/2011 Audi R18 Driver Lineup

2011 Audi R18 Driver Lineup

audi r18 7 at 2011 Audi R18 Driver Lineup

Audi announced the 2011 driver lineup for the new and awesome R18 Le Mans racer, and it includes all nine drivers who managed last year’s Le Mans 24-hour 1-2-3 podium lock-out. They’ve also confirmed the drivers for Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) the R18 is set to compete in. Besides racing, all drivers will also take part in comprehensive a comprehensive test program in Europe and US.

The R18 with start number “1” is driven by last year’s winners Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) and Mike Rockenfeller (Germany). Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen (Denmark) once again forms a team with Dindo Capello (Italy) and Allan McNish (Scotland) with whom he triumphed in 2008 at Le Mans. Last year’s second placed finishers Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Benoît Treluyer (France) share the third R18.

The same Audi Sport Team Joest squad also contests the official Le Mans test day on April 24 and the 6-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) on May 8, which Audi uses as dress rehearsal for Le Mans again this year and in which the technically innovative Audi R18 will celebrate its race debut.

AS for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) Audi Sport Team Joest will compete with two Audi R15 TDI cars modified to comply with the new technical regulations. At the wheel sit current Le Mans winners Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller as well as 2009 Sebring winners Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.

Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish and Timo Bernhard/Marcel Fässler are regular race drivers for the four remaining Intercontinental Le Mans Cup races held after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. If required, Audi can fall back on Porsche “factory” driver Romain Dumas to reinforce its squad at Road Atlanta.

“Over the last few years we’ve had a very strong and harmonious driver line-up at Le Mans,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Any one of our three cars could have won, which explains why it was our aim to compete with an unchanged driver squad at Le Mans in 2011. I’m delighted that we achieved this. Now we can concentrate solely on the development of the Audi R18 and need not integrate any new drivers into the team, which would have been associated with additional work and risks. The schedule to Le Mans is tight enough as it is.”

“Due to the clashing dates in the DTM and ILMC it wasn’t easy to form the driver squad,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “For example, it prevented Mike Rockenfeller from driving a complete season in the R18. But with Porsche ‘factory’ driver Timo Bernhard, Marcel Fässler, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish for the sport prototypes we have a strong core squad with which we are well placed.”

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