Audi has taken the wraps off its livery for the new R18 e-tron quattro, which will compete alongside LMP1 rivals Toyota and Porsche in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The German manufacturer unveiled the car’s race livery Tuesday at Le Mans, where nine-time race winner Tom Kristensen drove the diesel-powered hybrid prototype through the city streets to Circuit de la Sarthe.
Accompanied by TV cameras and photographers, and featured in a live internet broadcast, Audi’s new LMP1 car completed the 6-mile journey through the city with a police escort, completed a lap on the Bugatti circuit and arrived in front of the Welcome Center at the historic circuit.
“I’ve been competing at Le Mans since 1997 but this was absolutely new for me, too, and very exciting,” Kristensen said.
It was part of the final presentation of Audi’s 2014 program ahead of this weekend’s official pre-season FIA WEC test at Paul Ricard.
Reigning FIA WEC champions Kristensen and Loic Duval will be joined by Lucas di Grassi in the No. 1 car, while Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler all return, but will now carry the No. 2 numberplate.
A third R18 e-tron quattro will be fielded at the Six Hours of Spa and 24 Hours of Le Mans for Oliver Jarvis, Marco Bonanomi and Filipe Albuquerque.