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Inside Audi’s Key Achievements in Prototype Racing

A look at Audi’s achievements through its 18-year run in prototypes…

Photo: Audi

Photo: Audi

Audi’s announcement that it will be ending its factory LMP1 program at the end of this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship season has brought an end to one of the most successful eras in sports car racing history that included 13 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and numerous championships around the globe.

Sportscar365 takes a look back at the key moments in the German manufacturer’s prototype racing history.

1999
*Audi R8R makes debut at Sebring; Alboreto/Capello/Johansson finishes third overall
*Audi enters four cars at Le Mans (two R8R, two R8C); Biela/Theys/Pirro finish third in R8R. R8C program abandoned after lack of pace, mechanical issues

2000
*All-new Audi R8 wins in debut at Sebring (Biela/Pirro/Kristensen)
*Biela/Pirro/Kristensen win Le Mans, leading 1-2-3 podium sweep
*McNish wins ALMS drivers’ championship; first of four consecutive LMP900 titles for Audi Sport Team Joest

2001
*Alboreto killed in testing accident at Lausitzring
*Champion Racing (ALMS), Johansson Motorsport (ELMS) debut first customer R8s
*Biela/Pirro Kristensen repeat Le Mans win
*Pirro wins ALMS drivers’ championship; Audi scores eight wins out of ten races

2002
*Biela/Pirro/Kristensen claim third straight Le Mans win; second podium sweep
*Kristensen wins ALMS drivers’ championship

2003
*Champion, Goh, Audi UK field R8s at Le Mans; Lehto/Pirro/Johansson finish third
*Werner/Lehto win ALMS LMP900 title

2004
*Veloqx, Goh enter Le Mans Endurance Series (ELMS); Herbert/Davies wins championship
*Ara/Capello/Kristensen win Le Mans in Goh Audi R8; Veloqx, Champion give podium sweep
*Champion wins ALMS LMP1 championship with Werner/Lehto

2005
*Kristensen/Lehto/Werner win Le Mans in Champion Audi
*Champion wins second straight ALMS title; first with Biela/Pirro
*ORECA enters sole Audi R8 in ELMS; victory at Silverstone

2006
*Audi R10 TDI wins in debut at Sebring (Capello/McNish/Kristensen)
*Biela/Pirro/Werner win Le Mans; first for a diesel-powered car
*Return of factory team to ALMS (Champion-run); sweeps season with R8/R10; McNish/Capello win championship

2007
*Werner/Pirro/Biela win Le Mans
*McNish/Capello earn second straight ALMS title

2008
*Joest expands to ELMS; wins title with Premat/Rockenfeller
*McNish/Capello/Kristensen win Le Mans
*Werner/Luhr win ALMS title in final year of full-season competition; ninth straight manufacturer championship

2009
*McNish/Capello/Kristensen win Sebring in R15 TDI debut
*Third at Le Mans for McNish/Capello/Kristensen
*Kolles enters Audi R10 TDIs in ELMS/Le Mans

2010
*Joest re-enters ELMS for limited season in modified R15 Plus
*Rockenfeller/Bernhard/Dumas win Le Mans in 1-2-3 sweep
*Audi loses inagural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup to Peugeot

2011
*All-new Audi R18 TDI debuts at Spa ILMC round
*Fassler/Lotterer/Trelyer win Le Mans
*Audi finishes second in ILMC championship

2012
*Kristensen/McNish/Capello win Sebring; first race of FIA World Endurance Championship
*First Le Mans win for hybrid-powered car (Lotterer/Fassler/Trelyer) in four-car Audi entry
*Audi wins first of two straight Manufacturer World Championships; Lotterer/Treluyer/Fassler win drivers’ title

2013
*Fassler/Treluyer/Jarvis win Sebring in Audi’s final race appearance in LMP1
*McNish/Kristensen/Duval win Le Mans and Drivers’ World Championship
*McNish announces retirement

2014
*Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer win Le Mans
*Audi finishes second in Manufacturer’s World Championship
*Kristensen announces retirement

2015
*Wins at Silverstone, Spa for Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer
*Third at Le Mans with Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer

2016
*Win at Spa for Jarvis/Di Grassi/Duval
*Third at Le Mans for Jarvis/Di Grassi/Duval

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. klm

    October 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    there diesel were build to “grow flower”,instead this finish into THE BIGGEST CHEAT EVER AGAINST THE REGULATOT. i m very glad their factory program end.

  2. Kirk

    October 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I applaud Audi’s achievements throughout the years. They epitomized what racing is all about; hard work, great driving, and technical innovation. They’ll be missed.

    On a tangent, I wonder if this will wake up the WEC and make them realize they can’t rely on manufacturers as the backbone for their series. Audi’s longevity isn’t the norm. Most manufacturers get in, get their desired publicity, and then get out. As long as the WEC is focused on those few cars produced by the manufacturers, the WEC will forever be teetering on the brink of disaster wondering who will pull out next. While IMSA’s DPi may not be perfect, it should still thrive regardless of which manufacturers enter and pull out on a yearly basis.

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