Audi Failed To Beat LM P2 Cars
August 15, 2007
At the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi once again proved that diesel engines have what it takes to beat gasoline-engined racecars. At the American Le Mans Series, Audi proved that their car’s performance at the prestigious endurance race is not a one-off showing. The team’s LM P1 car is still yet to be beaten in its class but the last six races has seen them being beaten by LM P2 cars. The current aim now for the team is to break the winning streak of LM P2 cars.
Although no additional points are given to an overall winner, Audi is still keen on taking the overall victory in the series’ next event. The reason for this is that the team is looking to pave the way for their diesel initiative in the United States. European automakers are in the forefront in developing a new generation of diesel engines and Audi is one of the apparent leaders in the development of clean diesel engines.
The latest race of the season was held at the “Road America” in Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin. The track is considered as the best suited track for high speed cars. With the Audi R10 designed for high speed racing, the team is confident that they will break the winning streak of LM P2 cars at Road America. The team looked for a good performance from defending champions Dindo Capello and Allan McNish on board their R10 units with racing parts as reliable as Audi A6 parts.
The pair though failed to break the winning streak of LM P2 cars as they finished in the second place overall although they have won the battle in their class. McNish and Capello finished just a couple of seconds behind the overall winner - a Porsche. This is the first time in five years that Audi has not won on this high-speed track.
McNish is apparently disappointed with the result of the event. “It's disappointing to have started from pole-position and ultimately finish second by less than two seconds having led much of the race despite two tire issues when I was leading,” he claims.
“I should be satisfied for winning the LM P1 class for the sixth time this season but as a racing driver, I’m never content to finish a race in second place overall,” he said. “There was a very good possibility of us winning this race but it slipped away from us.”
Meanwhile, Audi’s motorsports chief, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, is bemoaning the weight difference between LM P2 and LM P1 cars. The LM P2 cars are lighter than LM P1 cars thus the former has a distinct advantage over the latter.
“Once again the Audi R10 TDI was the dominating LM P1 car and remains undefeated in its class,” said Dr. Ullrich. “That we were not able to get the overall victory even on the fastest track of the American Le Mans Series shows once more that the weight difference between the LM P1 and the LM P2 cars is simply too big. On top of that comes the smaller fuel tank we must use compared to our opposition.”
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