Audi will be testing a new long-tail version of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car in Belgium.
Round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) will be held May 4 at Spa, in Belgium.
Audi Sport Team Joest wants to optimally prepare for the Le Mans 24 Hours, the pinnacle of the season for the sports prototypes. The Le Mans race will be held June 22 and 23.
Two versions of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro that, also visually, can be clearly distinguished from each other will be running at Spa.
The winners of the opening round, Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB), and the current World Endurance Champions Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), will both be starting with the aerodynamic variant that was victorious at Silverstone.
This original version generates optimal downforce for track types such as the 7.004-kilometre circuit at Spa.
A third Audi R18 e-tron quattro, driven by Marc Gené/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis (E/BR/GB), on the other hand uses an aero package that has been optimized for the high-speed Le Mans track and can be recognized by its lengthened rear section.
Audi said the comparison will not be focused on absolute lap times. Instead, the team will analyze the time differences to be expected between both models on individual track sectors.
In addition, practical aspects of using the second body version will be reviewed and data generated for the fielding in the race at Le Mans.
Audi believes the focal point for spectators will again be the thrilling battle between World Champion Audi and challenger Toyota. In the seven races that have taken place since last June, the score is at 4-3 for the sports cars from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in the competition with Japan.
The Spa 6 Hours will be held on Saturday of the first weekend in May. The full race can be watched on audi-liveracing.com.