Audi R10 Tdi Retains the Winning Streak

By: Correy Putton

Despite the change in racing regulations, the Audi R10 TDI remained the sports car to beat. The winning streak for this sports car, no matter how hard rivals attempt to suppress, continues. The R10 diesel achieved an impressive victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring. It was the eighth victory in a row of the automaker in the classic American endurance race and it serves as a perfect start for this year's motorsport season.

"The team really has earned this victory. It has worked hard for it. We are happy winning Sebring another time and are unbeaten at Sebring since 2000. But we've also seen today how close it is now between the LM P1 and LM P2 cars. My fear that the two categories have been put together too closely, have been proved by today's race," said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the head of Audi motorsport.

The Audi R10 TDI, which remains victorious in its ninth consecutive race, had to start for the first time with a ten percent smaller fuel tank with 81 liters instead of 90. It means that the sports car has to refuel up to five laps earlier than their rivals. As a fact, the Audi R10 TDI is the fastest car on the 3.7-mile track. But Acura/Honda is challenging Audi's reign with its LM P2 cars, which are 150-kg lighter.

In the second to last hour, Frank Biela of Germany, Emanuele Pirro of Italy and Marco Werner of Germany took the lead. Altogether, they have created an extremely thrilling and breathtaking race. Frank Biela equaled Tom Kristensen's record of four overall Sebring victories.

Frank Biela of the Audi R10 TDI #2 said, "Of course it's nice to equal Tom Kristensen's Sebring record. I'm very pleased. After the problem in the warm-up and the puncture at the beginning of the race I was not really expecting the victory anymore. It's just superb that it ended this way."

Tom Kristensen of the Audi R10 TDI #1 has this to say: "We were grateful to be in the race after the accident on Thursday night - the team and mechanics worked very hard to get us to the grid. The early stages of the race looked good for us. We came to Sebring for our car to win so of course it's disappointing to have encountered these issues. But again the mechanics got us out and up to speed so that we could fight back but unfortunately not right at the front at the finish. Apart from the starter problem, the car ran beautifully."

Emanuele Pirro, racing the R10 TDI #2 said, "It's been a great race for us. We had quite a few problems at the start of the race and were almost two laps behind. But in such long races you should never give up. In the end of the day the fastest and strongest car won. It was a nice win for us and a great start of the season. It was a race full of mechanical problems for everybody. But our car was really strong throughout the race."

Marco Werner, another R10 TDI #2 rider said, "I'm absolutely happy despite the day did not start too good in the warm-up. Also the beginning of the race was not the best with the puncture and the penalties in pit lane. But the car ran perfectly in the race - it's simply an Audi, and you can rely on that. The race was fun although the last stint was very long. I was thinking about the brakes from time to time, but most of the time about the next restroom..."

Whether or not they are using , Audi will definitely capture the excitement of high performance racing.

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