Audi Sport has welcomed the new LMP1 regulations, calling the new fuel regulations ‘a revolution.’
The regulations, which impose limitations on energy consumption but allow greater engineering freedoms, have allowed manufactures Audi, Toyota and Porsche to continue to increase fuel efficiency not only on their race cars, but also their road cars.
“The LMP sports prototype class is ideal for demonstrating Audi’s efficiency technology in racing,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
“This category has systematically evolved into a class of technological leadership. The world’s most complex race cars are developed for it. That the efficiency targets in LMP1 racing largely match the requirements for current and future passenger cars perfectly fits Audi’s claim and commitment.”
From 2001 with the TFSI gasoline direct injection, TDI diesel technology in 2006 and e-tron quattro diesel hybrid technology in 2012, Audi have constantly innovated at Le Mans but, as Dr. Martin Mühlmeier, Head of Technology at Audi Sport, explains, the thinking has been different this season.
“Traditionally, technical regulations in motorsport have been focused on limiting engine power output – for instance though factors like cubic capacity limits, relatively tight constraints for turbocharging systems, or through air restrictors.
“By contrast, the absolute amount of fuel available for a race has typically been unlimited, and this was the case in LMP1 racing as well. But now, a maximum amount of energy per lap is specified. And we need to make the best of it.
“By taking this step, the FIA, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and all the parties involved have managed to get a set of regulations off the ground with a straightforward focus on efficiency while continuing to make thrilling sport and entertaining races possible.”
This season Audi will introduce a new V6 TDI engine for its R18 e-tron Quattro, a car which may carry the same name as its predecessor, but is radically different under the skin.