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Audi targets 10th Le Mans win

New closed endurance racer from Audi.

Audi has revealed its motorsport plans for 2011, including another assault on Le Mans, participation in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) and more endurance races with the R8 LMS.

For Le Mans Audi will use the new R18 coupé, breaking the company's recent tradition of open racing cars.  Another change is the switch from a 5.5-litre V10 to a 3.7-litre V6, although still a turbodiesel.  The reduction in capacity is a response to changes in race regulations aimed at limiting engine power.

As well as aiming for its tenth Le Mans win the team will compete in the International Le Mans Cup (ILMC).  The first race is at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) on 8 May.

Audi has ambitions to win the DTM championship in 2011 too. Engineers attributed the lack of success in 2010 to tyres.  The team has already worked with the series' sole tyre supplier to ensure a better performance next year.  Nine Audi A4s DTMs will be entered in the championship next year by three teams.

The R8 LMS will be entered by customer teams into the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring in June and Spa Francorchamps in July.  Other endurance events will be contested too, including the 12-hours at Bathurst, Australia. 

Looking further ahead Audi is working on a successor, codename R17, for the A4 DTM in preparation for the new technical regulations in 2012.  An endurance version of the TT RS and a GT4 variant of the TT will also be delivered to customers in the same year.

Published on December 14, 2010
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