Audi will enter two R10 Turbo Diesel prototype racecars as a factory works team in this season’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS), including the one Canadian stop at Mosport on 3 September.
The Audi R10, which is powered by a V12 TDI engine with almost 650 hp, will debut on March 18 at the Sebring race course. The 12-hour race in Florida is the season opener for the 2006 American Le Mans Series and will serve as a tune-up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 17-18.
Audi’s return to the sportscar series will be in close cooperation with Team Joest and Champion Racing.
Following the Sebring race, the two Audi R10 prototypes will be returned to Europe in preparation for Sports Car racing’s marquee event, the 24-hour race at Le Mans in France. “The main reason for developing the Audi R10 was to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as we want to be the world’s first automobile manufacturer to win with a diesel engine”, says the head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
For the three ALMS races between Sebring and Salt Lake City, Audi Sport North America will rely on the well proven Audi R8, which has recorded 61 wins in 77 races.
Audi Sport North America, with support from Champion Racing, will then enter the R10 prototypes in the remaining six ALMS races, starting with the Grand Prix of Utah on 15 July on the new circuit near Salt Lake City.
Ullrich said Audi set out to enter the R10 in every racing series based on Le Mans to establish the diesel engine. “The USA is an extremely important market in which the subject Diesel is currently coming into vogue. The ALMS programme with the R10 is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the Audi TDI engines in America.”
2006 American Le Mans Series schedule
18/03 Sebring (USA) R10
12/05 Houston (USA) R8
21/05 Mid-Ohio (USA) R8
01/07 Lime Rock (USA) R8
15/07 Salt Lake City (USA) R10
22/07 Portland (USA) R10
20/08 Road America (USA) R10
03/09 Mosport (CANADA) R10
30/09 Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta (USA) R10
21/10 Laguna Seca (USA) R10