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Dunlop Le Mans

Audi R18 Notes - Audi Presents Long-tail R18

Round two of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa Francorchamps on 4 May will see Audi field a trio of diesel hybrid R18 e-tron Quattros for the first time in competition.

But whilst two of the cars are to the same spec which dominated proceedings at Silverstone’s opening round the third will see the debut of a new long-tail variant of the car.

Audi will be combining an attempt to bolster their WEC points advantage with the #1 and #2 cars with race testing of the version of the car that they intend to take to the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The #3 car will be driven by Marc Gené, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis with an aero package that has been optimised for the high-speed Le Mans track with a lengthened rear section.

Audi though are already keen to point out that the comparison between the two specs of R18 won’t concentrate on absolute lap times but rather on individual track sectors. The team will also be keeping a close eye on some of the more practical aspects of using the second body version.

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport:

“As always, Audi will be using the race at Spa as a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. Spa is a race track with a character that’s completely different from Silverstone. We thoroughly reviewed the first race of the season and accomplished our tasks in order to be well prepared for the second round of the WEC. Fielding the Le Mans aero variant on the third vehicle that hasn’t been optimised for the lap times at Spa is an important element of the preparation for the 24-hour race.”

Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest:

“The comparison with our competitor will start from scratch again at Spa. We can expect our opponent Toyota to compete with the latest technological update. For the first time this year, we’ll be running with three cars. That means more work for our team. Spa’s a great track and a race that definitely belongs on the WEC calendar. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro was immediately reliable and fast.”