Audi is happy with the performance of its electrified R18 e-tron quattro race car, having just completed the only testing opportunity in preparation of the Le Mans 24 Hours at the La Sarthe race track.
The three R18 e-tron quattro cars ran a total of 284 laps, which represents a tad over 3,870 kilometers (2,405 miles) of testing.
The 82nd running of the iconic endurance race will be held June 14 and 15.
Audi explained the eight hours of testing at La Sarthe proved very valuable for the company’s motorsports efforts. During the four hours in the morning, Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval and Tom Kristensen in car number 1, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer in the number 2 R18 e-tron quattro and Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi in the third car put all the set-up work into on-track action. In addition to the final aerodynamic configuration, the mechanically generated grip was another focal point of the program.
Audi added all eight drivers had their first opportunity during this testing to align racecars and personal driving styles with the energy consumption targets specifically defined by regulations for each track.
In the morning, Marco Bonanomi, on setting a lap time of 3m 23.799s, achieved the fastest time in the first practice session.
During the course of 125 laps (1,703.625 km or 1,058.583 miles) Audi said its drivers met the requirements set by the engineers with such precision that all three driver squads were able to use the afternoon for extensive tire tests. The objective was to test the performance of the fundamentally new tire generation over the long run.
After another 159 laps in the afternoon, Audi had completed 3870.636 kilometers (2,405.102 miles) driven. The Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi duo finished the practice session as the best Audi squad in third place.
“Our drivers, Audi Sport Team Joest and all Audi Sport employees fully accomplished an ambitious program today and in doing so performed valuable work,” said Audi Head of Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “The squad surpassed our expectations. Now, in the remaining week before the event, we’re going to analyze this data in order to find an optimal set-up for all three race cars.”
Test day results (parts 1 and 2 combined) are as follow (it is important to keep in mind teams were not necessarily aiming for the fastest times, but testing all kind of parameters):
1 Buemi/Davidson/Lapierre (Toyota), 3m 23.014s
2 Nakajima/Sarrazin/Wurz (Toyota), 3m 23.156s
3 Albuquerque/Bonanomi (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 23.799s
4 Di Grassi/Duval/Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 24.453s
5 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche), 3m 24.692s
6 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 3m 24.757s
7 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche), 3m 24.911s
8 Beche/Heidfeld/Prost (Rebellion-Toyota), 3m 31.700s
9 Belicchi/Kraihamer/Leimer (Rebellion-Toyota), 3m 33.043s
10 Canal/Pla/Rusinov (Morgan-Nissan), 3m 37.795s