The German automaker announced today that it will run two hybrid LMP1 cars for the first time in their team of four during the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Details were scarce in the release, but we know that the cars will be officially released at the end of the month. Their first race debut will follow on May 5 at the 6 hours of Spa-Francorchamps.
Despite running the hybrid cars, Audi isn’t relying on them. Instead the R18 TDI that raced last year will remain the staple.
“The first test results are very encouraging and we are intrigued to see just how this technology performs in combination with our ultra lightweight technology on the race track at Le Mans. As before, we still, however, see potential with the conventional drive – just as our colleagues do in production development,” head of Audi Motorsport Wolfgang Ullrich said.
It seems that the engineers at Audi are putting some stock in Toyota’s strategy because developing and running those cars is no small feat.
“To develop the hybrid technology for Le Mans is at least as ambitious and challenging as our diesel project was in its early stages,” Ullrich said.
Audi won 10 of the total Le Mans races since 2000, so the fact that they’re putting money into a hybrid LMP1 means there’s probably something significant to be gained.