Audi celebrates 100th LMP overall victory with Austin win
Duval/Kristensen/McNish achieve historic milestone for Audi
Audi R18 e-tron quattro remains unbeaten in 2013
Le Mans winners extend lead of the standings
Audi achieved a historic milestone on the Texan debut of the FIA World
Endurance Championship (WEC) at Austin. The squad of Head of Audi
Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich celebrated the 100th overall victory
of an LMP sports car of the brand. The event has a parallel, as Audi
had clinched its first-ever victory in America as well at Sebring,
on March 18, 2000. Back then and today, it was Audi Sport Team Joest
that fielded the victorious race car and, back then and today, Le Mans
legend Tom Kristensen was part of the successful Audi driver squad.
With an air temperature of 28 degrees centigrade and track temperature
of 45 in Texas, Audi managed the next top performance, as the brand
remains unbeaten in the current WEC season. Loïc Duval/Tom
Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) celebrated their third WEC victory
this year on the demanding 'Circuit of the Americas.' The trio had
previously won the season opener at Silverstone and the Le Mans 24
Hours. The number '2' Audi R18 e-tron quattro crossed the finish line
with a 23.617-second advantage in front of challenger Toyota. For the
brand with the four rings, this marked an amazing fifth victory in an
equal number of WEC rounds this year and the sixth LMP win in
succession, if the triumph at the Sebring 12 Hours in March is
included in the tally.
In addition to driving skills, tactical intelligence was crucial, as
contrary to common practice at other events not every tire change
was accompanied by a driver change. As a result, the Audi drivers
remaining in the cockpit immediately and consistently converted the
reserves of the tires from partner Michelin into excellent lap times,
as they were able to continue their race rhythm unchanged.
The successful run of car number '2' was contrasted by massive
misfortune of the number '1' car driven by Marcel Fässler/André
Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F). Right in the early phase of the
six-hour race, Fässler became entangled in several tough position
battles. Among others, the number '8' Toyota received a warning for
the action. This subsequently resulted in a whole series of setbacks.
Audi was forced to change the damaged rear diffusor of the R18 e-tron
quattro. The hard impact following a collision additionally caused an
electrical fuse to come loose. As a result, the electrical gearshift
of the transmission could not be operated at times and the problem had
to be corrected during an additional stop. To top things off, a piece
of loose artificial turf got stuck on the car's underbody during an
evasive off-track maneuver in the commotion. The mechanics removed it
during a pit stop, as the piece of turf obstructed the flow of cooling
air. Benoît Tréluyer subsequently started a recovery, drove the
fastest race lap but, in the process, ran over the track boundaries
once. Thus, to make matters worse, car number '1' received a
drive-through penalty. In the end, last year's World Champions had to
settle for third place at Austin.
In the standings, the Austin winners increased their lead.
Duval/Kristensen/McNish had arrived in Texas with a 22-point advantage
and are now traveling to the next round in Japan with a 33-point
advantage. On October 20, the sixth of eight rounds in the FIA World
Championship (WEC) will take place at Fuji.
Overview of Audi's 100 LMP overall victories:
Audi R8 (2000-2006): 63 victories
Audi R10 TDI (2006-2008): 22 victories
Audi R15 TDI (2009-2011): 3 victories
Audi R18 TDI/ultra/e-tron quattro (since 2011): 12 victories
Quotes after the race
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "This was quite
literally a very hot race today. It was only decided in the last 80
minutes. But we again managed to be in front. The 100th victory of an
Audi LMP sports car is definitely something special. I'm happy for the
whole team that has made all this possible."
Chris Reinke (Head of LMP): "On a race track that was completely
new to us we achieved a great result in a thrilling race. For Audi,
it's a very special result because it was the 100th victory in LMP
racing. We celebrated the first victory in the USA as well, in 2000.
What could be sweeter than achieving this milestone here?"
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): "Sincere
congratulations to Audi on its 100th LMP victory and to our victorious
drivers. Audi Sport Team Joest was involved in a whole string of this
success. Today, we won a particularly hot and long race. Toyota
presented themselves stronger than they had the day before in
qualifying. That was a nice battle. Our car number 1 suffered a lot of
misfortune today. After sustaining damage, the rear bodywork had to be
changed and, apparently as a consequence of a flying excursion, a fuse
came loose. Thus, more than third place wasn't possible."
Loïc Duval (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "That was a perfect
weekend for us. The battle with Toyota was great fun. A wonderful
result on a fantastic race track in a beautiful city that we visited
for the first time. Plus we extended our lead of the standings."
Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "I'm proud of the
whole squad that mastered all the challenges. Winning on the Circuit
of the Americas was fantastic. The 100th LMP victory by Audi is a nice
tribute to the entire team, also at home in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
I'm proud to be part of this team. And, after the first victory in
2000, it's great to be on the winning team again on the 100th
Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "The result is
fantastic. Our car was outstanding straight from the start. The pace
was right in the race and we were very consistent. Toyota fought a
nice battle with us. The decision came only after the last stop. That
makes the 100th sports car victory by Audi even sweeter. I'm proud of
having achieved this milestone for Audi together with Tom and
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "At the beginning of
the race, I battled with Toyota driver Sébastien Buemi and overtook
him. Then I hit traffic while lapping and a GT race car bumped into
me. My car lifted and landed hard. This resulted in consequential
damage that set us back and thus we finished only in third
André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "Congratulations to
car number 2 and to Audi on winning here in America. We had an
absolutely fast car, but too much happened today. We've got to settle
for third place. But in Japan we're going to attack again."
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): "Unfortunately, our
race was off to a difficult start with the tussle and the
consequences. We had a very fast car but were lacking racing fortune.
Congratulations to Audi on winning with our sister car. Next time, we
want to be better again."
1 Duval/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 187 laps
2 Buemi/Davidson/Sarrazin (Toyota) + 23.617s
3 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1 lap
4 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Lola-Toyota) 4 laps
5 Conway/Martin/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) 9 laps
6 Kaffer/Perez Companc/Minassian (Oreca-Nissan) 10 laps
7 Charouz/Holzer/Kraihamer (Lotus) 13 laps
8 Graves/Junco/Walker (Oreca-Nissan) 14 laps
9 Dyson/Kimber-Smith/Zugel (Zytek-Nissan) 15 laps
10 Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla (Morgan-Nissan) 15 laps
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