Audi’s winning streak has yet to be broken this 2013 sports car season as its R18 e-tron quattro hybrid sports car has already grabbed the fourth of eight rounds in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), the São Paulo 6 Hours. The fourth round of the FIA WEC in Brazil saw Audi securing a 1-2 finish over the weekend.
Finishing first is an Audi R18 e-tron quattro (car number 1) piloted by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, followed by another unit driven by Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish (car number 2). The top placers, who are the current World Champions, now have cut the gap between themselves and their teammates in the drivers’ standings by eight to 22 points. Le Mans winners Duval, Kristensen, McNish entered the race with a 30-point advantage over Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer.
The Brazil victory is the World Champions’ second WEC win of the season after the Spa in May. Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer crossed the finish line at Interlagos with a three-lap advantage over their sister car. In the early stages of the São Paulo 6 Hours, Audi factory driver McNish of car number 2 was dominating, until it met several disasters along the way. In a safety car period, Kristensen returned to the track behind a slower GT race car after pitting, causing him to lose around half a minute.
Ironically, Kristensen drove the fastest race lap during the event. Duval, on the other hand, had managed to commence recovery when he lost the right rear wheel of the car on lap 142 at the exit of the pit lane due to jamming during mounting. This forced Duval complete one lap on three wheels. The two stop-and-go penalties added to the hard luck of the Audi car number 2, making them lost a total of four laps.
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “That was a great race for Audi resulting in positions one and two. It’s a shame that our competitor Toyota retired right at the beginning of the race through no fault of their own. Still, it was a tough battle between our two cars for a long time. The guys drove a superb race. Misfortune struck car number 2 with the lost wheel and all the resulting consequences but that, too, is racing. The Championship has become narrower again and it’ll no doubt be a battle all the way up to the end.” [source: Audi Motorsport]