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The 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Winning Car: Audi R15 Plus

The 2010 Audi-R15

This past weekend, the 78th running of the most prestigious sports car race took place known as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Triumphant, the #9 Audi R15 took the race for their 9th time since 2000 beating out the formidable efforts of Peugeot.

Starting their modern sports car racing legacy in 1999, Audi reemerged with one of the revolutionary R8 race car at the 2000 12-Hour of Sebring winning in their maiden outing.

The most significant race car to be constructed in 30 years, the Audi R8 carried many traits which would transfer into production vehicles including gasoline direct injection.

In 2006, Audi evolved to the use of diesel power in their step forward in prototype sports car technology called the R10.

For 2009, Audi Sport brought out their newest prototype again at Sebring, the Audi R15, winning that event but would find victory at Le Mans elusive that year. With the Peugeot 908 HDI FAP taking the top spot after the full day of running, this was only the second time in the past decade that Audi would miss prototype victory. However, one of those cases was when Bentley, a corporate sister to Audi, won the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans with a car consisting of major components belonging to the Audi prototype.

Feeling the sting of defeat, Audi Sport Team Joest reloaded with a heavily-revised car for 2010 dubbing it the Audi R15 Plus. Bringing home all three Audi R15 Plus prototypes home 1-2-3 in overall standings.In recognition of the achievement of Audi, we’ll take a closer look at this expertly-engineered race vehicle which pushes competitive and technological boundaries.

The new Audi R15 has a Variable Geometry Turbine engine that is basically a diesel engine and is used in the latest Le Mans 24 hour race. The concept of using a diesel engine is not very common, in fact some car manufacturers wouldn’t even consider trying it, but Audi was brave and intelligent enough to not only make a diesel powered racing engine, but also make it attain one of the top positions in the 24 hour race.

Audi R15 Plus Exterior

Refined over the R15 which debuted last season, the R15 Plus carbon-reinforced bodywork is reshaped for improved aerodynamic efficiency. Slightly longer than a Audi A5, the Audi R15 Plus, the use of weight-reducing material allows the prototype sports car to weigh 250 pounds less than a Toyota Yaris. One of the most noticeable changes found on the Audi R15 Plus refit is located within the vehicle’s front nose section. Dividing into two nose sections, this new design is tested to perform with less aerodynamic drag.

After the 2009 Le Mans race, one of the leading complaints tabled by the Audi Sport Team Joest drivers involved the LED headlights. Since last year, Audi Sport engineers invested considerable time and money to realign the forward lighting to increase brightness. This year, the lights blazed bright through the night as the Audi R15s leapfrogged the Peugeot 908 prototypes through the French night.

Designed for speed, the Audi R15 monocoque body structure is also engineered to comply with crash and safety standards stand-out by the FIA.

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