in 2013: current World Champions Marcel Fässler (Switzerland). André Lotterer (Germany) and Benoît Tréluyer (France) as well as Lucas di Grassi (Brazil), Loïc Duval (France), Marc Gené (Spain), Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain), Le Mans recorder winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland).

Jamie Green joins Audi DTM squad

Meanwhile in the DTM, things are very different . Regulations for the 2013 season dictate a technology freeze so Audi Sport's DTM squad's focus has been on getting more out of the Audi A5 DTM by the time the season opens at the Hockenheimring on May 5. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich believes that there are tenths of a second that can be shaved off by unlocking the Audi A5 ATM's full potential – it's just a matter of finding those few tenths in 2013.

Part of the strategy involves a strengthened driver line up. Briton Jamie Green (30) is one of the quickest present-day DTM drivers . “Together with our established drivers and stars we should be in an even better position than before,” adds Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Meanwhile, remaining on board are the two-time DTM Champions, Mattias Ekström (Sweden) and Timo Scheider (Germany), Race of Champions winner Filipe Albuquerque (Portugal), the two-time season winner Edoardo Mortara (Italy), Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and youngster Adrien Tambay (France), who by finishing the round at Valencia as the runner-up immediately clinched a podium position in his first DTM season. The decision about filling the eighth cockpit is still pending.

Evolution version of the Audi R8 LMS ultra

The customer sport market in Europe and the rest of the world can be assured that they're not being neglected by Audi. An evolution version of the Audi R8 LMS ultra GT3 sports car which mainly differs from the current model around the rear section will begin delivery to customers by quattro GmbH in February 2013.

Customer teams supported by Audi Sport customer racing will be competing in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring (Germany) and at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) in 2013. The increasingly diverse customer sport program of AUDI AG will be complemented by the Audi R8 LMS Cup in China that was successfully launched in 2012.

“We’ve got a very attractive offering for our customers with the updated versions of the R8 GRAND-AM and the R8 LMS ultra plus the Cup in China,” says Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “We’re expecting to deliver the 100th customer car during the course of 2013.”

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