Audi aims to extend WEC lead at Spa

Audi is pursuing ambitious aims at Round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) which will be held on May 4 at Spa in Belgium. The version of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro that was victorious at the 2013 season-opener is expected to extend championship leader Audi’s points advantage.

At the same time, a new long-tail variant of the hybrid sportscar will be tested in Belgium. This will be the final race preparation for the team’s participation in the premier endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours to be held on June 22 and 23.

Two versions of the R18 e-tron quattro that, also visually, can be clearly distinguished from each other will be running at Spa. The winners of the opening round and the current World Endurance Champions will be starting with the aerodynamic variant that was victorious at Silverstone. It generates optimal downforce for track types such as the 7.004-km circuit.

The third R18 e-tron Quattro will have an aero package that has been optimized for the high-speed Le Mans track and can be recognized by its lengthened rear section.

The comparison, however, is not focused on absolute lap times. Instead, the team will analyze the time differences to be expected between both models on individual track sectors. In addition, practical aspects of using the second body version will be reviewed and data generated for the fielding in the race at Le Mans.

The focal point of the spectators’ interest during the 6-hour race will yet again be the battle between Audi and Toyota. In the 7 races that have taken place since last June, the score is at 4-3 for the German sportscars against their rival from Japan.

“The comparison with our competitor will start from scratch again at Spa. We can expect our opponent Toyota to compete with the latest technological update. For the first time this year, we’ll be running with three cars. That means more work for our team. Spa’s a great track and a race that definitely belongs on the WEC calendar. The new Audi R18 e-tron quattro was immediately reliable and fast,” said Ralf Juttner, Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest.

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[CY]