New driver trio for the Audi R15 TDI
Audi extends driver line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer new to the team
Joint test run in the 1000-kilometer race at Spa
Ingolstadt, January 28, 2010 – Audi Sport leaves nothing to chance in its endeavour to bring the prestigious Le Mans trophy back to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm. Not only the technology of the Audi R15 TDI is being subjected to further development. The drivers’ line-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France) has been extended as well.
For the world’s most famous endurance race, Audi has signed three new drivers, the Swiss Marcel Fässler (33), German André Lotterer (28) and Frenchman Benoît Treluyer (33), who will be sharing the cockpit of one of three Audi R15 TDI cars on June 12/13, 2010.
“In view of our strong competitors, we want to – and have to – be perfectly positioned in terms of drivers too,” explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Therefore, we decided to extend our driver line-up. Marcel, André and Benoît attracted our attention during the past two years in a particularly positive way. They are used to handling fast prototypes and know each other extremely well. The three of them, and we too, are convinced that they are a very good combination for Le Mans.”
The new Audi drivers already have experience at the wheel of diesel racing sports cars. Marcel Fässler successfully contested two races in the American Le Mans Series for Audi in 2008. André Lotterer impressed at Le Mans last year at the wheel of an Audi R10 TDI of the private Audi customer team Kolles. Benoît Treluyer competed in the 24-hour classic in a Peugeot in 2009.
Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Treluyer have already visited Audi Sport in Ingolstadt for seat-fittings and will soon be testing the Audi R15 TDI. The first racing commitment for the new Audi driver trio is planned for May 9, in the 1000-kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), which will serve as a dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Audi Sport Team Joest.
“For the time being, plans for Marcel, André and Benoît are fully focused on Le Mans 2010,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “But all three of them are still relatively young, and therefore, may also become part of our sports car project over the long term.”
Audi has been contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 1999 and having made 11 starts, has won the race as many as eight times. In addition to speed, reliability and efficiency are the key factors of success in the world’s most famous endurance race.
Furthermore, the LMP1 class is unrivalled by any other motorsport category in terms of offering the opportunity to test technical innovations in racing conditions. Thanks to its technology leadership, Audi has repeatedly set milestones in this regard. The Audi R8, for instance, successfully introduced TFSI gasoline direct injection technology in 2001, while in 2006 the Audi R10 TDI was the first diesel-powered vehicle to clinch victory in the history of the race.