14th March 2012
As Le Mans Racing told you, Audi has decided to use the power of its hybrid system on the front axle thus introducing the 4-wheel drive concept into LM P1!
Audi unveiled its 2012 programme on 29th February 2012 in Munich. Three of the updated 2011 cars, renamed the R18 ultra, will race in the Sebring 12 Hours. At Spa (5th May) the Audi R18 e-tron quattro will make its debut and two will be entered alongside the two R18 ultras: after that one of each will race in the other rounds of the World Endurance Championship.
The two cars are identical apart from the hybrid system as the R18 was designed with this type of propulsion in mind. Audi has been working on this concept for two years, which brings back 4-wheel drive in a totally new form. The R18’s hybrid system uses an inertia flywheel developed by Williams Hybrid Power (like Porsche’s), whereas Toyota has opted for the super-capacitors. In Audi’s case the 500Kj stored under braking will be released on the front axle providing a surge of power above 120 km/h as laid down in the ACO’s rule book, and above all a gain in traction: an advantage that could prove decisive in wet conditions.
The driver line-up includes Loïc Duval as already announced by Le Mans Racing. The Frenchman will join Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas in one of the R18 ultras at Sebring, Spa and Le Mans. Marco Bonanomi and Oliver Jarvis will take advantage of Mike Rockenfeller’s experience in the second R18 ultra at Spa and Le Mans, even though the German will miss the Belgian round because of a date clash with the DTM.
The two Audi R18 e-tron quattros will be driven by Fässler-Lotterer-Tréluyer, and Capello-Kristensen-McNish who will also be at Sebring with an R18 ultra. After Le Mans only Lotterer and McNish have been designated so far.
Text: François Hurel – Photo: Audi Motorsport
|Mise à jour le Mercredi, 14 Mars 2012 14:31|