When the new Audi R18 e-tron quattro is pitted against its competitors in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) the Audi factory drivers have to deliver an additional quality. Not only will they need to master the races in a flawless, fast, reliable and intelligent manner as before, but in a highly efficient one as well. Otherwise, penalties are a possibility.
The new regulations in endurance racing take their toll on those involved. While the Audi Sport engineers were challenged to pay attention to maximum efficiency with every component, the operation of the latest sports car from Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm requires a sensitive touch as well.
“Reproducing lap times with accuracy down to a tenth, has long been a hallmark of professional race drivers such as ours,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.
“But in 2014, we’re making even higher demands on our WEC drivers. Lap by lap they have to meet an exact consumption target while continuing to battle for the best position on track. So the fans will continue to see thrilling action in the future.”, he added.
Two examples of the new requirements: Only a limited amount of energy per lap may be fed into the car’s powertrain through the hybrid system – 2, 4, 6 or 8 megajoules per lap at Le Mans, depending on the class. If these limits are exceeded, 10-, 40- or even 60-second stop-and-go penalties threaten in the case of repeated violations. The same penalties apply if the permissible amount of fuel per lap is repeatedly exceeded. Likewise, the fuel flow rate and the engine’s boost pressure are checked.