• Feb 11, 2009
Following up on the immense success of the R10 TDI race car, Audi has been hard at work on its successor. A pair of new R15 TDI race cars will make their race debut at the Sebring 12-hour race next month, but the highly anticipated Le Mans Prototype has already been seen running development laps.
In developing the R15 TDI, Audi's motorsport engineers had to cope with new LMP1 regulations that place restrictions on downforce, while also trying to gain ground against the newer 908 HDi campaigned by rival Peugeot. The new R15 features a wider, higher front nose derived from the latest Formula One designs, radiators moved forward and a sleeker rear end with tail-lights integrated into the redesigned rear wing. Audi has also apparently chosen to stick with an open-cockpit design instead of the new school of closed cockpits embraced by Peugeot and Aston Martin's new LMP1 racer. We'll have to wait until Sebring on March 21 to see the R15 TDI in full race livery, but Italian magazine Sport Auto and British racing resource Autosport have already gotten a hold of shots of the car testing at Spain's Vallelunga circuit, so follow the links below to catch a glimpse.

[Source: Audi via Autosport and Sport Auto] PRESS RELEASE

Two new Audi R15 TDI at Sebring opener

# Race debut of new diesel sports car on 21 March
# 12-hour race in Florida is stern test for Le Mans
# Audi Sport Team Joest with proven driver teams


Ingolstadt/Sebring – The eagerly awaited first race of the new diesel sports car from AUDI AG draws ever closer: Audi Sport Team Joest contests the notorious 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida on 21 March with two Audi R15 TDI. The US endurance classic will act as stern test and dress rehearsal for the 24 Hours of Le Mans on 13 /14 June 2009.

The new Audi R15 TDI is packed with numerous technically innovative detail solutions and differs significantly from its predecessor model the R10 TDI which was undefeated at Le Mans. The first tests with the new LMP1 prototype have been successfully completed.

"So far the R15 TDI has performed as we expected," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Now it must also prove itself in race conditions. Sebring is a particularly hard race and is therefore perfectly suited to reveal even the smallest of weaknesses."

Proven drivers sit at the wheel of the two new prototypes. One driver line-up is formed by defending Le Mans winners Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland). The Germans Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner take turns at the wheel of the sister R15 TDI. Audi Sport Team Joest competed last year at Sebring in this formation.

Every new Le Mans Prototype from AUDI AG celebrated its race debut at the race track in the heart of Florida. In Audi's first ever sports car race in 1999
Audi Sport Team Joest claimed a podium position first time out with the Audi R8R. A year later the Audi R8 triumphed on its debut at Sebring. On the premiere of the R10 TDI in 2006 Audi landed the first victory worldwide for a diesel powered sports car in an important endurance race.

The brand with the four rings has won the 12-hour race at Sebring, which also forms the opening race of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), a total of eight times, the last time in 2007.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Picture of the front is out as well. Does look radical like Audi promised.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sexy
      • 5 Years Ago
      It has to be smaller, start and end of story. The R10 is an oversized boat.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The R8 ran (uncontested) for 7-8 seasons.

        The R10 was designed for European tracks. LeMans was the main focus, as Audi was undecided about a full ALMS campaign. The ALMS tweaked their own P1/ P2 regs to attract more American fans who wanted to see a huge manufacturer battle.

        The R10 was big & heavy due to the V12 TDI engine & associated technology. The forms were stunning + my reaction to your comments focused on negatives associated with you terming it a "boat". Makes the R10 seem like some bloated 70 era "land yacht". My hydroplane comment was referring to FORMS not a scale comparison.

        The R10 also beat the Peugeot TDI, in part because the 908 proved to be more "sprint" than "enduro" (its been a bit fragile...) Driver line up helped too... so Audi is launching the R15. Ironic that Audi will focus on LeMans only, now that the R15 would address the ALMS smaller/ tighter tracks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hydroplanes are "boats"... & some of them looks very sleek. The R10's forms were stunning & the R15 looks like it continues the trend.

        If you want to bemoan race cars with unflattering proportions... go pi$$ on the Grand Am DP's, IRL Dallara, or NASCAR's CoT!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can't wait to see more!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Autosport has the shot of the front

      http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/73231
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks hot. cant wait to see more pictures and find out what is under the hood(obviously its a TDI, but displacement, cylinders, power, etc)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Vallelunga is in italy near Rome not in Spain!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cant wait to see it in Sebring this year!