Audi aims to continue its proud success story on June 13 and 14 in the world’s toughest sports car endurance race with the newly developed R15 TDI diesel sports car. Audi has competed at Le Mans 10 times, crossing the finish line as winners eight times.
Since Audi team members arrived in France to prepare for the race, their efforts have received unprecedented coverage via social media Web sites. The Audi race team is posting news feeds, video and images as events unfold from Le Mans on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and on Audi’s own Le Mans site, audir15tdi.com. Using social media outlets, Audi is keeping race enthusiasts current on events in Le Mans 24 hours a day throughout the week and during the entire 24 hour race this weekend.
The Audi R15 TDI designated as car number “1″ will be driven by last year’s winners Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland), the same squad that already won the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA). A ninth victory, with only eleven participations, would see Audi draw level with Ferrari in the French endurance classic’s all-time winners list. Only Porsche has achieved more victories in its Le Mans history.
The heart of the brand’s drive to win Le Mans this year, the Audi R15 TDI features a newly developed V10 TDI engine producing more than 600 hp, with a maximum torque output in excess of 1,050 Newton meters (774 lb-ft of torque), reflecting the latest version of the TDI Technology invented by Audi. This diesel technology is not limited to the race track, however.
Audi TDI technology marks its 20th anniversary year by offering U.S. consumers the world’s cleanest diesel system in the 2009 Audi Q7 TDI. This ground breaking vehicle, on sale now, combines efficiency and performance with styling and luxurious appointments to open up the discussion over America’s alternative fuels options. Audi TDI is a technology certified to meet emissions regulations in all 50 U.S. states. That includes the California ULEV II (Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle) standards that also apply to conventional gasoline vehicles and represent one of the world’s most rigorous motor vehicle emission requirements. Audi will further showcase the fuel-economy and emissions benefits of clean diesel later this year with the introduction of the Audi A3 TDI.
Audi achieved its clean diesel technology goals without sacrificing the outstanding performance that TDI has brought to European motoring and in racing competitions worldwide, such as Le Mans where the. Audi R10 and R15 TDI have excelled.
Taking its racing efforts and online communications a step further, Xbox and Audi have announced that they will host an exciting and exceptionally unique AXF-24 Audi-Forza Challenge on June 13 and 14 at the Audi Forum in New York City. The event is open to fans who register online at http://audiexp.com The R10 TDI will be on display, as well as R8 FSI chassis 605, which won the R8 FSI’s final race worldwide at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT in 2006. The R8 FSI competed at Le Mans from 2000-2005 and the first half of the 2006 American Le Mans season, just as the successor R10 TDI was being phased into operation for its first race at Le Mans. As model year 2010 vehicles go on sale in Fall 2009, Audi will become the first automobile manufacturer in the United States to sell 100% of its gasoline engines with direct injection technology, branded as FSI. This high tech direct injection technology simultaneously maximizes power and fuel efficiency.
Xbox has selected nine of its top North American Forza competitors as determined by rankings on Xbox Live. Entrants will compete in a 24-hour endurance competition using the game “Forza Motorsport 3” running concurrent to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. The winning team at the end of the 24 hours on Sunday morning will win an all-expenses paid trip for them and a guest to the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans race where they will be hosted by Audi. Xbox and Audi will work together on several additional upcoming cross-promotional opportunities and events, including the Audi Centennial Celebration in August and the “Forza Motorsport 3” launch in late October.