April 13, 2024

Rumor from Le Mans, Audi switching to R18

Audi R15 Plus Le Mans racer

The Le Mans series is one of the best efforts in motorsport any automotive company can undertake.

Audi R15 Plus Le Mans racer
Audi R15 Plus Le Mans racer

Because of the endurance situations engineering is stressed to the maximum but because of the racing environment performance is equally as important.

With this in mind it’s almost impossible not to get excited when you hear a rumor of such importance as this is. Basically, what we’ve heard is that Audi could be retiring their very successful R15 prototype and switching over to an R18 model.

What’s particularly interesting about the rumored Audi R18 is the fact that it will be a closed cockpit model, something the Ingolstadt racers haven’t been using before.

There are some advantages to a closed cockpit model and just one disadvantage. First of all, you get better aerodynamics which in an endurance race that has a focus on efficiency makes a very big difference.

Secondly, you will get improved safety as the driver is far less exposed to potential hazards that may be hurled at him during a race.

Thirdly, driver fatigue is greatly reduced because a closed cockpit protects him from the elements so he doesn’t have to cope with weather conditions and so on, he can just carry on with the racing.

The only disadvantage would be a bump in weight but my guess is that Audi will more than make up for it with other performance aspects of the car.

The best bit of news regarding this rumor is the fact that we’re told the Audi R18 could be ready to be unveiled as soon as December 10. That’s right, we could hear confirmation of this as soon as tomorrow.


  • Daniel Lassen December 9, 2010

    You are forgetting the another disadvantage of the closed cockpit racer. Lack of view in nighttime and in rain. The peugeot 908 was much faster than the R10 but when the rain hit the track, the closed cockpit racer had bad view because of the windscreen. Its not the only reason for the Audi victory that year but i think that its a big factor in endurance racing, the view that is.

  • Lupica G. December 10, 2010

    I agree, a closed cockpit does imply somewhat limited vision but given the speeds these cars do it’s almost impossible for a human brain to fully process the entire view.

    The Peugeot 908’s performance was severely hampered by a mistake in tire choice and, of course, reliability issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This Article
Send this to a friend