Season » 2012 » 6h Spa Francorchamps (B)

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Quotes after the race

Dieter Gass (Head of Racing Commitments): "We’re very happy with this result. On the whole, it couldn’t have gone any better, even though the situation became a bit unpredictable toward the end. We suffered punctures on two cars because obviously after the numerous accidents some sharp debris was on the track. Technically, the cars ran without any problems throughout the six hours. That was an important step in our preparation for Le Mans. I want to thank the squad after a very tough preparation period. This is the nicest reward one could wish for."

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): “We celebrated a 1-2-3-4 victory and learned a lot with the four cars and different tire strategies. Our four cars finished without any technical problems. Audi’s decision to opt for two concepts proved to be right. The R18 e-tron quattro is a strong car but the R18 ultra, too, has certain advantages. But there’ll be quite a few more things coming with the R18 e-tron quattro in the future. This was the first race with the hybrid car that ultimately finished in second and fourth place. ‘Well done’ to the winners Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval and Marc Gené and to Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bonanomi too, who drove their first races without making the slightest mistake. It was a good dress rehearsal for Le Mans. I want to thank the squad in these tough and very busy days.”

Romain Dumas (Audi R18 ultra #3): “We had a perfect race. My team-mates and our squad showed a brilliant performance. Our strategy was right on the mark and our fuel consumption was low. That paid off. That way, we increased our advantage. The tires were very good, that’s why I opted not to change tires in the end. That was another reason for our success.”

Loïc Duval (Audi R18 ultra #3): “Today, we experienced a surprise. This was only my second race with Audi but already my first victory. As always, there wasn’t a single problem when I’m sitting in an Audi. The conditions were very difficult in the beginning but the car was fantastic. We had no problems whatsoever. It’s a nice result for Audi to finish on positions one, two, three and four. I’m very happy to be on the very top of the podium.”

Marc Gené (Audi R18 ultra #3): “That was incredible. More was not possible today. Life is full of surprises. On my debut with Audi I clinched my third personal victory at Spa. It was an honest win in difficult conditions. As a driver team, we were well matched; the engineers, the team and the car were perfect. I never believed in taking victory. My goal had been a podium finish.”

Marcel Fässler (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “Sincere congratulations to Audi and car number “3” on taking victory. They did a perfect job and made their decisions at exactly the right moment. We had the pace for winning. A key point in time was a safety car period that separated us from the cars in front and caused us to lose ground from a 15 to a 50 second gap. It was difficult to make up such a gap. After my pit stop a wheel locked once when I hit the brakes. Afterward there were heavy vibrations and I was no longer in contention for victory. I secured second place in order to score important points for the World Championship. To avoid a puncture I had new wheels fitted just to be on the safe side.”

André Lotterer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “A fantastic race for Audi with a 1-2-3-4 victory. When I was sitting in the car at the beginning of the race in the rain I particularly enjoyed the technology of the R18 e-tron quattro. Even though the technology is brand new it functioned superbly. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep the lead but we’re still in a learning phase. On the whole, though, it was a nice beginning before the really big challenge, the Le Mans 24 Hours.”

Benoît Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #1): “Second place on the debut of the hybrid vehicle is a good result. The car was running absolutely perfectly - a good sign for the future. Our Audi R18 e-tron quattro was really very good in the rain. When track was drying off and I was in the cockpit the car developed a tendency to understeer. That cost us a lot of time in the battle with car number “3.” But we’re only at the beginning with this new concept.”

Marco Bonanomi (Audi R18 ultra #4): “It was really a great race. This was my first one in an Audi sports prototype, so I can’t expect any more than this. Yesterday, we were second in qualifying and today we finished in third place. The race was very difficult. In the beginning it was pretty wet and then the tarmac dried off more and more. Oliver and I were very quick in all conditions. The pit crew did tremendous stops. Unfortunately, we struck by misfortune during the first safety car period and lost one lap at the red lights at the end of the pit lane.”

Oliver Jarvis (Audi R18 ultra #4): “A great day. The most important thing was to not make any mistakes and to complete as many kilometers as possible. We may be inexperienced but the pace was there. Now the wish remains to finish on the podium at Le Mans as well - maybe we’ll even move up a bit more.”

Dindo Capello (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “A tremendous result on the whole. For the first time, Audi occupied the top four places. Sincere congratulations to the winners, but I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before an Audi R18 e-tron quattro wins for the first time. Audi did a superb job of competing here with four cars and clinching a 1-2-3-4 victory. In our car, my task was to drive three stints with the tires to test them for Le Mans. But after my last stop the tires heavily degraded and I had increasingly heavy understeer - which caused me to lose more and more speed. This phenomenon increased further in traffic. When I was driving alone it was okay. I think that the cause is not to be found in the tires but in our set-up.”

Tom Kristensen (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “This was an outstanding race for Audi with four new cars. Unfortunately, it didn’t go optimally for our driver team. But particularly in the rain our performance was remarkable. Things were going well on a dry track too but a few minor things caused us to lose ground. We had to change the front hood because the left headlight wasn’t working. Then we received a stop-and-go penalty. Our tire strategy was relatively conservative. But on the way to the finish we gathered a lot of valuable data and findings. ‘Well done’ to the three cars in front of us on the podium. Coming up next, in June, will be the pre-test for the Le Mans 24 Hours. We’ve been looking forward to the big race two weeks later for a long time.”

Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro #2): “A very sincere ‘well done’ to our victorious team-mates. They were very good today. Spa is always unpredictable and so the weather today was critical again. It was also clear that we’re experiencing a learning curve with the R18 e-tron quattro and at the moment we’re just at the beginning of it. We’ve still got to improve balance and thus the consistency of the tires. Two or three minor changes in the race didn’t help us either. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. Today was totally different from yesterday when we managed to set the fastest time in qualifying.”

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