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.
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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.