The Audi R15 TDI is the German automaker’s endurance racing answer to the Peugeot 908 HDi, and while the R15 was victorious in its debut at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring, the Audi team lost the crucial 24 Hour race at Le Mans. Powered by a turbo diesel 5.5 Liter V10 making 597 HP and 774 lb-ft of torque mated to a five speed gearbox due to the Audi’s broad torque curve. The result is a 2000 lb carbon fiber Le Mans prototype race car that can do 205 MPH.
All that talk about putting an end to Audi’s recent dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is now all for naught as the boys from Ingolstadt scored a 1-2-3 finish at the most prestigious endurance race in the world, the fourth time they’ve done so since 2000.
Audi’s win at the 2010 24 Hour of Le Mans is also the ninth time in 11 years the manufacturer has bagged the championship. Since 2000, to say that Audi has dominated Le Mans is as gross an understatement as saying that Michael Schumacher’s record seven F1 driver’s championships are ’impressive’. In the past 11 years, Audi has been unseated at the top step of Le Mans only twice - once in 2003 when Bentley won it and last year when the Peugeot Sport Total pulled it off - proving once again that the road to Le Mans glory passes through Ingolstadt, Germany.
While everyone is waiting for the big Le Mans weekend, Audi has decided to tease us with a few images that give us an idea of the show that is in store for all of us. Audi will enter the race with a R15 TDI powered by a V10 TDI engine. To keep it in line and make it a little bit more competitive, Audi tweaked the R15 TDI’s body shape in addition to giving it a modified cooling and fuel tank system. The V10 TDI engine gets smaller air restrictors yet still delivers a staggering 590 horsepower. The car features a new radical design that features more red. In addition, large areas of the Le Mans race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus" will be kept in a purist black carbon-fiber look.
Only a few weeks after its official debut, the Audi R15 Plus has made a strong impression by winning its first race at Le Castellat in France. The racing sports car ran the entire distance without the smallest problem during the test race which means no unscheduled pit stops.
On the opening lap of the 8-hour race, Allan McNish overtook the Peugeot which had started from pole position in the hands of Frenchman Stéphane Sarrazin and on the third lap the Lola-Aston Martin of Stefan Mücke. After 266 laps the two Audi drivers held a five-lap lead from the Lola-Aston Martin of defending champion Stefan Mücke, Harold Primat and Adrian Fernandez. The Oreca team, Peugeot, finished fourth after succumbing to a technical problem during the opening stages of the race.
So, it seems that the Audi R15 Plus is more than ready for the 24-hour race at Le Mans on June 12-13, 2010 and Audi is making sure of that by succumbing the Audi R15 Plus to a 30 hour test followed by the LeMans dress rehearsal.
Audi announced today its plans on entering the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 12-13 and they will be competing with an evolution of the R15 TDI diesel race sports car.
To keep it in line and make it a little bit more competitive, Audi tweaked the R15 TDI’s body shape in addition to giving it a modified cooling and fuel tank system. The V10 TDI engine gets smaller air restrictors yet still delivers a staggering 590 horsepower.
According to Dr. Wolgang Ullrich, head of Audi’s Motorsport division, Audi is more inclined to participate in Le Mans - compared to F1 - because the technologies behind making a competitive race car in this racing category is relevant to what they research on in Formula One.
"At Le Mans, efficiency is of paramount importance – and today, more than ever before, it is a key deliverable of production vehicles as well and it is one of Audi’s special strengths, " he said.
Updated 04/06/2010: Audi unveiled today new details on the R15 TDi race car that will compete at this year’s 24-hour race at Le Mans. The car features a new radical design that features more red. In addition, large areas of the Le Mans race sports car that is internally designated as "R15 plus" will be kept in a purist black carbon-fiber look. The Audi R15 TDI sporting its new design will make its debut at the Le Castellet 8 Hours on April 11.
It didn’t take long for the car to make the headlines once again. This time, though, it’s for all the wrong reasons. And just so it seems appropriate, the incident happened at the Sebring race track, where a bunch of other racing vehicles figured into recent car crashes of their own.
During a test drive of the R15 TDI Plus, driver Mike Rockenfeller somehow backed it into a tire wall at turn 17 – aka Sunset Bend - of the race track, causing significant damage to the car and halting the testing session altogether. Seeing as Audi only has this one car to test with, team mechanics will have to work extra hard to get the R15 TDI Plus back in good working condition before any sort of testing resumes.
It’s a rather auspicious debut for the Audi R15 TDI Plus and it’s especially more disturbing that it didn’t even make it past one of its first test sessions before something goes horribly wrong.
The German automaker Audi has just released this promotional video of their second-generation turbo diesel Le Mans prototype competitor, the R15 TDI. The racecar features cues from the current road cars like LED headlamps. The Audi R15 is powered by a turbocharged V10 running on the alternative fuel to develop a maximum output of 600 HP and typical for a diesel, 1,050 Nm of torque. Expect to see Audi drivers on the podium very soon.
Audi loves its oil burner racers and for a good reason. The diesel powered R10 car has given Audi three consecutive wins at Le Mans. Now we’re starting to get information on the R10 replacement, the R15.
Audi didn’t just lobb off a few cylinders from its passenger cars, but also from its racers. The R10 used a turbo V12, and the R15 has a turbo V10 that makes "more than 600 hp." Audi says the real benefit of the engine is that its more compact and lighter than its predecessor.
We could bore you with all the aerodynamic details, and all the small tweaks the super-brain engineers over at Audi used to make the R15 a competitor, but it’s a lot to digest. We’ll wait and see how the car competes at Sebring on March 21 and Le Mans in June before we get all tech heavy on this car. Those who want to know all the details now can read the press release after the jump.
When Audi announced the its new R15 TDI race car we didn’t get much detail. All Audi gave up was that it had "numerous technically innovative detail solutions" and released a extreme close-up pic. From this we thought we may have to wait until the official unveiling on March 21st to know more about Audi’s next Le Mans racer, but now we got this pic of the car performing a few test laps.
The first race test of the car will come at the 12 Hours of Sebring race in Florida at the end of March. The big prize will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in June, where Audi will see if it can continue to dominate the LMP1 class.