The 2008 R10 will not be the first bio-fuelled racer at Le Mans - but it's probably the first in with a solid chance of winning.
Channel 4 - Dec. 15, 2006
Audi has announced that it will use a sustainable-source fuel in the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
The diesel-engined R10 - which will run on conventional derv in 2007 - will in future use a Shell-supplied Biomass to Liquid (BTL) fuel, synthesised from renewable plant sources. Audi says that since the plants needed to make the fuel absorb carbon dioxide, the R10 will effectively be carbon-neutral.
A spokesman said: 'We want to use the R10 programme to develop combustion technology for a future target for us in the VW Audi Group. That is, to go a step beyond oil- and gas-based fuels.'
So just as the R8's direct-injection FSI petrol technology has now made it into VW Group production cars, VW's diesel engines should soon be BLT-compatible.
The 2008 R10 will not be the first bio-fuelled racer at Le Mans - a biodiesel-powered Lola B2K took part last year and there have been a couple of ethanol-fuelled contenders in recent years - but it's probably the first in with a solid chance of winning.