Audi Sport in 2016

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Credit - Audi Sport

Tonight was Audi Sport’s traditional end of year event in which the company reflects on the previous year and announces the motorsport intentions of the company for the upcoming season.

Whilst the news is good in as much that Audi Sport will continue the same programmes as in 2015, namely the FIA WEC in LMP1, DTM, GT3 programmes and the one-make Audi Cup. The commitment in terms of number of cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Six Hours of Spa, will be reduced for the first time since 2006 from three Audi prototypes to two in line with the remainder of the FIA World Endurance championship season.

Porsche will match that commitment with only two prototypes from the sister company at Le Mans as well, with the decision made by both brands for ‘Maximum cost efficiency’. The decisions to reduce to two cars from each manufacturer at Le Mans hardly comes as a surprise given the news over the past few weeks regarding parent VW’s ‘Emissions’ crisis and the subsequent financial fallout associated with it.

On the actual R18 (2016) itself. The Hybrid capacity is increased from the 4MJ class this year for Audi to 6MJ in 2016. The team will also drop the Flywheel storage system for a lithium-ion based system, whilst maintaining the use of the TDI engine in addition to a complete rework on the aero package, as evident.

In terms of the driver lineup. The two cars which will run in the championship, cars #7 and #8 will retain the 2015 line-up of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in #7 and Loic Duval, Lucas Di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis in #8.

Elsewhere, Audi’s DTM programme will remain the same level of commitment, with the only change being Adrien Tambay and Nico Muller swapping teams, whilst sales of the new R8 LMS GT3 challenger are in high demand with fifty new cars planned for 2016. Audi had previously planned to build forty-five cars for the season.

 

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Paul KieferJr

What are Porsche’s expectations for next year?

Tom Firth

The only expectation for Porsche can be to win the title and Le Mans again as did in 2015. I don’t think we will see an enormous shake up in the manufacturers order of competitiveness in the way did from 2014 to 2015.

Therefore whilst Porsche will not be complacent in its lead over its rivals coming off the back of its championship and Le Mans success in a hugely successful second year, I think we will see a fairly conservative upgrade, rather than a total design revolution from Porsche.

Janjua

Great hopefully Our Audi can be a bit faster.

Tom Firth

Indeed, hope it can. Full credit to them in the progress made between 2014 and 2015, but do need to go further in 2016. Hopefully this year can do so, but it all depends on Porsche really.

Lord Lusos

The most ugly car i ever saw!

Junipero Mariano

Pretty is not the word to describe the look of this car. Formidable is more appropriate.

Tom Firth

No, certainly not the prettiest prototype Audi have ever released but agree with Junipero, in the description of formidable. It’s taken a number of styling cues from the 2014 Porsche, and a number from 2011 F1 cars and seemingly melted the two together is the best explanation.

Richard Bunce

What are the LMP1 regulations on ground effects down force? Looks like a significant surface area underneath to play with.

Richard Bunce

… F1 with fenders.

Tom Firth

It really is F1 with fenders in terms of the technology now. Are very impressive cars trackside I must say.

Tom Firth

Ground Effect is used in LMP1 but it is limited to two channels of 1750mm length, or was and I believe still is, though I can’t remember for certain if it is still limited that way. Will go and have a look at some regs later.

Tom Firth

Thinking about it though, Nissan had underbody tunnels which went the full length of the car for it’s P1 entrant at Le Mans. Will have to look for you and get a better answer, Sorry.

Richard Bunce

Looks like the underside of the car locked up pretty tight…

http://www.fia.com/file/34642/download?token=QUDSEC8u