Wednesday 7 October 2009

Audi R15 Tdi Diesel-Engined Sportscar Petit Le Mans Race

New Sports Audi R15 Tdi Petit Le Mans Race

Britain’s Allan McNish (pictured) came tantalisingly close to achieving his fifth Petit Le Mans race victory at Road Atlanta on Saturday (26 Sep) and maintaining Audi’s 100% winning record in the annual American sportscar endurance race since the German manufacturer’s debut in 2000.
The Dumfries-born double Le Mans 24 Hour race winner and Italian co-driver Dindo Capello led for the opening 4hrs before the Scotsman suffered two spins and dropped to third place on the treacherously wet and slippery track in Georgia - moments before the race went in to a Safety Car period and was ultimately stopped with almost five hours run.
After a further delay of almost four hours and near constant heavy rain, organisers decided not to re-start the event which in any case was limited to 10 hours or 1,000-miles, leaving the McNish/Capello diesel-engined Audi R15 TDI classified third, a mere 3.465secs behind the winning Peugeot (Franck Montagny/Stephane Sarrazin).
The McNish/Capello Audi had started from third place on the 27-car grid but McNish swept in to the lead on the opening lap. The “sister” R15 TDI of Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner began from fourth place, a position the German duo were classified in, one lap down on the top-three, when the race was declared over. Meanwhile the McNish/Capello Audi won the efficiency award “Michelin GreenX Challenge” – a trophy awarded to the most environmentally friendly car.
Audi unexpectedly contested a third race of the year to collect further race information about its new sports-prototype in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours next June.


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