|The winner: No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest R10. Photo: Bertrand COUSSEAU|
An Audi R10 diesel (No. 8) won the Le Mans 24 Hours race this weekend—the first diesel-powered car ever to do so—with a four-lap lead over the second-place car. A second Audi R10 (No. 7) took third after having to replace a turbocharger earlier in the race, a delay that cost it 10 laps.
The Le Mans 24 is an endurance race—the winner is the car that covers the most distance in 24 hours; cars are driven by teams. The No. 8 covered 380 laps on a 13.65-km (8.48-mi) circuit in this year’s race.
The Audi R10 TDI is powered by a completely new all-aluminum, 5.5-liter, twelve-cylinder bi-turbo TDI engine that delivers more than 485 kW (650 hp) and more than 1,100 Nm of torque. (Earlier post.)
The V12 TDI used in the R10 is the first Audi diesel engine with an aluminium crankcase. The cylinder-bank angle is 90 degrees. The V12 TDI has, like Audi production car engines, four valves per cylinder and twin overhead camshafts. The common rail fuel injection system exceeds 1,600 bar. The V12 TDI is equipped with a pair of diesel particle filters.
Peugeot has announced that it will enter the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours race with a new diesel car—the Peugeot 908—powered by a 5.5-liter V-12 HDi diesel engine equipped with a diesel particulate filter system. (Earlier post.)
The Le Mans 24 Hour race set an attendance record this year, with a total of 235,000 spectators.