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15 June 2012

Audi R18 e-tron quattro on pole; Aims for 11th victory at Le Mans 24hr 2012

 
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On the 80th running of the most prestigious endurance race in the world, a hybrid qualified on pole for the very first time in history. Bearing car number “1”, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by André Lotterer achieved the fastest lap of 3m 23.787s in the final qualifying session of the 24 Heures du Mans 2012 last Thursday. Lotterer will share driving duties with Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer - the same group who won the race last year.
 
"The car was running like it was on rails, simply incredible," said the 31-year-old German, which allowed him to improve on last year's best time by nearly two seconds.
 
After winning 10 times using three different technologies - turbocharging and direct injection (TFSI), diesel-power, and Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) - Audi is now chasing after their 11th victory with their new hybrid technology. Main propulsion for the R18 e-tron quattro comes from a 510 horsepower 3.7L V6 TDi engine that drive the rear wheels. An electric motor positioned on the front axle then recovers kinetic energy during braking and released above 120 km/h giving this LMP quattro four-wheel-drive. 
 
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The e-tron quattro's non-hybrid sister car, the number “3” R18 ultra, proved to be just as quick after Loïc Duval posted a lap that's merely 0.291 seconds off the lead. Meanwhile, Tim Kristensen in the number “2” R18 e-tron quattro will start from fourth on the grid and the last R18 in sixth. The only car that barred Audi from taking all top three spots is Toyota's own hybrid, the TS030.
 
Watch the four Audi R18's race 24 hours non-stop around the Circuit de la Sarthe, France at the 80th edition of the 24 Heures du Mans this Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 9:00 pm Philippine time. Watch it live on Eurosport TV or watch the race live stream from Audi's on board perspective at www.audi-liveracing.com.