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Old 06-02-2010, 12:10 AM
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2010 Le Mans: the new Audi R15 plus TDI ...

Having won eight of the last ten editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi is naturally one of the favourites to win this year's race. In 2009 the German team struggled with the revolutionary and also controversial R15 TDI, which did not live up to the expectations despite a debut victory at Sebring. At Le Mans it particularly suffered from a lack of top speed. Over the winter the problems have been addressed, which has resulted in the R15 plus TDI. There are still hints of the predecessor in the new car's design but some fundamental changes were made to the aerodynamics. The intricate 'channel' system, which saw much of the airflow run through the car instead of over it has been abandoned for the most part on this much more conventional design. What remained was the V10 TDI diesel engine that was part of the original R15 package. The very compact unit displaces 5.5 litre and still produces in the vicinity of 600 bhp and more importantly in excess of 1050 Nm of torque.
The official debut of the R15 plus came two months ago with a victory in the Le Castellet 8 Hours. A few weeks later the mighty Peugeot team joined the fray at Spa for a clash of the titans. Both rivals brought three fully equipped cars and Peugeot showed that the victory at Le Mans last year has not led to complacency. Running the Le Mans aero-package, the new Audi was competitive throughout the weekend and especially the top speed figures were encouraging. We captured the new Audi at these races and have created a 24-shot gallery to illustrate a detailed article on the development of the latest endurance racer from Ingolstadt.
At Le Mans Audi will field three R15 plus TDIs; the #7 for Allan McNish, Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen, the #8 for Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer, and the #9 for Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller. It looks like we may have another classic fight on our hand and it would take a brave man to bet against Audi.

Enjoy the links:

2010 Audi R15 plus TDI - Images, Specifications and Information
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:38 AM
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Something I've noted about the R15 is that it's a 5 speed while the 908 is a 6 speed.

Offhand, that seems to put the Audi at a rather large disadvantage. Why has Audi opted to keep the 5 speed?
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitdy View Post
Something I've noted about the R15 is that it's a 5 speed while the 908 is a 6 speed.

Offhand, that seems to put the Audi at a rather large disadvantage. Why has Audi opted to keep the 5 speed?
Audi reckons they only need a 5-speed with 1050 Nm on tap. All their diesel cars have had only five forward gears. It probably means they can also fit stronger gears inside the casing.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:05 AM
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Durability, as the 908's gearboxes initially had trouble.

Ironically Ricardo builds the Pug's gearbox internals, and they built the gearbox internals for the Audi R8.

Also, XTrac builds those same parts for both versions of the Audi R15 and the R10, and XTrac built the gearboxes for the Peugeot 905.

It actually isn't a big disadvantage, as laptimes have shown at even LM last year. At shorter tracks, it's not a big disadvantage either, as was shown with the R10 at Spa, Silverstone and PLM in '08, and at Sebring and PLM last year and Paul Ricard and Spa this year.

Also, if you watch the onboard videos of the R10 or R15, Audi's drivers typically only use 1st gear to get on or off pit road, and maybe a few tighter corners(Turn 11 at Long Beach, and maybe La Source at Spa). The Pug guys at LM I know for sure use 1st at Mulsanne and Arnage. Also, the Audis run in top gear for longer than the Pugs. So it might be down to torque--not the amount, but where it is in the powerband. It seems that the Audis have better low and midrange, where as the Peugeots seem to be a bit peakier.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:25 AM
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IF you have the torque band to suport it then LESS gears is better in real racing.
EVERY gear change up introduces a tiny gap of no drive to the wheels and every downchange has a tiny gap in engine braking. If either of these are done mid-corner then the risk of losing traction rises and the lack of drive means lower speed - even if only ever so slightly.
On top of that every gear change up or down introduces a stress on the comopnents involved in the change including the drive gears and shafts and external to the 'box the diff and drive shafts. With top formula racing designs being so weight conscious then less stress means can build a lighter design for same reliability.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:32 AM
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some shots of the number 7 car (the only serious contender for the overall win) at Spa. Note the spy photographer in shot 2...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JQ6M3778.1.jpg (121.5 KB, 4 views)
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File Type: jpg JQ6M4740.1.jpg (93.7 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg JQ6M4771.1.jpg (92.0 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg JQ6M6371.1.jpg (99.4 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg JQ6M6416.1.jpg (125.8 KB, 4 views)
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henk4 View Post
Note the spy photographer in shot 2...
That is one nice outfit right there.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:13 AM
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W in a racing suit... nice.

are those required to shoot in the hot pits?
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcpokey View Post
W in a racing suit... nice.

are those required to shoot in the hot pits?
yep, but only for the LMS part of the show.
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