The 61st edition of The 12 Hours of Sebring is on, and Autoblog has come to central Florida with Audi to feast on jumbo boiled peanuts, pickled eggs and the final race for the LMP1 class at the oldest road course in North America. As Audi has been doing for more than a decade now, it's brought its latest endurance race car, the 2013-spec R18 etron quattro, to Sebring to begin testing for Le Mans.
We were baffled a few weeks back when the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series announced new classes that will make up their combined racing program in 2014. Gone from the list is the Le Mans Prototype class, otherwise known as LMP1. The LMP1 class has long been the top dog of endurance racing, both in Europe and the US, so we couldn't figure out why this newly minted racing series was jettisoning it like yesterday's donuts.
2010 Audi R15+ – Click above for high-res image gallery
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.