Audi Sport has expended the racing program for the R15 Le Mans Prototype, announcing they are to enter the Le Mans Series opener at Paul Ricard, France on April 11.
The new configuration of the car, which Audi are calling the “R15 Plus” was originally intended for the LMS round at Spa-Francochamps, an event that has come to serve as an official test day for teams entered at Le Mans.
While the R15 is still expected at Spa the team plan to use the eight hour race at Paul Ricard for further testing before the 24 hours in June.
“We're on schedule with the additional developments we're making on the R15 TDI and so this race should be possible,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport. “[Paul Ricard] is a race track that lends itself pretty well to testing for Le Mans, and we've frequently used this circuit for our Le Mans preparation. The 8-hour race distance makes the race of further interest to us.”
The announcement brings to three the number of LMS races which will see and R15 entered with the team also racing at Silverstone in September, a race that also forms the first part of the three race Le Mans Intercontinental Cup, where Audi plans to run two cars.
“This should not at all be interpreted to mean that we will be contesting all five LMS races,” warned Dr. Ullrich.
At this time it is not known how many R15s will be entered at Paul Ricard, or what driver line-up(s) will be used.