First success for new Audi R18 e-tron quattro
The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars ruled the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the 6 Hours of Silverstone and deservingly clinched a one-two victory. Aside from the podium spots, Audi, for the first time won the famous Royal Automotive Club (RAC) Tourist Trophy. The tradition-steeped trophy that has been awarded since 1905 and was the main prize for the 2013 WEC opening event.
The Scotsman Allan McNish was pleased to win this important motorsport trophy at his home town. Together with Tom Kristensen he was on the grid for the first time with his new team-mate Loïc Duval. The trio is now leading the WEC drivers’ standings with a seven-point advantage.
It is not until the fifth hour into the race, after 151 laps, that the team was able to take the lead. Despite an excursion while lapping another car and an additional tire change McNish went on to recover the lead and crossed the finish line with a 3.4-second advantage.
From the start, a thrilling battle had ensued with challenger Toyota. Allan McNish in the number 2 Audi grabbed the lead for the first time on the sixth lap. The sister car – number 1 – driven by Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer, and Benoît Tréluyer completed Audi’s one-two lead at an early stage.
On lap 77, the Swiss fought his way forward to the very front. A defect on the left front driveshaft after four hours of racing though meant that the hybrid system of car number 1 was no longer able to deliver its power to the front wheels. With that, the current World Champions had to admit defeat.
“A great day for Audi, for our team and for the spectators. Our pit stop intervals were shorter than Toyota’s but we compensated for that with a faster race pace. The drivers did everything right and the pit stops were superb. Allan McNish set an exclamation mark in the end and went on to win a race that was almost believed to be lost. The other driver pairing accepted the result in true sporting spirit. That was a nice start into the season.” said Ralf Jüttner, Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest
The next WEC will be happening at Spa-Francorchamps, on May 4, Audi will be fielding three R18 e-tron quattro cars in the race for the first time this year in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours.