After nine consecutive wins in the Le Mans 24, Audi was outdone by Peugeot in 2009. This year they are intent on reclaiming their title at the top with the introduction of the R15 Plus. This new super machine will avenge the rankings of its predecessor, the R15, with some added beefiness and aerodynamics and will make its debut April 11 at the 8 Heures du Castellet.
Below is an article outlining some of the highlights of the new machine and when it will have its first show down with the Peugeot during the 2010 Le Mans series.
After a score of eight wins in the competition which was ultimately stemmed in 2009 by Peugeot, Audi returns to endurance racing this year with a brand new challenger, the R15 Plus. The newcomer is poised to make its debut at the 8 Heures du Castellet on April 11.
Following the defeat of the new Audi R15 at Le Mans in 2009, the Ingolstadt-based squad lost no time returning to the drawing board in a bid to improve the efficiency and the reliability of its diesel-fuelled prototype.
But it is a brand new car the R15 Plus that will defend the colours of the German brand in 2010.
The newcomer’s aerodynamic package marks a significant shift compared to its predecessor as the team seeks to make up for the fall in power due to the latest regulations that apply to turbocharged diesel engines (lower turbo pressure). The front wing that caused a certain amount of controversy in 2009 has also been revised, as have the cooling system, engine, transmission – and lighting system.
Audi’s engineers have also been working closely with Michelin’s development and technical staff with a view to producing a competitive and more durable range of tyres for the car.
The first run of the ‘definitive’ version of the Audi R15 Plus took place on March 3, in Neustadt, Germany, and Audi and Michelin will continue their work in Florida during the test days that follow this weekend’s 12 Hours of Sebring as they further their preparations for June’s visit to Le Mans.
The official competition debut of the new German prototype will be the eight-hour race at Le Castellet (April 11), in the south of France, which kicks off the 2010 Le Mans Series calendar.
The car’s first direct clash with the Peugeot will follow a month later at Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of what promises to be a thrilling showdown in the world’s most famous endurance race in La Sarthe.