World Endurance Championship
Audi in Le Mans
Title defense with hybrid and quattro drive
This record is genuinely impressive: Audi joined the grid at the 24-hour race in Le Mans for the first time in 1999. Since then, the Audi Sport team from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm has won the endurance classic in France ten times in 14 starts. With the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the brand with the four rings scored the first victory for a hybrid racecar in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Furthermore, Audi won the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and is thus the first World Champion in history with a hybrid sports car.No other manufacturer can boast such a resounding record of victories in such a short space of time in the race held since 1923.
In the process, Audi also repeatedly sets technological milestones. The victorious Audi R8 in 2001 was equipped for the first time with a TFSI engine with gasoline direct injection. In 2006, a diesel powered car in the form of the Audi R10 TDI took victory at the Sarthe. Audi triumphed in 2011 with the innovative R18 TDI thanks, in part, to ultra lightweight design and construction and the extremely compact and efficient V6 TDI engine.
Audi starts the WEC as defending champion in 2013. Audi Sport Team Joest competes with a brace of further developed Audi R18 e-tron quattro prototypes. For the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the WEC race at Spa, which once again acts as a "dress rehearsal” for Le Mans, an additional R18 e-tron quattro joins the grid. The world’s most famous endurance race forms the heart of the new FIA World Endurance Championship with which a significant gap in the international motorsport landscape was filled in 2012: the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) had last staged a World Championship for sports-prototypes in 1992.