Audi‘s first Hybrid racer can now rest happily ever after following a final victory in the Six Hours of Bahrain.
The R18 e-tron quattro will be sent to the German manufacturers museum in Ingolstadt to spend the rest of it’s days next to Audi legends such as the Audi R8 and the first ever diesel LMP1 the R10 TDI.
However, it was only the #1 of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer which finished the final race of 2013 as the sister #2 Audi retired before the race was three hours old.
Thankfully the #2 survived till the end with only a few minor issues: “I joined the race with used tyres following André’s stint, which resulted in a significant increase in our lap times, initially I couldn’t make the rear tyres work due to oversteer. I started my second stint on fresh rubber, which felt better, though I still didn’t have full confidence in the car after what I’d encountered earlier. I took a bit of time to find my rhythm, and ended up catching the Toyotas.
“We knew this race would be tough – and it most certainly was – we didn’t get a great deal wrong, but Toyota took a deserved victory. I think we did a top job and performed very well, but things can’t always go your way. We knew the Toyota would get more from its hybrid system at low speed, but the fight was still very close all weekend.” Stated Treluyer.
Even though the season is now over for the Audi Sport team, they will not get a break as the #2 trio will be joined by fellow factory drivers Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval to start a comprehensive testing programme for the 2014 LMP1 machine – completely redesigned due to the new for 2014 rulebook.
“Between now and January 1 I’ll spend just three days at home,” Treluyer revealed. “There are prize-giving ceremonies, sponsor events and tests to attend, so we’ll have to wait until January to take some time off and relax! But that’s not important, as the excitement will overcome any tiredness. We haven’t tested our new car yet and cannot wait to do so. This winter will be crucial and we’ll need to switch to 2014-mode as quickly as possible in order to fully understand the new regulations.”