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12 Hours of Sebring: Domination unchallenged for Audi

History will record that Team Audi has won the 2012 edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 60th anniversary of this test which now World Championship endurance races of the FIA ​​(WEC). Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capello and Allan McNish pilots literally flew the circuit by winning a tenth victory for Audi Sebring with a four towers on their teammates Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Loic Duval also driving a R18 TDI.

For veterans of Team Audi, this historic victory was accompanied by a more personal meaning as the Danish driver Tom Kristensen won his sixth career victory in Sebring, when it was a fifth in career for the Italian Dindo Capello and fourth in career for Scottish Allan McNish. Peugeot withdraws as is endurance racing and Toyota was not yet ready to register, simply Audi dominates the 12 Hours of Sebring.

Almost silent

See Audi R18 TDI ride on Sebring is make a personal experience of cognitive dissonance since cars parade has high speed in almost complete silence. In fact, they are silent at this point that one perceives that one more hear the sound produced by the penetration of the car in the air and that the tire rolling on the track that the sonority turbodiesel V6 510 horses.

Before starting the race, Emanuele Pirro, five times winner at Le Mans 24 Hours, described piloting a prototype Audi Sebring: "As a pilot, you can really appreciate the first five minutes of the 12 Hours of Sebring because that can roll up, one in the front. It was only after the first five minutes that we realize that we now have 11 hours and 55 minutes exceed slower cars ... "With 63 cars in competition in the WEC (World Endurance Championship) and ALMS (American Le Mans Series) has Sebring this year, traffic has proved problematic for pilots prototypes that had a deal with slower cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911 GT3 which competed in GT categories. Avoid collisions and stay ahead quickly became the watchword of Team Audi.

Allan McNish comments: "The car was very good, but traffic poses us all a challenge. Also, the temperature at noon, while I was driving for a long run, really was very high. It was difficult to win here. It's fantastic that we have done on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the ordeal and the first race of the WEC. Turning now to the next race we will have hands or a new race car that technology eventually will translate to series cars is a hybrid car. "

The race hybridization

This hybrid race car is the R18 e-tron quattro that was not registered in Sebring competition, but was tested on the same circuit during the week after the race, in preparation for his first starting a Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 5. Two R18 e-tron quattro will be also included in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with two R18 TDI to receive the designation "Ultra" as the Audi Team to ease the ordeal on the La Sarthe circuit.

R18 e-tron quattro represents what Audi calls its new technology of integral traction while the rear of the car wheels are driven by the conventional combustion engine and an electric motor drives the front wheels. Here is how it works in braking, kinetic energy is recovered by the front axle to be stored in a flywheel before being subsequently liberated during the next acceleration. With a fully electric drive on the front axle and thermal fully at the rear, this means that the two technologies complement each by creating a new kind of integral traction Audi plans to develop for a possible integration of cars series .

Toyota also

Audi is not the only manufacturer that will evolve a hybrid race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as Toyota align new TS030 petrol hybrids. In addition, Nissan will enter "outside competition" his new DeltaWing? whose design defies categorization?, which will be powered by a 4-cylinder 1.6 liter able to develop 300 horsepower. All that means that the 24 Hours of Le Mans will closely monitor this year while many manufacturers try to stand out with new technologies.

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