Mike Stevens | Feb 11, 2009

Above: R15 TDI concept by Kim Stapleton.

  • Race debut of new diesel sports car on 21 March
  • 12-hour race in Florida is stern test for Le Mans
  • Audi Sport Team Joest with proven driver teams

In preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13/14, Audi Sport Team Joest is set to race its two new Audi R15 TDI sportscars in the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida on March 21.

Successor to the undefeated Audi R10 TDI, the R15 TDI bears a range of significant technical improvements to enhance the team’s chances on the track, and the first tests with the new LMP1 prototype have been successfully completed.

"So far the R15 TDI has performed as we expected," Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich said. "Now it must also prove itself in race conditions. Sebring is a particularly hard race and is therefore perfectly suited to reveal even the smallest of weaknesses."

audi-tdi-podium

The two cars will be driven by teams of proven racing drivers, with one team made up of defending Le Mans winners Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland), while the other car is driven by Germans Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner.

In Audi’s first-ever sports car race in 1999, the team scored a podium position with the Audi R8R. A year later the Audi R8 triumphed on its debut at Sebring. In 2006 Audi landed the first victory worldwide for a diesel -owered sports car in an important endurance race with the R10 TDI.

Audi has taken the top podium step at Sebring a total of eight times, the most recent in 2007.

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