Audi has won Le Mans for the ninth time, with a diesel car; expect to see the technology from this motorsport development work appear on Audi’s diesel road cars in the not-too-distant future.
With the R15 TDI cars coming first, second and third – and Audi saying that the efficiency and reliability of the diesel engines being a key factor in their success – this equals Ferrari’s record in the 24 hour race.
The three Audi R15 TDI cars of the Audi Sport Team ran without any technical problems over the entire distance and occupied the top three places after the fastest Le Mans race of all time. After 2000, 2002 and 2004, Audi therefore managed to achieve a one-two-three triumph at Le Mans for the fourth time.
Audi Sport used a new technology this year – the V10 TDI engine of the Audi R15 TDI has a turbo-charger with Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG). VTG turbo-chargers are standard with Audi TDI engines in production vehicles. Their use at Le Mans helps the Audi engineers to continue to develop the technology for smaller, highly efficient turbo engines to be used in the future.
“At Le Mans we’re dealing with temperatures above 1,000 degrees centigrade which have not been encountered with production engines so far,” explains Ulrich Baretzky, Head of Engine Development at Audi Sport. “As a result of downsizing, production development will enter into similar temperature ranges. This makes VTG another good example of how the technology transfer between motorsport and the production side of the house works at Audi.”
In 2010 the demands made on diesel engines were particularly high due to the restrictions imposed by the regulations. Audi developed an engine that was reliable rather than the most powerful.
Keywords: Audi R15 TDI, Audi Sport Team, Le Mans 2010