Saturday, February 27, 2010

Audi R10 TDi is derived from the successful Audi R8,

he Audi R10 TDi is derived from the successful Audi R8, but equipped with a diesel engine. That engine develops officially 650 bhp, but it's generally expected that power is over the 700 bhp, thus slightly higher than that of the Peugeot 908 Hdi FAP. Motor bloc is in aluminium and equipped with a to Garrett turbos, injecting diesel directly. Respecting the ACO rules concerning the brides a maximal pressure of 2.94 bar can be reached at 5000 rpm. Handicap of the motor is (just as on the Peugeot 908 using also a diesel engine) it's weight around 200 kg. That's e.g. 70 kg more than the Judd fuel motor. Wolfgang Appel, responsible for technological progress at Audi, announced already by the end of 2005 that the German make had the intention to win the Le Mans 24 hours with a diesel motor, something that never happened before (despite the fact that already in 1949 and 1950 the Delletrez Bros tried to win Le Mans with a diesel engine: they never reached the finish due to overheating problems). The V12 motor development went under control of Ulrich Baretsky. There can be no doubt that the diesel motor was already under construction early 2005, and certainly not by December, because Audi came in March 2006 to Sebring with two reliable R10s. Chassis was still of the honeycomb type and body of carbon fibre, very similar with the extreme-ly successful R8. Although Wolfgang Ulrich announced early 2004 that Audi had decided to retire from competition, and that it should its cars let being raced by privateers, the whole 2005 season was used to prepare the new R10 TDi.

RESULTS 2006 - First race outing of the R10 TDi was on March 17-18, 2006 at the famous Sebring 12 hours. Nobody expected that one of the two brand new cars should be able to win already at their first show such a difficult race as the one on the former airfield. The #2 realised the pole on setting a new track record. Allan Mc Nish, Rinaldo Capelli and Tom Kristensen dominated the race from start to finish with their extremely silent R10. The other car went out with overheating problems.

Sebring was the first round out of ten of the AMLS. The three following rounds were disputed with the old R8 (having won two of them). The six following rounds were all won by the new R10 Tdi: five times by McNish/Capello/Kristensen and once by Biela /Pirro/Werner. That made a total of nine victories on ten AMLS outings. The most important race of 2006 was of course the Le Mans 24 hours at La Sarthe. It was the first open confrontation of the diesel powered race car with the famous Pescarolo Judd C60. At the European LMS over five rounds the #17 Pescarolo, shared by Jean-Christophe Bouillon and Emmanuel Collar won them all five. Enough to say that good old Henri Pescarolo had reasons enough to believe that an all-French car should win the 74th edition of the Le Mans 24 hours. At the test day on June 2006 the fastest Pescarolo C60 Judd headed the fastest Audi R10 TDi by nearly two seconds, and the second fastest Pescarolo C60 headed the second fastest Audi R10 Tdi by one second. So hope seemed justified that Pescarolo was able to beat the German works team. At the eventual qualifications, however, it became obvious that the Audis could go a lot faster than they did two weeks earlier. Indeed they realised the two first places on the grid, followed at two seconds by the two Pescarolos C60. Drama however at the warm-up, just before the race, when McNish has no more transmission on the Audi #7. Now the two Pescarolos were fastest. But at the start of the eventual race McNish was pulling away. After one hour of racing the #7 was leading the #16 Pescarolo C60 by 11 seconds. The #8 was third, seven seconds down. During the second hour both Audis were much too fast for the French cars. After 3 hours of racing the #7 had 43 seconds in hand over the #8, with the #16 Pescarolo already at 1'57". Drama however after 3h 19 min. of racing, when the #7 came into the pit to let replace the injectors at the right bank of its V12. Six laps are lost and the two Pescarolos are now second and third. Once repaired the #7 flies over the track, setting a new lap record during the race. After six hours of racing the first Pescarolo limps already two full laps behind the #8 Audi R10 TDi.

Eventually Audi will win for the sixth time in seven years the Le Mans 24 hours. Henri Pescarolo, however can be proud that he finished second at four laps, and ahead of the #7 Audi finishing third. With eight wins on nine outings the R10 TDi is the best prototype of the year.

RFESULTS 2007 - This year two Audi R10 TDi prototypes will be raced at the rounds of the AMLS (now twelve instead of ten last year) and a third car, entered by Reinhold Joest, will join them at the Le Mans 24 hours. Since Peugeot enters this the LMS and not the AMLS, Le Mans will be the unique confrontation between the two diesel powered cars: Audi and Porsche. At the ALMS already five rounds have been completed. The R10 TDi won again Le Mans and was faster than the 150 kg lighter Roger Penske Porsches RS Spyder (class LMP2) at the street circuit of Sint-Petersburg, but at the short circuits of Long Beach, Houston and Utah the much lighter Porsches had all the advantage, so that none of those rounds was won by the Audi T10 TDi. With only two wins on five outings Audi remains under its last year performances (seven victories on seven outings). [JPVR]

engine: 90 degree Audi TDi 5,500cc 675 bhp [1,100 Nm torque], aluminium bi-turbo
engine weight: 200 kg (compare with 130 kg for a Judd motor)
turbochargers: Garrett TR3076R (max. 2.94 bar)
gearbox: electro-pneumatic controlled X-Trac, 5 gear ratios
Clutch: ceramic ZF Sachs
differential: self-locking, ASR traction control
fuel capacity: 81 litres
weight: 935 kg

tyres: Michelin

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