Audi experienced a perfect seventh race weekend in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) at Shanghai. After a fierce battle, Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer celebrated Audi’s first sports car victory in China. Thus, the brand has won six of the seven WEC rounds this year. A second reason to celebrate was provided by Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish. In the number ‘2’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro they only needed third place to win the drivers’ World Championship early, now following their team-mates who decided the World Championship title in their favour a year ago. Relaxed, both driver teams are going to travel to the WEC finale to be held at Bahrain in three weeks from now.
|Lap record (race)
||Nicolas Lapierre, Toyota (2012, 1m 48,815s, 180,339 km/h)|
|Pole position 2013||Alexander Wurz/Nicolas Lapierre, Toyota (Average time: 1m 48.013s)|
|Fastest lap 2013||André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer/Marcel Fässler, Audi (1m 49,066s, 179,9 kph)|
|Winners 2013||André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer/Marcel Fässler (Audi)|
In qualifying for round seven of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Audi, on rows one and two, achieved two good starting positions for the race. The best Audi R18 e-tron quattro was car number 1. Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer qualified for grid position two with a gap of just 0.089 seconds. After a brief refuelling stop followed by a final lap, Tréluyer had caused the qualifying session to remain a thriller all the way up to the end. One row behind number 1, the sister car will start the race on Saturday. Leaders of the standings Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish will start from position four. Making prudent use of the tires on the rough tarmac will be a crucial factor in the 6-hour race at Shanghai.
Six drivers, four rings and one title – the Audi Sport driver crews are the focus of attention at round seven of the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC season in Shanghai. Since the race at Fuji, in which Audi secured an early victory in the manufacturers’ classification*, it is also certain that the two squads in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro will fight amongst themselves for the drivers’ title. The current championship leaders Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) could even crown their excellent season with the championship title in China. The Le Mans winners start the race with an advantage of 40.75 points over their team mates the defending World Champions Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F). A total of 52 points are up for grabs in the remaining two WEC races 2013.
“In Audi’s biggest single market, we aim to make a good sporting impression and do everything within our power to bring home our sixth win of the WEC season with the R18 e-tron quattro and our first victory at Shanghai”, says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
*Subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA.
The track, which opened in 2004 and is situated about 40 kilometres northwest of the metropolis Shanghai, is new territory for the sports prototypes. To stabilize the facility which was built on marshland, 43,000 stakes were sunk into the ground.
A characteristic feature is the so-called snail corner, which spirals tighter and tighter like a snail shell. “We’ll approach this turn at about 270 km/h. You have to take as much speed as possible into the corner", explains Marco Bonanomi about the key section.