Audi will defend its Drivers and Manufacturers’ titles in the 2013 World Endurance Championship with two hybrid R18 e-tron quattro prototypes. However, before the WEC kicks off at Silverstone in April, Audi well be sending an R18 e-tron quattro to the USA for the 12 Hours of Sebring (March 16), an event it has already won 10 times. In 2013, Audi will also be active in the GRAND-AM series, beginning with the 24 Hours of Daytona. Indeed, it is taking a close interest in the merger between the GRAND-AM and ALMS championships in 2014.
There will be three Audis in Belgium for the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps and at Le Mans, including one for world champions Marcel Fässler/Benoît Tréluyer/André Lotterer. The programme’s other drivers are Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gené, Loïc Duval, Oliver Jarvis, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. Porsche’s ‘loan’ drivers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Marco Bonnanomi and Mike Rockenfeller will not drive for Audi in 2013.
For its second season, Audi R18 e-tron quattro is expected to be even more competitive. Innovations being evaluated at the moment are an inertia flywheel hybrid system which is more powerful without being either heavier or bigger. In parallel, Audi’s engineers are working on the LMP1 prototype that will comply with the ACO’s 2014 regulations.
Meanwhile, evolutions for the Audi R8 LMS ultra will be available at the start of the year. Sales of this GT3 machine, which will represent the brand at the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa, are likely to reach the 100 mark in 2013.