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18 -19 juin 2016Automobile Club de l'Ouest

Audi on course for a 10th victory ?

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Photo : D.R. - ALMS

In 2011, Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the tenth time , after one of the tightest races of its history. For the opening of the new FIA World Endurance Championship they aim to achieve the same score at the Sebring 12 Hours.

If you look at the list of Audi winners at Le Mans and Sebring there are astonishing parallels. In 2000 it was the first victory of the German manufacturer both in Florida and La Sarthe, with the same car and same crew: an R8 driven by Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro. Then, in 2006, Sebring and Le Mans were the scene of the first victory of the Audi R10 TDI. At Sebring again with Kristensen, this time with Dindo Capello and Allan McNish, then at Le Mans with Biela and Pirro joined by Marco Werner. Since 2000, Audi has placed all its prototypes in both races: R8, R10 and R15 TDI TDI. Will the R18 TDI join this prestigious line? In this year's 60th anniversary, let's take a look at the impressive record of Audi drivers attending this year at the 12 Hours Sebring:

13 wins : Tom Kristensen (8 at Le Mans, 5 at Sebring… and both records !)
 7 wins : Dindo Capello (3 at Le Mans, 4 at Sebring)
 5 wins : Allan McNish (2 at Le Mans, 3 at Sebring)
 2 wins : Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas (1 at Le Mans, 1 at Sebring)

Team-mate of Bernhard and Dumas in the #2 R18 TDI, Loïc Duval has never won at Le Mans, but won last year at Sebring with Nicolas Lapierre and Olivier Panis, in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Team Oreca Matmut. As for the trio Marcel Fässler / André Lotterer / Benoit Treluyer (Audi R18 TDI #3), winners of the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2011, they will attempt to win thier first success at Sebring.

In video below, the final lap of the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2009, with Allan McNish in the winning Audi R15 TDI, the last Audi success in Florida (commentary in French).

Jean-Philippe Doret

Photo : SEBRING (FLORIDA, USA), SEBRING INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, 12 HEURES DE SEBRING, 20 MARCH 2009. After 8 consecutive wins from 2000 to 2007, Audi took a 9th victory in the Sebring 12 Heures thanks to Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish (Kristensen driving in this image).

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