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Audi: Motorsport interview with Dr. Ullrich himself

Audi Motorsports
When Dr. Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsports, is talking, Audi fans listen. And this interviews proves why!

In which specific areas is your R&D department yet working to improve the R10 for the next season ? Isn’t the weight of the V12 too important for a good balance of the car ? Considering the huge amount of power that the diesel technology is offering, wouldn’t it be interesting to use an engine with the same capacity but a smaller number of cylinders ?

« We are working on many details regarding the engine, the transmission, the weight-distribution and the aerodynamics. »

Isn’t the weight of the V12 too important for a good balance of the car ? Considering the huge amount of power that the diesel technology is offering, wouldn’t it be interesting to use an engine with the same capacity but a smaller number of cylinders ?

« As the ACO regulations are at the moment, you need to run the maximum capacity of 5.5 litres at Le Mans. It’s obvious that Peugeot has come to the same conclusion. A 10-cylinder engine would be an option, but we have chosen to go for 12 cylinders for various reasons and we will stick to this concept. There is still some of potential in the engine, also regarding the weight. »

The recent Michelin tests in Jerez have shown, once more, the speed of the Peugeot 908 which obtained the best lap time established during the four days. Do you think Peugeot will be your main rival at Le Mans ? Do you expect them to be even more threatening to you in La Sarthe than in 2007 and how are you preparing for this fight ?

« Peugeot was very fast in 2007, but at Le Mans the Audi R10 TDI was the faster car in the race. We should not talk about qualifying because of the weather and because we did not concentrate on setting a fast time in qualifying but on setting up the car. We are sure Peugeot will be stronger at Le Mans next year and our main competitor because there will be no other manufacturers racing LM P1 cars at Le Mans in 2008. As mentioned before the R10 TDI will be further developed for 2008. The 2008-spec car will go through the same preparation for Le Mans as we did in the past. This includes the 12 Hours of Sebring and a 30-hour test. »

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Source: Endurance Info