TEAM NEWS: Audi R10 TDI débuts at Lime Rock

Photo by John Thawley The revolutionary diesel sportscar from AUDI AG squares up to its next challenge only three weeks after the Audi R10 TDI’s second victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: At "The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix" at Lime Rock (US state of Connecticut) the 650 hp Audi R10 TDI competes for the first time around the shortest circuit on the calendar of the US sportscar series.

The circuit, located approximately 110 miles northeast of New York, is only 2.462 kilometres (1.530 miles) in length. However, the average speed of a single lap is almost 190 km/h. Constantly changing tarmac and small run-off areas make the circuit, on the east coast, one of the trickiest of the season.

Audi is unbeaten to date at Lime Rock in the American Le Mans Series. In 2004 and 2005, JJ Lehto and Marco Werner celebrated back-to-back victories. At Lime Rock in 2006, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish presented the Audi R8 with its 63rd victory in its 80th and final race.

The Audi Sport North America team aims to emulate the success of the Audi R8 with the Audi R10 TDI, which has celebrated eleven overall victories in 14 events to date and remains unbeaten in the LM P1 class.

An official test day is held on Tuesday at Lime Rock. Two free practice sessions and qualifying are on the agenda on Friday. The race starts on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. local time (9:05 p.m. in Germany) and runs over the classic ALMS distance of 2:45 hours.

Quotes before the race at Lime Rock

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): "Lime Rock is the first race in the American Le Mans Series after our success at Le Mans. The circuit is anything but easy. Last year at Lime Rock, we celebrated a fitting finale to the career of the Audi R8 at its final race, which is why everybody at Audi still has great memories of Lime Rock. I hope we can carry on with the R10 TDI where we left off with the R8."

Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #1): "The Lime Rock circuit is very short and is therefore the complete opposite to Le Mans. It does, however, have several interesting corners. Theoretically it isn’t exactly the best place for our R10 TDI. We were very strong there last year and claimed the final victory for the R8 there. Allan (McNish) and I reckon that we have a chance to repeat this result. It’s a good thing that we can test on Tuesday. This will help us to be well prepared for the race weekend."

Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #1): "Lime Rock is definitely one of the most difficult circuits in America. It is extremely fast and quite short – only 46 seconds per lap! There are nevertheless many different types of corners with changing tarmac surfaces. The ideal line isn’t always the fastest one. After Dindo (Capello) and I claimed the final victory for the R8 last year, I hope that we can now give the R10 TDI its first victory on its first travel to Lime Rock. However, Acura/Honda and Porsche will make life difficult for us at Lime Rock as well. Last year we had to fight particularly hard against Porsche in qualifying."

Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #2): "Lime Rock is a fantastic race track. I was there for the first time two years ago. As I walked around the circuit I thought it was quite dangerous and wasn’t very enthusiastic about racing there. I enjoyed the race nevertheless. Lime Rock is short and fast and, as a result, not ideal for our fast sports cars. However, it’s a fantastic event in one of the most picturesque regions of America. I’m looking forward to racing again in the USA after the break for Le Mans."

Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #2): "I have fond memories of Lime Rock. I’ve won twice there and set a new lap-record two years ago. However, that was the old days of the R8. The challenge with the R10 TDI is new to us all this year. I like the circuit, which is short, looks easy but isn’t simple at all. The tarmac changes constantly. There are sections with absolutely no grip and others with grip only on a particular line. Lime Rock is a real challenge for every driver."

Dave Maraj (Team Director Audi Sport North America): "We start for the first time with a diesel car at Lime Rock. Fortunately, we have three hours to test on the Tuesday before the race. This will help us to set-up the car well for the race, which will be difficult and very interesting. You can’t afford to make any mistakes with the strategy at Lime Rock because the circuit is so short and you can quickly go a lap down."


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