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Behind Audi’s 12th Le Mans win: less fuel, more speed

27 June 2013

Audi posted its 12th Le Mans 24 Hour victory on Sunday in its Audi R18 e-tron diesel hybrid quattro. Post-race analysis showed that the victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) designated as car number ‘2’ made 34 pit stops at Le Mans and required 47 minutes and 14.799 seconds for them.

A permitted fuel tank capacity of 58 liters theoretically made a maximum of 1,972 liters of diesel fuel available at the stops. The number ‘8’ Toyota hybrid which took second-place in the race required 43 minutes and 20.111 seconds for 30 stops but, due to a fuel tank capacity of 76 liters, was able to refuel up to 2,280 liters of gasoline. Audi was not only faster, but the entire race car including its TDI powertrain was more efficient as well, the company concluded.

Audi also topped the efficiency index as well. Marc Gené/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis (E/BR/GB) in car number ‘3’ won the Michelin Green X Challenge ahead of Duval/Kristensen/McNish and the number ‘7’ Toyota.

Audi made its Le Mans debut in 1999, and celebrated its first victory in 2000. No other brand had ever before been as successful as Audi in such a short period of time. To date, the brand has won twelve of its 15 runs: 80%. Audi’s sister brand Porsche has a tally of 16 overall victories, spread over a period of 28 years between 1970 and 1998. In absolute numbers, Porsche has clinched 16 overall victories at 63 starts.

Audi engine technology boasts a win rate of 86.7% at Le Mans because a V8 biturbo engine developed by Audi Sport powered the winning race car of Audi’s sister brand Bentley in 2003.

June 27, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

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If you speak in terms of fuel volumes, then this is correct.

However, in terms of energy given to the car by the fuel, as we all know (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_efficiency#Energy_content_of_fuel) Diesel fuel contains more energy than petrol for the same volume. About 10% more.

So, if we correct the volume of Diesel fuel consumed by the winning Audi 1972 * 1.10 = 2169 liters of petrol for same energy content. It come quite a lot closer to 2280 from the Toyota petrol car.

The ACO regulations is usually done very clever, because... they have all those laptime simulation tools to calculate the penalties to apply to make even the performances of different technologies. It is therefore no surprise that the two professional outfit came so close as 1 lap after 24 hours of racing.

Shouldn't we pay at the station in terms of energy (then mass) bought rather than volume bought ? That would make a lot more sense and make petrol far more competitive !

A lot of training is required to inform the people on energy vs volume. With e-car racers it would be easier to use kWh used.

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