Audi Lines-Up Trio Of Hybrid-Diesel R18 e-tron For Spa And Le Mans

Audi confirmed three Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports cars will be competing at the Spa 6 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013.

At each of the six other World Endurance Championship (WEC) rounds, Audi will be fielding two hybrid sports cars.

Drivers Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) will be defending together the title. The trio has been racing together for Audi since 2010 and celebrated the WEC drivers’ title and victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours last year, their biggest successes so far.

Eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB), who has won at La Sarthe twice, are forming a team with Loïc Duval in 2013 for the first time. The Frenchman made his debut with Audi in 2012 and won the Spa 6 Hours.

These two driver teams will be competing at all eight WEC rounds.

At the Spa 6 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi will be relying on an additional driver line-up. The Brazilian Lucas di Grassi, who debuted with Audi in the WEC at his home round at São Paulo last year and immediately qualified on the front row, will be driving a third R18 e-tron quattro. He is sharing the cockpit this season with the Spaniard Marc Gené, last year’s winner of the Spa 6 Hours. Oliver Jarvis is the third driver in this combination. In the Audi R8 GRAND-AM, Jarvis won the GT class at the Daytona 24 Hours a week ago.

“With these three combinations we’ve put together an international team that we expect a lot of,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Our younger drivers will have the chance to establish themselves alongside the experienced Audi drivers who have really been pleasing us with their top results in all these years. With that, we’re in a very good position in terms of drivers for the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as for the other WEC races.”

Allan McNish.

Allan McNish.

Driver Allan McNish said: “I’m delighted to be racing in the World Endurance Championship for a second consecutive season. Silverstone is the opening round of this year’s eight-race series in April, which is a ‘first’ so that will be intriguing in itself. But of course the ‘big’ race for any sportscar driver is the Le Mans 24 Hours. I’ve won this race twice myself and I’m very, very eager to earn Audi its 12th victory in June. I’ll be racing an Audi R18 e-tron quattro throughout the year with long-time co-driver Tom Kristensen while Loïc Duval joins us in the absence of Dindo Capello who retired from sports-prototype racing after last year’s Le Mans. Dindo is irreplaceable but I’m very pleased that Loïc is joining us. Loïc is very fast, ambitious and a good fit with Tom and I, in terms of the way he drives, his mentality and personality. I’m sure we’ll be a strong combination from the word go. From a personal point of view, 2012 was a little frustrating. We had a lot of second place finishes so I’m determined to turn those into wins this season. It is going to be a tough year because we know Toyota is strong. Our 2013 car development is going well. It’s not a revolution more an evolution of what we had last year and Audi Sport is doing a good job in fine-tuning what was already a very good car.”

2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) driver combinations:

Spa 6 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours
- Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F)
- Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB)
- Marc Gené/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis (E/BR/GB)

All other 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship races (WEC)
- Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F)
- Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB)