Season » 2013 » 6h Shanghai (CN)

Audi motorsport-131030-8030

Audi drivers battle for World Championship in China

The 14th Le Mans triumph, Audi's early win of the manufacturers’ title* in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), plus five victories and five best times in qualifying at the first six events: The Audi Sport Team Joest presents itself in top form in the WEC. The seventh round of the season at Shanghai (China) on November 9 may even produce the decision in the drivers’ World Championship.

Since the race at Fuji (Japan), it has been clear that the World Endurance Champions are again driving an Audi this year. Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro will have the chance to secure the World Champion’s title in China even before the finale. Their only remaining opponents are their team-mates Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F). 40.75 points separate the two Audi driver teams. 52 points are yet to be awarded.

Three factors make the seventh round of the WEC a big challenge for Audi. At the premiere at Shanghai a year ago, Audi saw that the cornering radii of the modern Grand Prix circuit have a particularly disadvantageous effect on the R18 e-tron quattro. In six of the narrow turns, the hybrid race car is slower than 120 km/h. But only above this speed, the e-tron quattro hybrid system is allowed to use the recovered energy for acceleration again – as prescribed by the regulations.

The second factor: The event was shortened to two days. Only 33 hours pass between the first practice session and the checkered flag. This challenges the engineers and the drivers to work with particularly high concentration on the set-up and preparation for the race.

A third factor adds further spice to the battle for the podium positions. As most recently at Fuji, challenger and last year’s winner Toyota, like Audi, is fielding two cars.

Therefore Audi and its many racing fans are thus in for a challenging ‘home round.’ China has long become a second home to the brand with the four rings. The country is the largest single market and a strong growth engine for the company. In the first three quarters of the current year, sales in China increased by 20.6 percent to 358,213 automobiles. Furthermore, the brand is celebrating an anniversary this year, as its success story in China started exactly 25 years ago on the signing of a licensing agreement between Audi and First Automotive Works (FAW). Today, a joint venture in Changchun manufactures Audi models and another plant will be launched in Foshan at the end of 2013. The topic of hybrid technology that has been embodied in motorsport by the R18 e-tron quattro since 2012 is gaining momentum in China as well. In July, Audi and FAW announced the planned launch of a joint plug-in-hybrid project specifically for the Chinese market.

Fans can watch the race in China on the internet. Audi is broadcasting the action by live streaming on www.audi-motorsport.com. Additional background information is made available on the Audi Sport App, Twitter and Facebook.

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

Audi motorsport-131030-8030