Audi has maintained its perfect record at half-way stage of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship. In an exciting battle of the hybrid technology concepts, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro proved victorious in the fourth race of the series, held at Silverstone. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi wrote history after taking victory with a hybrid car for the first time, now a second win has followed. At both events Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît were at the wheel of the victorious car with race number ‘1’. 

Audi has proved again that it builds the most efficient sportscars. During the six hours of the race, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer required only six pits stops with their hybrid car, two less than the second-placed Nicolas Lapierre/Kazuki Nakajima/Alexander Wurz who use another hybrid concept. The result is even more remarkable because the triumphant Audi was awarded a stop-and-go penalty by the race director. The reason: Benoît Tréluyer was involved in an unfortunate accident with a GT car just before the end of the first third of the race. The car of the three Le Mans winners lost 32 seconds as a result, at the finish the winning margin was still 55 seconds.

In addition to the fourth race victory, Audi also has another reason to celebrate: the brand from Ingolstadt holds an unassailable lead in the WEC Manufacturers’ Championship. After four titles in the Rally World Championship between 1982 and 1984, as well as victory in the FIA Touring Car World Cup in 1995, Audi has once again won another World title.*

In contrast, the excitement in the drivers’ championship ramps up, following a change of leaders: after their second win, Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer head the standings for the first time this season. At the half-way stage they hold a small 4.5 point lead over former leaders Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish.

The Danish-Scottish duo was plagued by bad luck on their way to third place at Silverstone. The two Audi works drivers had to settle for third place in their Audi R18 ultra after having to make an unscheduled pit stop. Only a few minutes after McNish had taken over driving duties, a slow puncture in the right rear tyre forced him to make a pit stop. As a result, the sportscar, powered by a conventionally powered V6-TDI engine, lost a lap early in the race and thus any chance of playing a bigger role in fight for victory. The car still reached the finish only 19 seconds behind the second placed Toyota.

Audi starts the fifth round of the WEC in only three weeks time. Local matador Lucas di Grassi reinforces the Audi driver line-up as team mate to Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen.

* Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA

Race result

1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro), 194 laps
2. Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima (Toyota) + 55.675s
3. Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 ultra) + 1m 14.427s
4. Belicchi/Primat (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
5. Leventis/Watts/Kane (HPD-Honda) – 5 laps
6. Prost/Jani (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
7. Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck (HPD-Honda) – 7 laps
8. Martin/Charouz/Graves (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps
9. Potolicchio/Dalziel/Sarrazin (HPD-Honda) – 11 laps
10. Panciatici/Ragues/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) – 11 laps

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