In an exciting battle of the concepts the hybrid technology in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro also proved victorious in the fourth race of the FIA World Endurance Championship, WEC. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi wrote history after taking victory with a hybrid car for the first time, now the second win followed. At both events Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît were at the wheel of the victorious car number 1.
During the six hours of the Silverstone race, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer required only six pits stops with their hybrid car and thus two less than the second-placed Nicolas Lapierre/Kazuki Nakajima/Alexander Wurz who use another hybrid concept. The result is all the more remarkable because the triumphant Audi was awarded a stop-and-go penalty by the race director. The reason: Benoît Tréluyer was involved in an unfortunate accident with a GT car just before the end of the first third of the race. The car of the three Le Mans winners lost 32 seconds as a result, at the finish the winning margin was still 55 seconds.
In addition to the fourth race victory, Audi also has another reason to celebrate: the brand from Ingolstadt holds an unassailable lead in the WEC Manufacturers’ Championship. After four titles in the Rally World Championship between 1982 and 1984 as well as victory in the FIA Touring Car World Cup in 1995, Audi has once again won another World title. *
In contrast, the excitement in the drivers’ classification increases following a change of leaders: after their second win Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer head the standings for the first time this season. At the half-way stage they hold a small 4.5 point lead from former leaders Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.
The Danish-Scottish duo was plagued by bad luck on their way to third place at Silverstone. The two Audi works drivers had to settle for third place in their Audi R18 ultra after having to make an unscheduled pit stop. Only a few minutes after McNish had taken over driving duties a slow puncture on the right rear forced him to make a tire change. As a result, the sportscar, powered by a conventionally powered V6-TDI engine, lost a lap early in the race and thus any chance of playing a bigger role in the intense battle of the concepts. The car still reached the finish only 19 seconds behind the second placed Toyota.
Audi starts the fifth round of the WEC in only three weeks time. Local matador Lucas di Grassi reinforces the Audi driver line-up as teammate to Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.
1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 194 laps
2. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) + 55.675s
3. Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) + 1m 14.427s
4. Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
5. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 5 laps
6. Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
7. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) – 7 laps
8. Martin/Charouz/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps
9. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) – 11 laps
10. Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps
Earlier: Audi qualifies 1-2
Perfect qualifying result in England: Despite the difficult weather conditions Audi secured the fastest time in qualifying for the fourth time this season in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC. Audi remains unbeaten in qualifying in the first half of the season after Benoît Tréluyer took pole position in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Silverstone. Both Audi R18 sports cars start from the front row on Sunday (August 26, 12:00).
The spectators were treated to a thrilling 20 minute long qualifying session as the tire choice was not easy on the damp track at the start. Audi started qualifying with both R18 sports cars on intermediate tires. Initially Allan McNish held sway in the conventionally powered Audi R18 ultra with start number ‘2’. Afterwards, on the drying track the lap times improved by seconds. When both Audi drivers swapped from intermediate tires to slicks at the halfway stage, Toyota took first place. Three minutes before the end of the session Allan McNish moved to the front. Benoît Tréluyer, who is driving for the first time at Silverstone, countered with a lap time of 1m 43.663s. The Le Mans winner in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro with start number ‘1’ bettered the time of his team mate by two tenths of a second. Allan McNish then went on to improve again. The Scotsman was beaten in qualifying for his home race by the incredibly small margin of one hundredths of a second.
Following the exciting battle between the concepts the Audi hybrid car defended its unbeaten run: at the second race of the season at Spa as well as at the 24 Hours of Le Mans the Audi R18 e-tron quattro remained unbeaten in all three qualifying sessions. It was the first fastest time of the season for Benoît Tréluyer.
Qualifying at Silverstone rounded off a perfect qualifying Saturday for Audi. Roughly two hours before, the brand clinched the first five grid positions at the DTM race at Zandvoort.
1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 43.663s
2. Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) 1m 43.673s
3. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 44.411s
4. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) 1m 46.160s
5. Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) 1m 46.207s
6. Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) 1m 46.234s
7. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) 1m 46.758s
8. Ordonez/Brundle/Brundle (Zytek-Nissan) 1m 49.964s
9. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) 1m 49.997s
10. Martin/Charouz/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 50.129s
courtesy of Audi