Audi Looking To End LM P2 Streak
August 8, 2007
At this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi scored their second consecutive victory with a diesel powered race car. The victory of the Audi team in the prestigious endurance race has given diesel engines a much welcomed boost in promotion. And in the American Le Mans Series, the power of the diesel racecar was evident in the first two races of the season.
Aside from winning in the LM P1 category, the Audi R10 TDI was also the fastest car in the field for the first two races of the season. But after their back-to-back wins, LM P2 cars have won overall in the next five races. And now, going into the eighth event of the season, team Audi Sport North America is looking to break that streak.
Although the team has swept every race in their class, the LM P2 cars have been performing above par. The next race though will be suited to the R10 diesel Audi. Defending champions Dindo Capello and Allan McNish are leading the LM P1 class 18 points ahead of another Audi team composed by drivers Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner.
“Road America is a fantastic track that has some very fast sections,” said McNish. The R10 was designed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the track allows cars to go to very high speeds. Thus, it is expected that the R10 will perform well at the next race at the Road America.
“It is demanding and you need to be quite courageous. Dindo (Capello) and I love the track. We were very strong there last year, but we nevertheless lost the win to our team-mates just before the finish. That means we have a score to settle at Road America. In view of the way the season’s been running up until now, we are very hungry for success.”
Co-driver Capello shares McNish’s enthusiasm going into the race. “After having raced at several circuits that didn’t quite suit our R10 TDI, we can hardly wait to drive at Road America,” he said.
“We should be capable of extracting the full potential of our Diesel Sportscar there. Our last overall victory was more than four months ago. It’s high time that Allan (McNish) and I return to the winner’s circle.”
The Audi R10 of Capello and McNish failed to finish at the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans although they have lead for a number of laps. This failure to win the prestigious race though did not deer both drivers as they are expected to be back for the next race at 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is expected that they will still be diving for Audi in a diesel racecar with parts as reliable as Audi A4 parts.
Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich, the head of Audi Motorsports, maintained that they will be doing their best to beat the LM P2 cars in spite of the odds stacked against them. “In Road America we aim to continue with the big victories we recorded at the beginning of the season. However, this is no easy task as we have two handicaps handed out to us by the regulations when compared to the LM P2 cars: the higher weight and smaller fuel tank. We also lose time during the pit stops because diesel flows slower into the tank than gasoline. In spite of this, we’ll do everything possible to beat the LM P2 cars – even though there are no points awarded in the American Le Mans Series for doing this.”
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