• Jan 20th 2009 at 2:40PM
  • 8
The Audi R10 TDI is among the most successful cars in all of racing history. After dominating Le Mans racing in 2006 and 2007, Audi faced a new challenger in the LMP1 class from Peugeot. The closed cockpit French car was faster than the Audi, consistently completing quicker laps at the 24 hours of Le Mans race and elsewhere. And although the R10 won last year's 2008 24 hours of Le Mans due to a great team strategy and the car's superior reliability, the new challenge from Peugeot meant Audi had to field a new car in 2009. The new R15 is bound to be better in almost every way, but that doesn't mean the R10 is ready for the scrap heap.

Great performance and reliability means that the R10 is still a viable race car, and Dr. Colin Kolles is buying two cars from Audi and racing them in the European Le Mans series. Dr. Kolles has been working with Audi since 2006 leading a team of A4 LMS racers. Now the good doctor is on his own for 2009, and he'll have what is bound to still be a very competitive car. The R10 won't even have to go head to head with its future successor often, as the R15 will only race in the 12 hours and 24 hours of Le Mans in 2009. Hit the jump to view the official press release from Audi.

[Source: Audi]


Private team plans LMS with Audi R10 TDI

  • Successful diesel sportscar in customer hands for the first time
  • Dr Colin Kolles' team plans to buy two Audi R10 TDI cars
  • Car may also be fielded at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Ingolstadt – The successful Audi R10 TDI is likely to appear again on European race tracks in 2009. While Audi will contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans as part of its factory commitment with the new R15 TDI in 2009, Dr
Colin Kolles is planning to buy two Audi R10 TDI cars for his racing team. The privately fielded prototypes are planned to return to the venues of their greatest exploits in 2009: to the European-based Le Mans Series and to the 24-hour race at Le Mans, in which the Audi R10 TDI has not been beaten so far.

Since the 2006 season Audi has been cooperating with Dr Colin Kolles, who has entered two Audi A4 DTM cars in the DTM since that time. Now, the team owner based in Greding near Ingolstadt wants to extend his motorsport involvement to the sportscar area on his own initiative. The team plans to contest the 24-hour race at Le Mans on 13 and 14 June 2009 as well as the five rounds of the European-based Le Mans Series.

Audi Sport will sell two R10 TDI vehicles to Dr Kolles for this purpose and complement the agreement by a service package encompassing support for the private racing commitments by members of Audi Sport's technical staff.

"We welcome the fact that Dr Kolles decided to take on this commitment and wants to purchase two Audi R10 TDI cars," said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. "While on the factory side of the house we are concentrating on the development and fielding of the new R15 TDI sportscar as well as on the DTM, we are pleased to see that the R10 TDI will be privately entered in future and that racing vehicles of the Audi brand will continue to be represented in the Le Mans Series. That is why we agreed to the sale of the cars. However, our involvement will be strictly limited to providing support under the terms of the service agreement."

In the 2006, 2007 and 2008 racing years, the Audi R10 TDI clinched as many as 22 overall victories in 38 worldwide entries. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as in the final LM P1 classification of the American Le Mans Series during that time frame the Audi R10 TDI remained unbeaten and last year won the LM P1 class of the European-based Le Mans Series as well.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's great to see the R10 will continue to race. I hope Dr. Kolles has the sponsorship in place to keep top-notch drivers in the cars. It would be great to see Champion racing in the ALMS, but you need deep pockets and sponsorship indeed to pull that off. Primetime Race Group is selling an FIA GT3/ALMS GT-2 Viper for $250K or $1.5 million to race a full ALMS season. That should give you some idea of what it would cost to race the R10 LMP-1 car. Probably $4-5 million per car for the season.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ bhtooefr: Yes, I do remember that Champion Racing ran the Audi privateer effort with the R8 and also ran the factory Audi team in the ALMS also. I was just saying that they'll need substantial sponsorship to be able to pull it off again, and in these financial times that kind of sponsorship is hard to come by.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do keep in mind, though, that Champion has run Audi LMP1 cars as a privateer team before - in fact, they campaigned the R8 for a few years in ALMS as a privateer entry, before Joest Racing pulled out of the ALMS (resulting in Champion becoming Audi Sport North America for ALMS purposes.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      So what is the R15 going to bring? Audi traditionally uses racing for technological development -- one thinks of AWD in the Quattro, direct injection in the R8, diesel with the R10. What's new about the R15?
      • 6 Years Ago
      What of Champion campaigning in ALMS then?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jay: Sadly its a tougher sell for sponsorship in the States... European sponsors see the value of sports car racing & don't ask if the car is "NASCAR Legal"!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd hazard a guess and say Dr Kolles' or his sponsors have deeper pockets than Champion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think Champion has much of a case in the ALMS. The R10 was barely able to keep ahead of the P2 Acuras and there's little doubt that it wouldn't be able to keep pace with the new P1 Acuras.

      How would Champion pitch the business case to their potential sponsors? "Well, just a few million, we'll put your logo on the car but we're gonna be in third place all season long...." ;)

      Hope against hope, they pull it off. I'll just be looking forward to the Dyson/Fernandez battle in P2 and the Lizards defending the crown in GT2.
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