|• New efficiency technologies reduce consumption by ten percent|
• 240,000 spectators witness Audi’s one-two-three win
• Historic and current best marks in terms of reliability and speed
Eleven times in front: Audi made its Le Mans debut in 1999 and has now won the 24-hour race for the eleventh timesince 2000. No other manufacturer has clinched as many victories at La Sarthe in such a short period of time.
New technologies: After the first victory of an Audi TFSI engine (2001) and the first win of a diesel power-plant thanks to TDI (2006), the first victory of a hybrid vehicle has now followed.
Rate increase: Audi has won eleven times in 14 attempts. Only Porsche, the sister brand in the Volkswagen Group, has scored more overall victories – 16 wins from 62 races. This calculates to a unique winning rate of 78.57 percent for Audi.
Team performance: The team of Reinhold Joestexperienced its 13th victory at La Sarthe and ninth with Audi. The squad’s personnel were involved in two other successes as well – in 1994 at Dauer Racing with Porsche and in 2003 in an instrumental role with Bentley.
Triple high: Only 14 times in the 80 events of the Le Mans 24 Hours has a manufacturer occupied the top-three positions. After 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2010, Audi has now monopolised the entire podium for a fifth time.
Hat-trick: Like last year, Audi achieved the best time in qualifying, the fastest race lap plus overall victory.
Brief interruption: The safety cars took command of the field at Le Mans only three times. The 24-hour race was neutralised for a total of 2hr 22mins. Last year, with 4hrs 46mins, this period was more than twice as long.
Further and faster: Last year, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyercovered a distance of 4,838.295 kilometres (average speed: 201.266 km/h). This year, they completed 5,151.762 kilometres (214.468 km/h). Normally, higher speed also means higher consumption.
Breakthrough for efficiency technologies: Although the winners were 6.4 percent faster than last year, their current Audi R18 e-tron quattro burned clearly less fuel than the R18 TDI. Twelve months later, Audi managed to reduce fuel consumption by ten percent to 33.34 litres per 100 kilometres.
Endurance test: Only 33 of the 56 entrants that started the race finished were classified at the end. This equates to a retirement rate of 41 percent. Audi’s retirement rate was 0 percent – all four vehicles saw the finish line.
Fourth debut win: In the 2000 season, the Audi R8 won the Le Mans 24 Hours on its first run, in 2006 the R10 TDI did so. After the Audi R18 TDI last year, the R18 etron quattro has now won on its first run at La Sarthe.
Audi Top Service: 33 times the victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number “1” headed for the pits. This resulted in a time (“Pit in” to “Pit out”) of 40m 59.968s for refueling, tyre and driver change plus accident-related repairs. The R18 ultra – car number “4” – required one minute less in total, spending 39m 58.137s in the pit lane with 32 stops.
Long haul: On the brand’s 14th run, the victorious Audi completed a distance of 5,151.76kilometres in 24 hours.
Law of averages: “1”, the number displayed on the victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro, remains the most successful number in the race. Ten times since 1923 a car bearing this coveted figure has won the race. Audi managed to do so in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2012.
Suspense galore: The lead changed 19 times at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 18 cases, an Audidriver was in front whereas newcomer Toyota, the race leader on laps 83 to 85, immediately showed its potential. On 326 out of 378 laps, the subsequent winning vehicle led the field. During the final 79 laps alone the lead changed eight times
23 hits: The combined tally of the twelve Audi factory drivers now reflects 22 victories. Timo Bernhard, as another Audi factory driver, contributes a 23rd win to the all-time winners’ list.
One-two-three-four result: Audi occupied the top four spots in the Michelin Green X Challenge. The prize for the most efficient drive was won by Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/AllanMcNish ahead of Marco Bonanomi/Oliver Jarvis/Mike Rockenfeller. Third place went to Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer ahead of Romain Dumas/LoïcDuval/Marc Gené. In 2007, Audi won this prize for the first time. At that time, Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner in the Audi R10 TDI were the quickest team with the lowest consumption.
Nicknaming: The victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro bearing car number “1” and chassis number R18-208 has internally been christened “Electra” by the team. Last year, Audi won the Le Mans 24 Hours with an R18 TDI called “Red Sonja.”
Number 29: Audi’s success marked the 29th victory of a German automobile manufacturer at the endurance race held by the French neighbor. In addition, it was the 29th success of a race car with a closed body and the 29th triumph of a turbocharged engine.
