118.18 hp per litre
(From Audi Press Release) Sebring, 19 March
2006: Audi triumphs with Diesel power at Sebring
First victory for a Diesel sportscar
Tom Kristensen achieves another record
V12 TDI engine writes motorsport history
The new Audi R10 TDI has immediately written motorsport history in
its first outing: Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan
McNish(Scotland) won the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA) achieving the first
ever victory of a Diesel powered sportscar. Tom Kristensen became the first
driver to win America’s most famous endurance race for a fourth time, achieving
another record after his record seventh Le Mans victory from last year.
30 degrees Celsius in the shade, high humidity and asphalt temperatures reaching
up to 43 degrees, caused especially difficult circumstances on the Florida track
which is one of the most demanding in the world. Allan McNish had already
shown the potential of the 650-hp V12 TDI engine with a record-breaking pole
position time in qualifying. Because the heat exchanger had to be replaced after the
morning warm-up, Dindo Capello was forced to start the number two R10 TDI
from the pit-lane starting his chase from the back of the field.
It took Capello only half an hour before he had moved from 35th and last position
to second just behind the sister car of Frank Biela. Shortly before the end of the
second hour, the Italian took the lead, which the number two R10 TDI kept until
the finish. Only changing the fuel filter and two loose wheel nuts caused
The number one Audi R10 TDI that had clearly led the race for the first two hours
did not reach the finish. The car driven by Frank Biela (Germany), Emanuele Pirro
(Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) was withdrawn just before one-third distance
due to an overheated engine.
The reason: Shortly after the start of the race, the telemetry system of car number
one, that transmits the data from the car to the pits, had stopped working. As a
consequence, Audi Sport’s engine technicians had no data at all for the whole
distance. When Marco Werner reported high water temperatures via radio during
the fourth hour of the race, the second placed R10 TDI was called into the pits. The
team discovered radiators completely blocked by tyre rubber. After cleaning the
radiators, the temperatures sank immediately. However, Team Audi Sport North
America decided to precautionary withdraw the second placed R10 TDI from the
race because the engine had been running with significantly high temperatures for
an extended period.
Quotes after the race at Sebring
Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of AUDI AG: “Audi has
once again written motorsport history, this time by being the first manufacturer to
win an endurance race with a diesel powered sportscar. This impressively
confirms the efficiency of the modern TDI technology. It is especially remarkable
that this success was achieved at the very first race of the new Audi R10 TDI. The
whole team from Audi Sport and the Technical Development of Audi has
once again done a great job. I thank everyone who is participating in this ambitious
Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “This has been a very tough
race and thus a good test for Le Mans. To get the first victory for a TDI engine
after our pole position is fantastic. We showed today what’s in our new sportscar
with a Diesel engine. Thanks to the whole crew from Audi Sport and Team Joest.
Of course it is a shame that we couldn’t bring both cars to the finish. But we
learned a lot today and know that it is still a long way to Le Mans.”
Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2): “Audi has again done something
extraordinary. With this victory we really make a new chapter about motorsport
history. It reminds me when Audi started rallying with the quattro to show that
four-wheel drive is good not only for farm vehicles. When Audi announced it
would go racing with a Diesel engine, maybe many people did not take us
seriously. But I think now they will not laugh anymore about us.”
Tom Kristensen (Audi R10 TDI #2): “Audi had the courage to put such a young
car into a race at an early stage. It paid off. I know how many people have been
working very hard for this and I would like to thank all of them. I have to say many
thanks especially to the mechanics. What they did after the warm-up was a job
which normally is not done in this short amount of time. Thanks also to my
colleagues Allan and Dindo who drove very well. Crossing the finish line was a
historic moment for the Diesel technology. I know that Audi has a good image in
America. I’m sure the image of Audi TDI will be soon as good in the US.”
Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2): “The whole team should be very proud - we
have created a little piece of history. In a few years time, people will look back and
realise this was a monumental moment, not only in Audi Sport history, but also in
motorsport where the first ever Diesel engine won an international race. We all
worked very hard for this one. And we will all be celebrating a lot tonight. ”
Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1): “The first victory with a Diesel engine and for
the R10 TDI is a great story. Especially if you have in mind that we had not so
much time. The roll-out happened quite recently. You can only take your hat off to
Audi Sport for this achievement. We had a superb car at the beginning of the race.
But things like this can happen, that’s racing. Now we have to keep our heads up,
look forward, show the same performance at Le Mans and finish the race there.”
Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1): “In motor racing you can have mechanical
problems sometimes. Of course there is sadness for us because a little problem
prevented us from having a good battle for the win. Despite that, it has been a
positive weekend. One of the two cars won its first race, this is a big achievement
and a big reward for all the work all of us did in developing the R10 TDI. I keep
my full confidence for the very big race which is Le Mans.”
Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #1): “We had good race speed, and as long we
were in the race, things went without problems. Of course it is a shame we had to
stop prematurely. Despite that, my thanks to Audi and Team Joest. The boys had a
lot of work this weekend. Audi faced stiff competition after such a short period of
testing. Others often don’t have the courage to do this in public.”
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director, Team Audi Sport North America): “We are
happy about the success because we have been working extremely hard for that.
It’s even more important we learned a lot of things - we can take home a long list
and work towards Le Mans. This will happen with a lot of joy because we have
seen the potential the R10 TDI has and that the concept is right. Losing one car
very early was not nice, and I really feel sorry for the guys of car number one.
They also worked through many nights.”
More than 1100 Newton metres
The heart of the Audi R10 TDI is a completely new V12 TDI engine with a cubic capacity of 5.5 litres -
the maximum permitted at Le Mans.
Audi ventures into previously unexplored diesel-engine terrain with power exceeding 650 hp and torque
of more than 1100 Newton metres from the V12 power plant.
“This engine is the specifically most powerful diesel there is in the world and, up until now,
the biggest challenge that Audi Sport has ever faced in its long history,”
explains Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Technology at Audi Sport.
“There has never been anything remotely comparable. We started development with a clean sheet of paper.”
The V12 TDI used in the R10 TDI is the first Audi diesel engine with an aluminium crank case.
The cylinder-bank angle is 90 degrees. The V12 TDI has, like Audi production car engines,
four valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts.
The fuel induction is made by a modern “Common Rail System”. The injection pressure easily exceeds the 1600
bar achieved in production cars. The ignition pressures also reach values never previously
seen in any Audi engine.
The engine’s power and the high torque are available to the driver practically from idling speed -
a speciality of diesel technology, to which the Audi drivers must now become accustomed.
The usable power band lies between 3000 and 5000 revs per minute.