Audi fielded three R18 e-tron quattro cars on the ‘Circuit des 24 Heures’ at La Sarthe, using the event to intensively test its vehicles. In total, the cars completed a total of 284 laps for 3,870 kilometers in eight hours. During the four hours in the morning, Lucas di Grassi, Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen in car number 1; Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer in the car number; 2 and Filipe Albuquerque and Marco Bonanomi in car number 3, tested the set-up work for the three cars.
They were also able to test the aerodynamic configuration and the grip of the R18 e-tron quattro cars. The drive also allowed the drivers to align their race cars and their personal driving styles with the energy consumption targets that regulators set for each track.
Marco Bonanomi set a lap time of 3 minutes and 23.799 seconds to record the fastest time in the first practice session. The drivers were able to complete 125 laps (1703.625 km) in the morning and were also able to meet the requirements set by the engineers, all owing them to use the afternoon for extensive tire tests.
The tire test was aimed at evaluating the performance of the new tire generation in the long run. The drivers went on to make 159 laps in the afternoon, bringing the total distance travelled by the three race cars to 3870.636 kilometers driven. Albuquerque and Bonanomi finished the practice session in third place overall.
Chris Reinke, Head of LMP at Audi Sport, was pleased at the end of the test day as well. “We completed a long and extensive program on the test day. My thanks go to all the people involved in this project, who are looking back on some tough weeks and months. We’re entering the race week with the feeling of being thoroughly prepared. We know how tough Le Mans will be this year. Now we’re all focusing our joint efforts on a single big aim – we’re set on battling for victory in two weeks from now.” [source: Audi Motorsport]