Two of Audi's total four LMP-1 Le Mans entries to be hybrid R18 TDI diesels
Audi has done a remarkable job in Le Mans essentially dominating the event for over a decade now. Audi is embracing a new approach and adding a hybrid powertrain to their champion R18 TDI. Will a hybrid win Le Mans? It would be a remarkable feat and go a long way to silencing hybrid doubters. Still, balancing the rules in a way that do not favor the hybrids will not be easy. Also, this means Audi will be cutting their solely diesel powered LMP1 entries in half and considering Audi lost two cars last year to unfortunate incidents betting on the hybrids picking up the slack should something go wrong may prove to be a major strategic mistake.
The cars will have a dress rehearsal so to speak at the six hours of Spa-Francorchamps and another at the 12 hours of Sebring. That should be more enough time to work out any potential issues before the big dance at Le Mans.
“To develop the hybrid technology for Le Mans is at least as ambitious and challenging as our diesel project was in its early stages. The first test results are very encouraging and we are intrigued to see just how this technology performs,” stated Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.