Below is a detailed look back at Audi Sport’s performance this past weekend at the FIA WEC 6 Hours of Nurburgring. Audi only managed 3rd place on the podium, but this first round in Germany for the WEC and first return since Le Mans made for some nail biting racing.

Here is a summary of qualifying and then the race itself, including several videos of the race.

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Qualifying: Second Row for AudiAudi qualified on the second row of the grid in round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The number ‘8’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro was the faster one of the two hybrid sports cars with the four rings at the Nürburgring.
On Saturday, the Audi drivers experienced a foretaste of the race on the 5.137-kilometer Grand Prix configuration of the tradition-steeped track. Other participants on the racing line and yellow flags prevented a better result of the Audi driver squads. Lucas di Grassi (BR) managed to set the best single time of an Audi driver (1m 37.413s). The Brazilian perceived the set-up of his race car as a step forward compared to the free practice. “But we’ve still got some work to do before the race,” said di Grassi. Together with his team-mate Oliver Jarvis he achieved an average time of 1m 37.476s.

The leaders of the standings, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), with their time of 1m 37.783s, are sharing the second row with their team-mates. Fässler drove three laps in qualifying. “On the first lap, the front tires weren’t warm enough, on the second lap, I lost time in traffic and on the third lap, the tires were already past their best performance,” the Swiss said. André Lotterer subsequently took over car number ‘7.’ “Unfortunately, due to yellow flags, I wasn’t able to make optimum use of the tires in their best state but had to lift,” said the German.

“Today, our drivers did not have optimum conditions on track,” said Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport. “But we also have to accept that on a fast lap in qualifying we can’t quite keep pace with our fiercest rivals. However, we’re going to give everything to be in contention across the six-hour distance in our home round on Sunday – as in the first two races of the season in the United Kingdom and in Belgium.”

“Due to our simulations we realized that we’d hardly be able to battle for the best time in qualifying,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “That’s why we already started to exclusively prepare for the race in the free practice sessions. We’re expecting a very tough sporting competition which the crowd at the FIA WEC’s German premiere can look forward to.”

The starting signal for the Nürburgring 6 Hours will be given on Sunday at 13.00. Eurosport will start to air live coverage of the final stage of the race on TV at 18.00. RTL will broadcast a summary of round four of the season on September 5, beginning at 13.35.

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Qualifying results1 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) 1m 36.473s
2 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 1m 36.542s
3 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 37.476s
4 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 1m 37.783s
5 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) 1m 38.689s
6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) 1m 39.371s
7 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Rebellion) 1m 42.513s
8 Abt/Imperatori/Kraihamer (Rebellion) 1m 42.985s
9 Kaffer/Trummer (CLM-AER) 1m 44.886s
10 Bradley/Howson/Tandy (Oreca-Nissan) 1m 46.132s

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Race: Audi Maintains Lead in Points Standings following WEC Home Round at NurburgringAdvantage maintained: The Audi drivers Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) remain the leaders of the standings halfway through the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. The 2012 World Champions achieved third place in the 6-hour race at the Nürburgring in front of a large crowd, defending their 17-point advantage in the drivers’ classification.
Audi remains in front: After the fourth of eight rounds, Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer continue to lead the standings – as they have ever since the season opener in April. In the German debut of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Audi had to admit defeat for the first time in a 6-hour race this year. The Audi driver trio in car number ‘7’ had started from position three, maintained second place for a long time but in the end finished behind two Porsche sports prototypes. “In the hot temperatures of nearly 30 degrees Celsius we weren’t as competitive this time as we were at the beginning of the season,” André Lotterer said, summing up the race. His team-mate Marcel Fässler added: “The important thing was to maintain an advantage in the standings.” Following the fourth podium result in four races, Benoît Tréluyer said: “Even though we weren’t battling for victory for a change, we managed to clinch a podium and to score important points in the process.”

In the sister car, number ‘8,’ Lucas di Grassi (BR), Loïc Duval (F) and Oliver Jarvis (GB) showed a superb performance. In the last hour of the race, Di Grassi was battling for second place with Porsche driver Marc Lieb for a long time, but ultimately saw the checkered flag in position four.

“We’d have liked to have battled for victory in our home race in front of a large crowd as we did at the beginning of the season,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “But we had to accept that Porsche were stronger today. In the standings, our drivers have maintained a remarkable advantage. This means we can expect a thrilling second half of the season.”

Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, added: “In Audi’s home round, we competed in front of an impressive crowd of fans. It was great to see how popular the LMP sports cars are in Germany. That was perfect advertising for the FIA WEC. For the remaining races, we’re going to leave no stone unturned to continue to optimally support our drivers in the battle for the WEC title. The title is far from having been decided.”

In three weeks from now, round five of the season is coming up. In the U.S. state of Texas, the FIA WEC will be held for the third time, on September 19 – Audi won both of the two previous rounds at Austin.

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Race results1 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) 203 laps
2 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) –1 lap
3 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) –1 lap
4 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) –1 lap
5 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) –3 laps
6 Conway/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota) –4 laps
7 Bradley/Howson/Tandy (Oreca) –18 laps
8 Bird/Canal/Rusinov (Ligier) –18 laps
9 Derani/Gonzalez/Yacaman (Ligier) –19 laps
10 Hamilton/Ragues/Webb (Morgan) –19 laps

Video: Post Race Press Conference[vsw id="i0WsllpchfY" source="youtube" width="560" height="315" autoplay="no"]

Quotes

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): 
“In round four of the season, we weren’t as competitive as we’d been hoping to be. We tried everything on the Nürburgring and were battling but didn’t cope as well as we were hoping with the temperatures on Sunday. Now, we need to prepare accordingly for the remaining four races. We still have quite a bit of work to do before the end of the season.”

 

 
 
 

Chris Reinke
Chris Reinke (Head of LMP bei Audi Sport):
 “The FIA WEC has delivered an outstanding first round in Germany. It was very special for us to race at home, on the Nürburgring, in front of such an impressive crowd. Unfortunately, we have to admit that Porsche were simply better today. Accordingly, we congratulate the deserving winners.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest)
Ralf Jüttner (Team Director Audi Sport Team Joest): 
“Congratulations toPorsche. The race was difficult for us because we simply weren’t as fast as our strongest rivals. In the second half of the race, our car was pretty good, but Porsche were consistently fast across the whole distance. We showed a relatively flawless race but, on the whole, our performances weren’t good enough.”

 

 

 

 

Marcel Fassler
Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #7):
 “I’m really impressed by the sports car audience in Germany. However, in terms of racing it wasn’t an easy day for us. We tried everything – tactically as well as in the cockpit.  But it wasn’t enough to really be in contention for victory with Porsche. Although we’ve still got some work to do before Austin, I’m looking forward to the race in Texas.”

 

 

 

 

Andre Lotterer
André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #7):
 “Racing at the Nürburgring was a lot of fun. The event was really tremendous. A large number of spectators attended the event and I hope that we did a good job of entertaining them. The weather was good too. The Nürburgring simply belongs on the WEC calendar. In the race, we achieved our maximum in third place. We simply weren’t fast enough.”

 

 

 

 

Benoit Treluyer
Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #7):
 “It wasn’t an easy race. The set-up of our car wasn’t optimal. André was very fast towards the race’s midpoint, but when I took over the lap times weren’t so good anymore. At first, I thought it was my fault but when André took over again the same problem continued. Now we need to analyze what caused it. With good team spirit, we scored important points in the battle for the title.”

 

 

 

 

Lucas di Grassi
Lucas di Grassi (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #8):
 “I was relatively happy with the balance of our car. We finally managed a solid race again in car number 8. I enjoyed the race at the Nürburgring because we had some very nice duels. We extracted the maximum from our R18 e-tron quattro, but Porsche were better. So, we have to clearly improve.”

 

 

 

 

 

Loic Duval
Loïc Duval (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #8):
 “We generally had a good race. If everything had gone optimally, we could have achieved second place. Unfortunately, we lost some time under yellow flags. Lucas put in a strong performance and managed some good overtaking maneuvers. In third place, our team-mates scored valuable points in the battle for the title. Like the previous rounds at Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans, the race was definitely a thriller. The entertainment for the crowd was tremendous. The FIA WEC is fantastic this year. It’s fun to be part of it.”

 

 

 

Oliver Jarvis
Oliver Jarvis (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #8):
 “Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for a podium today. That we had a race without major setbacks is a positive. Porsche obviously managed to make a bigger step than we did – congratulations to them on their victory. We know that we still have a lot of work to do before the end of the season.”