A couple of years ago the thought of a diesel-powered race car would've made all but the most die-hard diesel fans laugh out loud. Today, however, Audi is dominating the American Le Mans Series with its pair of diesel-powered R10 racers. Their domination is so thorough, in fact, that ALMS organizers have decided to grant their competition concessions so they can keep up.
At this weekend's round of racing at Road America, the competing LM P1 Lolas from the Dyson team will be allowed to race with 143 pounds less than the R10s. At the following race at Mosport the Lolas will be given a five-liter larger fuel tank, as well. These concessions seem to be aimed at making up the gap in power and fuel economy the R10s enjoy over their gas-powered competitors.
The decision by ALMS officials to change the rules in the middle of the series have cast doubt about Audi's future participation in the series, though the team plans to tough it out for the time being. Road America's long 4-mile track should suit the R10's abilities, despite the fact Audi engineers calculate the cars will be giving up 1.3 seconds per lap due to their weight disadvantage.