It was a great weekend for Audi motorsport as the test day at Le Mans 24 Hours at the Circuit des 24 Heures saw the Audi R18 e-tron quattros take third, fourth and sixth position.
They were beaten to first and second place by two Toyota teams, while it was a Porsche team that snuck into fifth place.
This was the only testing chance that Audi got on the circuit and the motorsport team decided to use the eight hours that they had to the full. Across 284 laps, the three cars managed to complete 3,870 kilometres.
During the first four hours of the test day, car number one was shared between Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen. Car number two was used by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer. Finally, car number three was driven by Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi.
This testing day gave all the drivers the chance to combine their own driving style with the energy consumption targets that are specifically set out for each track. Bonanomi managed to set the fastest lap time during the first practice session at three minutes and 23.799 seconds.
There were two main focus points of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro program: These were the final aerodynamic configuration of the cars as well as the mechanically generated grip.
Over the course of the 125 laps morning, the drivers were able to meet the requirements set by the engineers with great precision. As a result. They were able to take on extensive tyre testing during the afternoon, where they were able to test the performance of their tyres over the long run. It was particularly important that they did this as the tyres they were using were of a new generation.
Head of LMP at Audi Motorsport Chris Reinke said: “We completed a long and extensive program on the test day. My thanks go to all the people involved in this project, who are looking back on some tough weeks and months. We’re entering the race week with the feeling of being thoroughly prepared. We know how tough Le Mans will be this year. Now we’re all focusing our joint efforts on a single big aim – we’re set on battling for victory in two weeks from now.”
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, head of motorsport at Audi, commended the drivers of the cars as well as Audi Sport employees and Audi Sport Team Joest, explaining that they had completed a program that he himself described as ‘ambitious’ and that the results had provided valuable work to Audi’s motorsport division. The results would inform the teams going into the actual race.
He added: “The squad surpassed our expectations. Now, in the remaining week before the event, we’re going to analyse this data in order to find an optimal set-up for all three race cars.”
Now the three Audi R-18 e-tron quattros are gearing up for the 82nd edition of the endurance race that is Le Mans 24 Hours, which is due to take place on June 14th and 15th.
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