At the end of a fascinating 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship, you could forgive Audi if all it wanted to do was to take a few weeks off and contemplate a year that has seen the young upstarts from Porsche reach the top step of the podium in all of the final six races. In a season that started so well for Audi, winning both of the opening two rounds, the remaining races failed to deliver on that early promise.
Clearly planning ahead, Audi realised that they would need to produce something really rather special if they were to wrestle the newly won crown away from Porsche during 2016.
On Saturday, Audi Motorsport unveiled the newly designed Audi R18 to the World’s motoring journalists with which they intend to compete in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
MotorMartin is proud to announce therefore, that Audi Motorsport will be participating in the 2016 motorsport season with the most powerful and efficient race car Audi has ever built. The new Audi R18 celebrated its world premiere on the occasion of the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center Munich on Saturday. In the DTM, Audi has opted for continuity with an unchanged driver line-up. In GT racing, the new Audi R8 LMS is facing its first full racing season. For the 2016 Audi Sport TT Cup, 125 candidates have applied for the 20 available entries.
Audi Sport has fundamentally re-designed the Audi R18 for the 2016 season. The LMP1 race car that competes in the Le Mans 24 Hours and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) features innovative aerodynamics, represents the next stage in lightweight design and has a modified hybrid system with lithium-ion batteries for energy storage, plus an efficiency-optimized TDI engine.
“With our new Audi R18, we’re setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI – the world’s most successful automotive efficiency technology – at Le Mans,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
In the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) that will start at Silverstone (Great Britain) on April 17, Audi Sport Team Joest will be fielding two new Audi R18 cars. In the interest of maximum cost efficiency, Audi and its Group sister brand Porsche, have both agreed to each compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours, the WEC season’s pinnacle event, with only two instead of the most recent three cars.
In the DTM, Audi relies on continuity. All of the eight drivers that were in the field in 2015, scoring ten Audi victories in 18 races, will remain on board. The only change: Adrien Tambay and Nico Müller are swapping teams. Audi Sport expects this move to provide the brand’s two youngest DTM drivers with new impulses. The eight Audi RS 5 DTM cars will continue to be fielded by the long-standing Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg.
It has to be said that Audi will be hurting at this present time as it’s now been two seasons without the World Endurance crown and clearly they have sent out a very strong signal to their rivals about their intent with 2016. The Championship promises to deliver even more interest next year with the inclusion of the superb looking Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, Toyota once again competing and Porshe surely upping their game once again. It’s easy to say that MotorMartin will be continuing to deliver WEC news for 2016 as and when it becomes available as well as sharing in the build up to the opening race of 2016 at Silverstone.
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