Saturday, December 17, 2011

Audi Sport prepares R18 TDI for 2012 season as Sebring testing begins

. Saturday, December 17, 2011

Following earlier closed-door tests, Audi Sport has entered the next trial phase of LMP1 testing in preparation for the 2012 season. Taking to a public track for the first time following the 2011 season, the Audi R18 TDI reverts back to its original bare-carbon color scheme for this week's shakedown at Sebring (Florida). Taking turns at the wheel of the two development vehicles are 2011 Le Mans winners Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer joined by veterans Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. Full report after the jump.

Ingolstadt, December 17, 2011 – Audi Sport is intensively preparing for the 2012 sports prototype season. A test team has started the next trial phase of the LMP1 sports car for the 2012 season in the United States this week.

After the previous tests of the further development of this year’s Le Mans winning car took place behind closed doors, Audi is now going into public at a race track for the first time. Since this Saturday, Audi Sport has been running tests with two vehicles at the Sebring (Florida) circuit. The second LMP1 sports car serves to compare the test results. Taking turns at the wheel of the two development vehicles are the 2011 Le Mans winners, the Swiss Marcel Fässler, the German André Lotterer and the Frenchman Benoît Tréluyer. Also involved in the tests are Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish, who were last victorious at Le Mans in 2008.

The tradition-steeped American circuit has a special significance for Audi, not only because Audi has celebrated nine victories at the Sebring 12 Hours since the 2000 season. The 5.95-kilometer track that features 17 highly different types of turns offers plenty of variety, which makes for excellent test conditions. The rough concrete of the former airfield’s take-off and landing strip in combination with the tarmac of the other track sectors puts the material to a particularly tough test. On March 17th, the 12-hour race will open the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) as well as the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) at this venue.

While the component tests have already started, Audi will not announce the details of the 2012 racing program, the driver line-up and the technical state of the development until a later date.

Source: Audi Motorsport