Number 2: In the all-time list of podium places Audi improved by one position to second place after scoring its most recent one-two-three result. With 27 podium finishes achieved to date, Audi has now overtaken the previous runner-up, Ferrari. In the pole position standings, Audi managed a step forward too. André Lottererset the seventh best time in qualifying by Audi at the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2011, the brand had started the race from the top spot on the grid as well. Audi has outperformed Peugeot on the all-time list of pole setters and is now the only runner-up.
Number 1: With the R18 e-tron quattro, Audi achieved the first victory with all-wheel drive at Le Mans. 1986 was the first year to see a race car by another manufacturer with four driven wheels at La Sarthe. Yet only the name of quattro is associated with the pioneering feat of clinching overall victory – as before in 1981 in rally racing, in 1988 in the TRANS-AM series, in 1989 in the IMSA-GTO series, in 1990 in the DTM and in 1993 in Super Touring Car racing.
Pride of their nations: Benoît Tréluyer recorded the 40th victory of a Frenchman at the classic event, André Lottererthe 28th one for Germany and Marcel Fässler the second one for Switzerland. He is the only Swiss to have won the race to date. The number of drivers on the all-time winners’ list has remained unchanged this year: 125 different racers have won the Le Mans 24 Hours so far.
Successful with Audi: Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer have been driving for the Audi factory team at Le Mans since 2010. At these three events at La Sarthe, they recorded a second place and two victories.
Small club: Only 18 of the 125 winners achieved one or several additional victories after their debut successes. The triumph by Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer has raised this number to 21.
Extension of lead: Tom Kristensen with a track record of eight victories is leading the all-time winners’ list at Le Mans. By having finished as the runner-up, the Dane raised his number of podium results to twelve. With that, he owns two more trophies than Jacky Ickx and Dindo Capello. Kristensen was on podium at each of his finishes – either in first or in third place. Now he finished in second place for the first time.
Change of lead: After taking second place, Dindo Capello/Allan McNish/Tom Kristensenare again ranking at the top of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) standings. They have so far scored 77 points while the Le Mans winners, Marcel Fässler/AndréLotterer/Benoît Tréluyer, are following them with a 6.5 gap.
Front runner: The number “1” Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by Marcel Fässler/AndréLotterer/Benoît Tréluyer was at the very front in qualifying and won the race as well. Before, since qualifying was introduced in 1963, the first car on the grid was only the first car to finish on seven occasions.
Fastest race lap: Loïc Duval in the number “3” Audi R18 ultra posted the fastest race lap of 3m 24.189s. The Frenchman had previously been the top performer in this discipline in 2010. The current lap was 1.1 seconds faster than last year’s.
Debut: For the first time, André Lotterer set the best time in qualifying at Le Mans. In the 2012 FIA WEC season, this marks his second pole position after settng the quickest qualifying lap at the Sebring 12 Hours.
Rolling wave of success: Michelin, Audi’s tire partner, celebrated its 21st Le Mans success. For the French manufacturer, this marked the 15th consecutive win and the eleventh one as Audi’s partner.
– End –
The Audi Group delivered 1,302,659 cars of the Audi brand to customers in 2011. In 2011 the Company posted revenue of €44.1 billion and an operating profit of €5.3 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Győr (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). The Audi Q7 is built in Bratislava (Slovakia). In July 2010, CKD production of the Audi Q5 was added to the existing Audi A4 and A6 manufacturing operations in Aurangabad (India). At the Brussels plant, production of the Audi A1 has been running since 2010, while production of the new A1 Sportback began in 2012. The Audi Q3 has been built in Martorell (Spain) since June 2011. The Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG’s wholly owned subsidiaries include AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant’Agata Bolognese (Italy), AUDI BRUSSELS S.A./N.V. in Brussels (Belgium) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Subject to a positive decision by the responsible competition authorities, the Italian sports motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. will also belong to the Audi Group. Audi currently employs around 65,000 people worldwide, including around 48,000 in Germany. Between 2012 and 2016 the brand with the four rings is planning to invest a total of €13 billion – mainly in new products and the extension of production capacities – in order to sustain the Company’s technological lead embodied in its “Vorsprung durch Technik” slogan. Audi is currently expanding its site in Győr (Hungary) and will start production in Foshan (China) in late 2013 and in Mexico in 2016.
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