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Audi R15 TDI Plus

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Audi R15 TDi Plus.png
Audi R15 TDI Plus
Race Car
Category Le Mans Prototype (LMP1)
Constructor Audi
Chassis Carbon fibre monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbone, torsion bar with separate damper, anti-roll bar
Suspension (rear) Double wishbone, torsion bar with separate damper, anti-roll bar
Engine Audi TDI 5.5 litre V10 turbodiesel, mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
Power 590 hp @ N/A rpm
N/A lb-ft. of torque @ N/A rpm
Transmission 5-speed S-tronic
Fuel Shell V-Power Diesel
Tyres Michelin
Notable entrants Template:Country flagicon Audi Sport Team Joest
Notable drivers Template:Country flagicon Timo Bernhard
Template:Country flagicon Romain Dumas
Template:Country flagicon Mike Rockenfeller
Template:Country flagicon Tom Kristensen
Template:Country flagicon Allan McNish
Template:Country flagicon Rinaldo Capello
Template:Country flagicon André Lotterer
Template:Country flagicon Marcel Fässler
Template:Country flagicon Benoît Tréluyer
Template:Country flagicon Lucas Luhr
Template:Country flagicon Marco Werner
Debut 2009 12 Hours of Sebring
Races competed {{{Races Competed}}}
Race victories {{{Race Victories}}}
Constructors' Championships {{{Constructor's Championships}}}
Drivers' Championships {{{Driver's Championships}}}
Pole positions {{{Pole Positions}}}
Fastest laps {{{Fastest Laps}}}
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

Notes and References

The Audi R15 TDI, commonly abbreviated to the R15, is a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) racing car constructed by the German car manufacturer Audi AG. It is the successor to the Audi R10 TDI. Like its predecessor, the R15 TDI uses a turbocharged diesel engine, although the R15's V10 engine is physically smaller than the R10's V12. The smaller engine is pushed further toward the middle of the car than in the R10, resulting in a more neutral weight balance that gives the car better agility around the corners than its predecessor.

The car was tested for the first time in December 2008, before its official unveiling and competition debut at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring race, 21 March 2009. Three R15 TDIs participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2009, under the control of Joest Racing. Audi did not defend their American Le Mans Series, or Le Mans Series titles with the R15 TDI.

The R15 made its competition debut at the 2009 12 Hours of Sebring in March 2009, and followed this event at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.The R15 got off to a perfect start by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring, setting a new race record in the process, but then lost in its second entry. Peugeot, its rival, with its 908 HDi FAP, took the top two spots in the 24-hour race, ending Audi's five-win streak that lasted back to 2004 with the gasoline-powered R8.

The R15 TDI features a 5.5 litres (336 cu in)[4] Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel V10 engine, rated at over 600 PS (440 kW; 590 bhp) and 1,050 newton metres (774 ft·lbf) torque. The electrical system uses a lithium-ion battery, a first for Audi sports prototypes, as well as LED headlights,and a unique system of LED rear lights that are mounted on the rear wing endplate.

In the week running up to the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, rivals Peugeot lodged a protest against the R15, claiming that its bodywork did not comply with regulations stating that parts of the bodywork cannot be fitted with the sole purpose of generating downforce. However, after the Wednesday free practice session, the ACO rejected Peugeot's protest.At the 2009 Le Mans, Audi was not able to continue its winning streak that lasted back to 2004. The #3 R15 ran off at the Indianapolis corner, and the #2, driven by Luhr, crashed and retired. In the evening, the #1 Audi lost a lap to the leading Peugeot presumably due to the performance differences, and further technical issues dropped it a full 7 laps down the order. The sole surviving Audi clinched a podium win, finishing in third.

Audi announced on August 25, 2009 that two R15s would race at the 2009 Petit Le Mans. Both Audis led for 90% of the race but a late spin during the final rain soaked caution handed the victory over to one of the Peugeot 908s entered by Team Peugeot Total.

For 2010, Audi updated their R15, dubbed the R15 plus. 2010 Regulations reduce the size of diesel LMP1 air restrictors, and reducing turbocharger boost. The car's nose was removed and revealed the raw crash structures. The front fenders were also lowered in an effort to reduce drag. The concept of air running through the car was abandoned for a more conventional design. The air channel that exits to the side of the car is gone, and the new headlight concept was brought in. Audi stated that they had improved the fuel tank and cooling system also.

The new vehicle was a success at the 2010 8 Hours of Le Castellet, winning 5 laps ahead of the next competitor Aston Martin. The Oreca Peugeot, which was supposedly its rival, dropped a full 8 laps down the order because of the airjacks failed to come off. Audi continue to go flat out and in the end finished 10 laps ahead of the Peugeot. Audi now believed that both the speed and reliability was there, and would enter a full squad of 3 cars at the upcoming 2010 Spa 1000km, finishing 3rd (#7, behind the two Peugeots - #3 took 1st, #2 took 2nd), 5th (#9) and 12th (#8), and the car configuration at Spa would be used for the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.

With engine troubles for three of the Peugeots in the 2010 Le Mans race that forced the cars to retire before the end of the race, plus an early exit by the #3 due to a suspension failure, the three Audis would finish 1-2-3 (the #9 took 1st, #8 took 2nd and #7 took 3rd), with all cars exceeding the previous distance record of 5,335.313 km (3,315.210 mi) set in the 1971 race: the winning #9 car, led by Mike Rockenfeller and two Porsche "factory" drivers Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, set not only a record-tying number of laps around Le Mans of 397 laps, but eclipsed the distance record outright at a distance of 5,410.7 km (3,362.1 mi).

With a change in Le Mans Prototype engine regulations planned for 2011 Audi is working on a successor to the R15 TDI, known as the R18.

Gallery


Complete Racing Results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
YYYY (Constructor) (Engine) (Tyre code)

See Also


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