Hybrid crosses finish line first at Le Mans
Not only that, but the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro managed to come in first, second, third and fifth. All four Audi R18 cars had the chance to clinch what amounted to the brand’s eleventh Le Mans victory in total. After 378 laps, last year’s winners Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer at the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number “1” were again the front runners, according to information supplied by Audi.
Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish as the runners-up caused the all-wheel drive of the future in which the conventional drive system is combined with an electrically driven axle to record a one-two result. Audi is already testing this technology in which the drive shaft is replaced by electric cables for use in production vehicles.
Le Mans rookie Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller in the best conventionally powered Audi R18 ultra completed the fourth one-two-three victory for Audi at the Le Mans 24 Hours after 2000, 2002 and 2010. Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval and Marc Gené at the wheel of the second R18 ultra finished in fifth place.
Operating at the rear of all four Audi R18 cars was the latest evolution of the compact V6 TDI engine with VTG mono turbocharger that was used at Le Mans for the first time in 2011. The new ultra-light transmission with a carbon fiber housing – a novelty in a Le Mans sports car – held up to the Le Mans endurance test covering a distance of more than 3200 miles in all four vehicles without any problems as well.