The most powerful and efficient race car Audi has ever built is due to enter the 2016 motorsport season in the form of the all-new Audi R18. Launched recently at the Audi Training Centre in Munich, the R18 has been completely redesigned for the 2016 season. Featuring innovative aerodynamics, a modified hybrid system with lithium-ion batteries for energy storage and an efficiency optimised TDI engine it is the next stage in lightweight design by Audi.
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, said "With our new Audi R18, we're setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI - the world's most successful automotive efficiency technology - at Le Mans."
The 2016 FIA World Endurance Champonship (WEC) starts on April 17th at Silverstone where Audi Sport Team Joest will be driving two new Audi R18 cars. To maximise cost efficiency both Audi and Porsche are competing in the Le Mans 24 hours with only two cars instead of three.
Relying on continuity in the DTM, Audi will be utilising the eight drivers that were in the field in 2015 and scored ten Audi victories in 18 races. The only change is that Adrien Tambay and Nico Muller are swapping teams and Audi expects this to reinvigorate the brand's two youngest DTM drivers. The eight Audi RS 5 DTM cars will continue to be driven by the Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg.
Development of the new Audi R8 LMS has been completed in GT racing and delivery has begun. Audi Sport customer racing are exploring the posibility of expanding the production scheduled beyond the 45 planned cars for the 2016 season due to high demand. The Audi R8 LMS will appear on four continents in the 2016 season. In the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Asia, the new model will be debuting in 2016 as well. Highlights for Audi Sport customer racing are the 24-hour races at the Nurburgring (D) and Spa (B), the 12-hour race at Bathurst (AUS) and the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (MAC).
The Audi Sport TT Cup will once again be held as part of the supporting programme of selected DTM events with the number of permanent entrants increased from 18 to 20. On December 4th and 5th the final selection of drivers will be made following evaluation at Vellelunga (I), with quattro GmbH receiving 125 applications from 35 nations.
"We're proud about being able to again represent the Audi brand in 2016 with such an extesive commitment in motorsport," says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "The new Audi R18 marks a major step that we're expecting a lot of at Le Mans and in the WEC. In the DTM, we already had the strongest car in 2015. That's what we'd like to build upon. Plus, the high demand for the new Audi R8 LMS is equally gratifying as the may young talents that are interested in the Audi Sport TT Cup."