Audi is well prepared for Le Mans 24 Hours

At the Le Mans test day held two weeks before the 24-hour race, Audi completed its preparation phase with a wealth of valuable findings. The brand’s first diesel hybrid sports car set the fastest time of the day. Allan McNish in the number "2” Audi R18 e-tron quattro was the quickest driver on the tradition-steeped track at La Sarthe.
Audi Sport Team Joest made efficient use of the only testing opportunity of the year at Le Mans. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the R18 ultra vehicles covered a total distance of 4,497 kilometers on the circuit that is primarily made up of public roads. From the suspension set-up and aerodynamics through to tire tests, handling of the LMP sports prototypes with varying amounts of fuel and the comparison of the concepts, the engineers gathered valuable data for the year’s most important endurance race. Occasional precipitation in some areas made for changeable conditions on the 13.629-kilometer track though.
Marco Bonanomi, the only Audi factory driver who has previously never participated in the Le Mans 24 Hours, qualified for the grid by completing ten mandatory laps and numerous additional kilometers in the number "4” Audi R18 ultra.
The day’s fastest time of 3m 25.927s was achieved by Allan McNish. An excursion by the Scotsman at Tertre Rouge, though, put a premature end to the track presence of car number "1” one hour before the test was over. With positions one, two, three and six plus a wealth of valuable data Audi concluded the test day on an extremely positive note and thoroughly completed its preparations.
Quotes after the test day

Dieter Gass (Head of Racing Commitments): "Throughout the day, we gathered a lot of information which forms an important element in our preparation for the race two weeks from now. We can basically draw the conclusion that after today, the race at Spa and the winter test program we feel well prepared. The conditions today weren’t completely perfect at all times and we had some downtimes in the morning the causes of which we’re going to rectify by the time of the race. Today, we also finally had the opportunity to meet with our major rival, Toyota, on the race track. As expected, the team presented itself in a very professional manner and with a fast car, so we’re looking forward to an interesting race.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): "We did a good job of completing our program. Fortunately, it was dry most of the time because you can hardly test tires in rain showers. The tire program was one of the major items on our task list. Car number "2” had a problem in the fuel system at first but it could be repaired quickly. Allan’s accident was a shame. But these things can happen when you’re quick – and he was quick. Both vehicle types, the R18 e-tron quattro and the ultra, were running well. Toyota’s first public appearance deserves respect. Our competitor was immediately fast and completed a lot of laps. We’re pleased and can prepare for the race weekend.”

Dindo Capello (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): "This was a positive test day. All drivers were quick right away. Our car is clearly better compared to last year. It’s easier to drive and provides better feedback in all areas. It was really good fun to drive the R18 e-tron quattro. I feel familiar with the car and look forward to the race.

Test day results
Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 25.927s
2 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 26.468s
3 Dumas/Duval/Gené (Audi R18 ultra), 3m 26.561s
4 Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima/Buemi (Toyota), 3m 27.204s
5 Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin/Nakajima (Toyota), 3m 28.298s
6 Bonanomi/Jarvis (Audi R18 ultra), 3m 28.765s
7 Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda), 3m 34.243s
8 Belicchi/Primat/Bleekemolen (Lola-Toyota), 3m 35.357s
9 Prost/Jani/Heidfeld (Lola-Toyota), 3m 36.876s
10 Ara/Minassian (Dome-Judd), 3m 37.149s