Audi’s Turbo-Diesel Hybrids land on the podium in one and two while the Toyota entry DNF’ed.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 1, 2012
Audi's e-tron quattro turbo diesel hybrids finish 1 - 2 in the Desert Kingdom.
The Audi R18 e-tron quattro was victorious at the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Bahrain just ahead of the sister R18 e-tron quattro. For Audi, this is the fifth victory in six events.
According to those track side, it was the toughest 6-hour race of the year with ambient temperatures were of 93 degrees F and a track temperature of 113. Audi’s two hybrid turbo diesel race cars hit the track running at 04:00 PM local. In the end, it was this year’s Le Mans winers, Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer who celebrated their third victory of the season after Le Mans and Silverstone.
The second Audi R18 e-tron quattro first driven by Allan McNish defended the lead in the early stages after earning the pole in qualifications.
The Battle With Toyota Begins
Just 13-minutes into the race, Toyota Racing’s #7 TS030 Hybrid took the lead and stretched its advantage to more than 30 seconds! For the next two hours, team Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid maintained the lead as the sun began to set.
However, the lights went out soon afterwards when the team was forced into the pits with the number panel on both sides of the car failing to illuminate. WEC regulations require the illuminated number on the side of a car to function throughout the race.
The stop to change parts cost the team seven minutes and dropped them back to sixth.
Team Toyota responded with a charging recovery in the desert darkness, moving up to third and setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Unfortunately contact with another LMP1 car in traffic damaged the suspension of the TS030 Hybrid with just over an hour remaining and Teamn Toyota was forced to retire.
Audi Setbacks and Glory
The team of Kristensen and McNish were not spared from problems either. On lap 25, a defective headlight forced the number “2” Audi to make its first unscheduled stop. Afterwards, a valve of the left rear tire was damaged when inconsequential contact was made in traffic. This required another unscheduled stop on lap 89. Finally, the recurrence of lighting problems made it necessary to change the hood two more times on laps 115 and 117.
Audi’s turbo diesel hybrids proved extremely viable in the warm ambient conditions by taking its third victory. For the first time since Le Mans, Audi fielded two R18 e-tron quattro cars.
The next WEC racing action will occur in Japan at Fuji Speedway for the Six Hours of Mount Fuji on Sunday 14 October.
The two remaining races in Japan and China will see 52 total points will be awarded so the battle for the drivers’ championship remains wide open. Only two weeks from now, the WEC will make its Japan debut with the seventh round of the season at Fuji on October 14.
- Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 191 laps
- Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
- Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 6 laps
- Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) – 7 laps
- Primat/Belicchi (Lola-Toyota) – 10 laps
- Kaffer/Minassian/Perez Companc (Oreca-Nissan) – 12 laps
- Lombard/Mailleux/Tresson (Oreca-Nissan) – 14 laps
- Potolicchio/Kimber-Smith/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) – 14 laps
- Liuzzi/Weeda/Rossiter (Lola-Lotus) – 14 laps
- Rusinov/Ragues/Panciatici (Oreca-Nissan) – 15 laps
… Wurz/Lapierre (Toyota TS030 Hybrid) – DNF