Audi has confirmed that it will bid farewell to the 12 Hours of Sebring with a two car LMP1 entry with a pair of R18 e-tron quattro in the March 13-16 race.
2013 will be the final race at Sebring – for now – in which LMP1 cars can compete, with the race due to be subsumed into the combined US sportscar series born out of the merger between the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series. Officials of both series announced the class structure earlier this month with a class of Daytona Prototypes, LMP2 cars and the DeltaWing forming the top class in place of LMP1 cars.
“We’re in for a very emotional race weekend on which we’ll be taking the fans along on a journey into our past,” promised Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Sebring is where Audi’s sports car era that has been so successful began. We expect that with two current hybrid models we’ll be battling for overall victory at the 12-hour race for the last time this year. At the same time, on the fringes of the race, the fans can look forward to seeing four other race cars and several race drivers who made history at Sebring with Audi.”
On display around the Florida former airfield track will be four cars from the manufacturer’s successful 13 years in the race, in which Audi squads have scored 22 podium results, starting the third place of Michele Alboreto, Dindo Capello and Stefan Johanasson in 1999.
The R8R that brought that result will be the only prototype Audi from Sebring’s past missing with examples of the Audi R8, Audi R10 TDI, Audi R15 TDI and the 2012 winner – the Audi R18 TDI will be gathered together.
If the off-track cars represent Audi’s past at Sebring, the two cars on track represent the future of the brand in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team will field one 2012 spec e-tron quattro hybrid, as well as one updated version of the car.
Driving duties will fall to the combinations of Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis with Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Lucas Di Grassi in the other car. It was not confirmed which car would be driven by which trio.