Word got out that Mike Rockenfeller wiped the only Audi R15 plus during their testing yesterday at Sebring. After doing some high-speed testing on the ovals, Audi headed to Sebring to gain some much needed “Le Mans” data. Since Peugeot would not let Audi race with an interim model in fear of losing to it, Audi pulled in with 4 rigs and one R15 plus.
Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller was at the wheel and coming into the infamous Turn 17, we assume, lost it and spun rear end in to the tires. From the picture, the nose looks relatively intact, but side and read damage look big.
Mike is known to crash an R15 or two, and is a middle packer in the DTM. He had just won the Daytona 24 in January with Action Express Racing.
We have not heard from Audi but will update you with any info as it comes in.
Several teams have remained (or joined) Sebring to carry out tests after the race, with the aim of completing the preparation of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But the Audi’s first day was disrupted by a violent accident.
The last weekend, Peugeot has handily won the 12 Hours of Sebring with the No. 07 assigned to Marc Gené, Alexander Wurz and Anthony Davidson in front of the sister car of Sebastien Bourdais, Nicolas Minassian and Pedro Lamy. Team Olivier Quesnel has remained on site to conduct tests and provide the driving time to Simon Pagenaud, driving the HPD ARX-01b during the 12 H. The French the opportunity to share the tub with Gene and Davidson.
But the Lion brand is not only on the Florida route. Indeed, Highcroft and Corvette, which both had a tough race also remained for tests, and Audi, conspicuously absent from the test, joined in order to perfect his knowledge of the R15 2010.
Unlike its main rival, which has full confidence in the U.S., Audi, yesterday was a little soup to the face. As you announced the end of the day, Mike Rockenfeller went recessed the “R15 Plus” in the stack of tires turn 17 (Sunset Bend), the return just before the pit straight. The car looks significantly damaged at right-back. The Ingolstadt-based firm had moved only with a single copy, it is hoped that the team mechanics of Dr. Ullrich will be able to repair in order to continue the meeting.
We do not know if a German pilot error or if the R15 version 2010 is also difficult to drive than its predecessor, but whatever happens, the whole program in which an Audi ‘s found in upside down. A harmful event especially when one considers that last year the lack of taxi and therefore knowledge of their car had been very damaging at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We now hope to see again the German prototype on the bumpy tarmac of the former American military airport this week. Peugeot is in great shape and come to tickle the 908 HDi FAP in the Sarthe next June will require an Audi team in full possession of his means.