Audi is ready to defend its title in the World Endurance Championship

Article by Christian A., on April 9, 2013

Audi is set to defend its title won last year at the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Silverstone. On April 14, Audi will start the “title defense” objective with the more extensively developed Audi R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car at the 6-hour race on the tradition-filled English race track. This marks the first race of the 2013 WEC season; however, this is the second sports car event for Audi Sport Team Joest in 2013.

Last March, Audi had a one-two win at the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida, a race that isn’t a part of the WEC. The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars will be at the WEC season opener in England to race with two hybrid sports cars from rival Toyota. The defending World Endurance Champions Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F), as well as Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) will be driving the two Audi sports prototypes.

In 2012, racing fans were treated to a clash between Audi and Toyota on the 5.891-kilometer circuit at Silverstone. It was a very exciting 6-hour race all throughout with the lead changing a total of 14 times. But Audi took the win with a lead of 55.675 seconds, earning it the fourth of five season victories. In 2013, the UK fans can expect to see different new elements in the World Endurance Championship.

For the first time, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro version that received numerous improvements will be seen in a European race for the first time. The “evolution of a revolution” makes use of optimized aerodynamics, a hybrid system that was developed further plus an ultra-lightweight design that received even more optimization.

To enhance the driver’s view from the cockpit, two forward-pointing cameras were installed on the roof for the new driver assistance system. These developments signify a step forward but the regulations restrict the performance potential of the race car in a sensitive area. Because of a smaller air restrictor, the 3.7-liter V6 TDI engine now has an output of just 360 kW (490 hp), which is about 15 kW (20 hp) less than in 2012.

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