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Sebring - March 17, 2006

Audi triumphs with Diesel power at Sebring

The new Audi R10 TDI has immediately written motorsport history in its first outing: Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland) won the 12-hour race at Sebring (USA) achieving the first ever victory of a Diesel powered sportscar. Tom Kristensen became the first driver to win America’s most famous endurance race for a fourth time, achieving another record after his record seventh Le Mans victory from last year.

30 degrees Celsius in the shade, high humidity and asphalt temperatures reaching up to 43 degrees, caused especially difficult circumstances on the Florida track which is one of the most demanding in the world. Allan McNish had already shown the potential of the 650-hp V12 TDI engine with a record-breaking pole position time in qualifying. Because the heat exchanger had to be replaced after the morning warm-up, Dindo Capello was forced to start the number two R10 TDI from the pit-lane starting his chase from the back of the field.

Tom Kristensen achieves another record
It took Capello only half an hour before he had moved from 35th and last position to second just behind the sister car of Frank Biela. Shortly before the end of the second hour, the Italian took the lead, which the number two R10 TDI kept until the finish. Only changing the fuel filter and two loose wheel nuts caused unscheduled pit-stops.

The number one Audi R10 TDI that had clearly led the race for the first two hours did not reach the finish. The car driven by Frank Biela (Germany), Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) was withdrawn just before one-third distance due to an overheated engine.

TDI engine writes motorsport history
The reason: Shortly after the start of the race, the telemetry system of car number one, that transmits the data from the car to the pits, had stopped working. As a consequence, Audi Sport’s engine technicians had no data at all for the whole distance. When Marco Werner reported high water temperatures via radio during the fourth hour of the race, the second placed R10 TDI was called into the pits. The team discovered radiators completely blocked by tyre rubber. After cleaning the radiators, the temperatures sank immediately. However, Team Audi Sport North America decided to precautionary withdraw the second placed R10 TDI from the race because the engine had been running with significantly high temperatures for an extended period.

Quotes after the race at Sebring

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of AUDI AG

"Audi has once again written motorsport history, this time by being the first manufacturer to win an endurance race with a diesel powered sportscar. This impressively confirms the efficiency of the modern TDI technology. It is especially remarkable that this success was achieved at the very first race of the new Audi R10 TDI. The whole team from Audi Sport and the Technical Development of Audi has once again done a great job. I thank everyone who is participating in this ambitious project.”

Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport)
"This has been a very tough race and thus a good test for Le Mans. To get the first victory for a TDI engine after our pole position is fantastic. We showed today what’s in our new sportscar with a Diesel engine. Thanks to the whole crew from Audi Sport and Team Joest. Of course it is a shame that we couldn’t bring both cars to the finish. But we learned a lot today and know that it is still a long way to Le Mans.”

Dindo Capello (Audi R10 TDI #2):
"Audi has again done something extraordinary. With this victory we really make a new chapter about motorsport history. It reminds me when Audi started rallying with the quattro to show that four-wheel drive is good not only for farm vehicles. When Audi announced it would go racing with a Diesel engine, maybe many people did not take us seriously. But I think now they will not laugh anymore about us.”

Tom Kristensen (Audi R10 TDI #2):
"Audi had the courage to put such a young car into a race at an early stage. It paid off. I know how many people have been working very hard for this and I would like to thank all of them. I have to say many thanks especially to the mechanics. What they did after the warm-up was a job which normally is not done in this short amount of time. Thanks also to my colleagues Allan and Dindo who drove very well. Crossing the finish line was a historic moment for the Diesel technology. I know that Audi has a good image in America. I’m sure the image of Audi TDI will be soon as good in the US.”

Allan McNish (Audi R10 TDI #2):
"The whole team should be very proud - we have created a little piece of history. In a few years time, people will look back and realise this was a monumental moment, not only in Audi Sport history, but also in motorsport where the first ever Diesel engine won an international race. We all worked very hard for this one. And we will all be celebrating a lot tonight. ”

Frank Biela (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"The first victory with a Diesel engine and for the R10 TDI is a great story. Especially if you have in mind that we had not so much time. The roll-out happened quite recently. You can only take your hat off to Audi Sport for this achievement. We had a superb car at the beginning of the race. But things like this can happen, that’s racing. Now we have to keep our heads up, look forward, show the same performance at Le Mans and finish the race there.”

Emanuele Pirro (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"In motor racing you can have mechanical problems sometimes. Of course there is sadness for us because a little problem prevented us from having a good battle for the win. Despite that, it has been a positive weekend. One of the two cars won its first race, this is a big achievement and a big reward for all the work all of us did in developing the R10 TDI. I keep my full confidence for the very big race which is Le Mans.”

Marco Werner (Audi R10 TDI #1)
"We had good race speed, and as long we were in the race, things went without problems. Of course it is a shame we had to stop prematurely. Despite that, my thanks to Audi and Team Joest. The boys had a lot of work this weekend. Audi faced stiff competition after such a short period of testing. Others often don’t have the courage to do this in public.”

Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director, Team Audi Sport North America)
"We are happy about the success because we have been working extremely hard for that. It’s even more important we learned a lot of things - we can take home a long list and work towards Le Mans. This will happen with a lot of joy because we have seen the potential the R10 TDI has and that the concept is right. Losing one car very early was not nice, and I really feel sorry for the guys of car number one. They also worked through many nights.”

7/7/2023, 10:44:12 PM cet
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The pit board in Sebring
Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish on the podium
Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello on the podium
Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello celebrate their victory
The start at Sebring
 Audi R10 TDI #2, Dindo Capello


2 P1 1 Tom Kristensen Fin 0.000 Audi R10 Audi Sport North America Start From Pits


37 P2 1 Liz Halliday Fin 4 Laps Lola B05/40 AER Intersport Racing --


4 GT1 1 Jan Magnussen Fin 11 Laps Chevrolet Corvette C6-R Corvette Racing --


009 GT1 2 Pedro Lamy Fin 12 Laps Aston Martin DB9 Aston Martin Racing --


16 P1 2 Andy Wallace Fin 13 Laps Lola B06/10 AER Dyson Racing Team --


007 GT1 3 Tomas Enge Fin 25 Laps Aston Martin DB9 Aston Martin Racing --


3 GT1 4 Max Papis Fin 0.637 Chevrolet Corvette C6-R Corvette Racing --


6 P2 2 Emmanuel Collard Run 26 Laps Porsche RS Spyder Penske Motorsports Mechanical


50 GT2 1 Sebastien Bourdais Fin 29 Laps Panoz Esperante GTLM Multimatic Motorsports Team Pa --


45 GT2 2 Marc Lieb Fin 5.365 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Flying Lizard Motorsports --


62 GT2 3 Anthony Lazzaro Fin 49.013 Ferrari 430 GT Berlinetta Risi Competizione --


41 P2 3 Alan Timpany Fin 32 Laps Lola B05/40 Zytek Binnie Motorsports --


44 GT2 4 Darren Law Fin 34 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Flying Lizard Motorsports --


80 GT2 5 Tom Kimber-Smith Fin 37 Laps Panoz Esperante GTLM Team LNT --


23 GT2 6 Klaus Graf Fin 38 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Alex Job Racing --


33 P2 4 Elton Julian Fin 56 Laps Courage C-65 AER Barazi Epailon --


31 GT2 7 Nic Jonsson Fin 57 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Petersen Motorsports/White Lig --


86 GT2 8 Jeroem Bleekemolen Fin 68 Laps Spyker C8 Spyder Spyker Squadron --


25 GT1 5 Terry Borcheller Fin 74 Laps Saleen S7R Konrad Motorsport --


79 GT2 9 Tim Sugden Ret 82 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR J3 Racing Gearbox


78 GT2 10 Jep Thornton Pit 86 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR J3 Racing --


8 P2 5 Raphael Matos Ret 87 Laps Courage C-65 Mazda B-K Motorsports Inc Overheating


85 GT2 11 Peter Kox Fin 101 Laps Spyker C8 Spyder Spyker Squadron Start From Pits


55 GT2 12 Dominik Farnbacher Ret 151 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Farnbacher Loles Racing Mechanical


21 GT2 13 Bill Auberlen Ret 152 Laps BMW E46 M3 BMW Team PTG Gearbox


7 P2 6 Timo Bernhard Ret 156 Laps Porsche RS Spyder Penske Motorsports Mechanical


20 P1 3 Guy Smith Ret 176 Laps Lola B06/10 AER Dyson Racing Team Overheating


56 GT2 14 Jan Vonka Ret 219 Laps Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Vonka Racing Engine


9 P1 4 Gregor Fisken Ret 221 Laps Lola EX257 AER Highcroft Racing Mechanical


22 GT2 15 Justin Marks Ret 225 Laps BMW E46 M3 BMW Team PTG Gearbox


12 P1 5 Chris McMurry Ret 228 Laps Lola EX257 AER Autocon Motorsports Mechanical


1 P1 6 Marco Werner Ret 232 Laps Audi R10 Audi Sport North America Overheating


51 GT2 16 Bruno Junqueira Ret 278 Laps Panoz Esperante GTLM Multimatic Motorsports Team Pa Mechanical


26 GT1 6 Jamie Davies Ret 283 Laps Saleen S7R Konrad Motorsport Gearbox


10 P2 7 James Gue Ret 287 Laps Courage C-65 AER Miracle Motorsports Gearbox
Audi R10 TDI #1, Frank Biela
 Audi R10 TDI #2, Allan McNish
 Audi R10 TDI #2, Allan McNish
Audi R10 TDI #2, Tom Kristensen