Last Sebring Dance for Audi?

March 8, 2013

Last Sebring Dance for Audi?

March 8, 2013

audi for blog

Well this could be the last time. This could be the last time. May be the last time. I don’t know. Oh no. Oh no. M. Jagger, K. Richards

As the powerful field of Prototypes and GT cars assembles for the 61st running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the air is tinged with the sweet smell of orange blossoms and the uncertainty of change and transition.

For the 10-time Sebring winners from Audi, one of the most successful teams in endurance racing history, this could be the final Sebring race as they focus on defending their new FIA World Endurance Championship crown. Audi arrives at Sebring with a pair of exotic, Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototypes, which feature a turbocharged diesel/flywheel hybrid with electric wheel motors mounted on the front axle.

The Audi driver squad will be led by “Mr. Le Mans”, Tom Kristensen, an eight-time winner of the 24-hour classic. He joins Allan McNish and Lucas di Grassi in the #2 car. The defending Le Mans and WEC champions Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer are joined here by Oliver Jarvis, to wheel the #1 Audi.

“We’re in for a very emotional race weekend on which we’ll be taking the fans along on a journey into our past,” said Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

“Sebring is where Audi’s sports car era that has been so successful began. We expect that with two current hybrid models we’ll be battling for overall victory at the 12-hour race for the last time this year.”

A trio of top competitors will take on the Audis in what may prove to be the final LMP1 battle at Sebring. The 2012 ALMS P1 champion Muscle Milk Pickett Honda and the 2011 ALMS P1 champion Dyson Racing Lola look forward to matching up against the Le Mans champions. Joining them at Sebring and for the full 2013 ALMS season will be the 2012 Petit Le Mans-winning Rebellion Toyota Michelin-shod team.

Tires will again be part of the story as the Muscle Milk squad makes the move from traditionally sized MICHELIN® tires to the latest MICHELIN “wide front” tires already raced with great success by the Audi, Toyota and Rebellion P1 teams.

Meanwhile, the Dyson squad makes the switch from Dunlop wide-front tires to Michelin for 2013. Tires are an important factor for Audi as well, as the continued development of tires for the electric wheel motors mounted on the Audi front provide yet another technical challenge for Michelin, which has won Sebring for the past 14 consecutive years and Le Mans for fifteen.

In addition to the R18 e-tron quattros, Audi is expected to feature four other race cars and several drivers who made Sebring history with Audi.

Fans will savor the sights and the sounds of the Audis at Sebring as a special era ends and a new future awaits.


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