24h Le Mans
Audi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as seen by Jean-Marc Teissèdre
In this series, author of the official Le Mans 24 Hours annual Jean-Marc Teiss
With thirteen victories in sixteen appearances, Audi has achieved an unprecedented level of success for a manufacturer at Le Mans, something that has clearly impressed Jean-Marc Teissèdre.
Jean-Marc Teissèdre: "For fifteen years now, Audi has been coming to Le Mans with cars that evolve all the time, constantly seeking technological excellence (with injection technology or the diesel then hybrid engine, for example). There was the R8, R10 TDI, R15 TDI, R18 TDI, R18 ultra, and now the R18 e-tron quattro, which has been in the line-up for the Le Mans 24 Hours for three years running. It's a different car each year and it gets results.
Audi has all my admiration and respect, I take my hat off to them! The team's engineers are able to take an excellent technical base, such as the R8 or R18, and adapt it to the successive changes to the rule book. If we put the R18 that raced three years ago next to the current R18, you would see two completely different cars."
If they claimed a fourteenth victory in 2015, Audi would be on a par with Ferrari with six consecutive wins (only Porsche has beaten this, with seven victories on the trot between 1981 and 1987). Meanwhile the R18 (TDI version in 2011 then the e-tron quattro since 2012) would equal the five wins of the R8, the firm's first prototype to triumph at Le Mans.
Jean-Philippe Doret / ACO Translated from French by Clair Pickworth
Photo: JEAN-PHILIPPE BOYER - ACO
Photo: LE MANS (SARTHE, FRANCE), CIRCUIT DE LA SARTHE, 24 HOURS OF LE MANS, SUNDAY 15 JUNE 2014, FINISH LINE. Will the Audi R18 e-tron quattro claim its fourth win at Le Mans? Find out at 3pm, Sunday 14 June!