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Successful Day of Testing for Audi at Le Mans



6th June, 2007

LeMans pre test #1 Emmanuelle Pirro

Audi Sport Team Joest has successfully implemented their comprehensive testing strategy during the full eight hours available for Le Mans testing on the weekend.

As usual with Audi Sport, the tasks were clearly divided: every driver and team member had a clear goal.

The Audi R10 TDI car #2 (Dindo Capello/Allan McNish/Mike Rockenfeller) was fitted with additional data acquisition equipment in the morning. In the afternoon, the team ran tyre tests.

Last year’s winners Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner (car #1) compared various suspension set-ups.

The R10 TDI bearing #3 in the race (Mattias Ekström/Lucas Luhr/Alexandre Prémat) was equipped with differing aerodynamic variants.

"We had a very extensive programme on our agenda, which we managed to work through almost completely," Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich summed up the positive outcome of the tests.

"In the end, we were lacking merely ten minutes, otherwise we could have even completed the final tyre test we’d been planning to do. I think we’ve worked out a good base for the race."

A strong impression was left by the four newcomers to Audi Sport Team Joest. In his Le Mans début at the wheel of an LM P1 sports car, Mike Rockenfeller (23) set the third-best time of the day behind Sébastien Bourdais (Peugeot) and Frank Biela (Audi).

Lucas Luhr (27) was the quickest driver of the number 3 Audi R10 TDI, while his team-mates Alexandre Prémat and Mattias Ekström – both Le Mans rookies – were only slightly slower.

Frank Biela – at 3m 28.277s (237.362 km/h) – managed the fastest lap so far of an Audi R10 TDI at Le Mans. That last year’s lap times were clearly beaten, however, cannot only be attributed to the evolution of the cars. With 13.629 kilometres, the circuit is 21 metres shorter than before and – particularly due to a modification in the "Tertre Rouge" sector – almost two seconds faster, as data logs have shown.

More than 20,000 spectators witnessed the test day at Le Mans, which took place without record winner Tom Kristensen. The Dane continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in the serious accident during the DTM season opener. Whether or not Kristensen will be able to compete at Le Mans on 16th-17th June will be decided, at the latest, at the beginning of the race week.

To be optimally prepared even in the event that Kristensen should not be fit for racing, Audi Sport Team Joest changed the driver teams before the test day: Mike Rockenfeller and Mattias Ekström swapped cars because Rockenfeller, in terms of body size, is better matched with Dindo Capello and Allan McNish, while Ekström is more compatible with Lucas Luhr and Alexandre Prémat.

Up to the race, the three Audi R10 TDI cars will stay at Le Mans for trackside preparation for the week of the race by Audi Sport Team Joest. The race week will start for Audi on Tuesday afternoon with the public Technical Scrutineering on the Place des Jacobins.

The first qualifying practice is scheduled to start on Wednesday (13th June) at 7 PM (local time).

Result of the test day

1 Bourdais/Lamy/Sarrazin (Peugeot) 3m 26.707s (60 laps)
2 Biela/Pirro/Werner (Audi R10 TDI) 3m 28.277s (92 laps)
3 Capello/McNish/Rockenfeller (Audi R10 TDI) 3m 28.406s (76 laps)
4 Bouillion/Collard/Dumas (Pescarolo-Judd) 3m 28.574s (77 laps)
5 Gene/Minassian/Villeneuve (Peugeot) 3m 30.314s (79 laps)
6 Ekström/Luhr/Prémat (Audi R10 TDI) 3m 30.613s (81 laps)
7 Bleekemolen/Hart/Lammers (Dome-Judd) 3m 34.035s (75 laps)
8 Chilton/Johansson/Shimoda (Zytek) 3m 34.340s (38 laps)
9 Campbell-Walter/Nakano/Oritz (Creation-Judd) 3m 34.398s (64 laps)
10 Primat/Tinseau/Treluyer (Pescarolo-Judd) 3m 34.941s (85 laps)

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