Audi Motorsport Success Story – From ur-quattro to RS Q e-tron E2 – –

Audi presents itself as the sportiest manufacturer in the premium segment, and it has the perfect basis for this: motorsport. Sport, advanced technology and emotional design are the basis of the success of the Audi brand. The genes for this come from racing – since 1980 with the introduction of the Audi quattro. Take a look at the evolution of Audi racing cars in motorsport, from Quattro to e-tron.

The success story started with Audi quattro
With the exception of the pre-World War II period, including the legendary Auto Union Grand Prix racing cars of the 1930s, AUDI AG’s motorsport history began with the Audi quattro. Outstanding victories in the World Rally Championship with the Ur-quattro (the original quattro) between 1982 and 1984 and two constructors’ and two drivers’ titles were an important factor in the commercial success of the quattro drive system in four-wheel drive.

quattro also won the circuit
After Audi took the rally race by storm and took Pikes Peak (USA) by stormAudi Sport quattro Three times in record time, Audi adapted the quattro driver for circuit racing: first in the USA with the Audi 200 quattro Trans-Am and Audi 90 quattro IMSA GTO, and in 1990 and 1991 with two championship titles for the Audi V8 quattro in the German Turing Car Championship ( DTM) – and finally also with the A4 in a production super touring car. Racing versions of the 80’s and 90’s are also included in the competition. In 1996, the Audi A4 quattro won the championship title in seven countries. Between 2012 and 2016, all-wheel drive returned to the endurance race track as the e-tron quattro via the Audi R18.

The Audi R8 is the most successful 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car in the current competition
After the banning of the dominant quattro all-wheel drive in Touring car racing, Audi switched to sports prototypes and for 18 years supported its motto “Vorsprung durch Technik” in this motorsport class as well. From its debut in 1999 at the world’s toughest endurance race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi immediately managed to take third place on the podium. In later years, the Audi R8 (a prototype racing car, not a production model) was in a class of its own. From 2000 to 2002, Audi achieved a historic treble thanks to FSI technology, which debuted in 2001 and entered production later. In 2004 and 2005, customer teams scored two more overall victories for Audi. The R8 secured its place in motorsport history with a total of 63 victories in 80 sports car races.

A triumphant return to DTM
After Laurent Aiello’s victory in 2002 with the ABT-Audi TT-R, Audi returned to the DTM in 2004 with a factory-backed commitment and promptly won the title with Mattias Ekström. In 2007, the Swede won again, followed by Timo Scheider in 2008 and 2009 – making Audi the first and so far the only car manufacturer to achieve a hat-trick of titles in DTM history. Martin Tomczyk completed the Audi A4 DTM success story in the 2011 season with another title victory – the fifth overall for the Audi A4 DTM. In 2013, Mike Rockenfeller in the Audi RS 5 DTM finished 9th in the DTM title for Audi. René Rast caused a stir in 2017 when he won another title for Audi in his first year. In the same year, Audi won the Constructors’ Championship. In 2019 and 2020, Rast won the prestigious title twice more. Audi drivers have already won the DTM twelve times. Added to these were six constructors’ titles and eight team titles. Technologically, Audi mastered one of the biggest shake-ups in the history of the racing series with flying colors. In two years of the turbo era, the Audi RS 5 DTM with its highly efficient two-liter turbo engine set the standard with 28 victories, 95 podiums, 29 pole positions, 28 fastest race laps and also six championship titles. From 2021, the DTM is exclusively for GT3 sports cars. Audi Sport customer races are responsible for registration.

Advanced achievements with TDI technology
With TDI technology, Audi achieved a pioneering achievement and at the same time once again demonstrated “Vorsprung durch Technik”. In 2006, the new concept Audi R10 TDI became the first diesel-powered sports car to win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. In total, TDI technology has won Le Mans eight times. In 2007 and 2008, Audi again won at La Sarthe with the R10 TDI. In addition, Audi has won the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) three times in a row with diesel-powered racing cars, and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) in 2008. With the R15 TDI, Audi recorded the fastest Le Mans double of all time in 2010 and set a new distance record that has not been broken to this day. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, the TDI technology of the brand with four rings once again won at Le Mans. In 2014, the brand celebrated its 13th victory in a total of 16 meetings. Audi also demonstrates “Vorsprung durch Technik” in terms of energy efficiency. Throughout the TDI era, Audi has reduced diesel consumption by 46% over ten years.

First winner at Le Mans with hybrid technology
By claiming the first victory for a hybrid racing car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2012, Audi achieved another breakthrough in the world’s most important endurance race. Three times in a row (2012, 2013 and 2014) the Audi R18 e-tron quattro went undefeated at Le Mans. Added to these advanced technological advances are many other innovations such as the Audi Laser Light. The drivers’ and constructors’ titles won by a hybrid sports car in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2012 and 2013 complete Audi’s sports car cycle record completed in 2016.

Audi Sport customer race for brand customers
Since 2009, Audi has been using its most competitive products to win trophies in customer races worldwide with production-based technology. The second generation Audi R8 LMS is available in variants for the GT2, GT3 and GT4 categories. The Audi RS 3 LMS TCR touring car is now in its second generation for racing and races on five continents. Models in the hands of customers have already won several hundred racing titles around the world. Notable individual achievements include two class wins for GT3 sports car at the Daytona 24 Hours, three overall wins at the 12 Hours of Bathurst, four times the model has won the Macau road race as well as the 24 Hours of Spa and more. Six times in the 24 hours of the Nürburgring.

Continuity of Vorsprung durch Technik
The company continues to systematically electrify the motor sports program that started in 2012. After the LMP program with the R18 hybrid sports car, Audi became the first German car manufacturer to participate in all-electric Formula E races in the 2017/2018 season. With four wins and a total of eleven podium places, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler won the team championship after twelve races. The brand with four rings has been participating in the famous Dakar rally since 2022 with the innovative prototype RS Q e-tron. For the first time, the reciprocating engine concept combines an electric powertrain with a high-voltage battery and a highly efficient energy converter. In 2022, Audi announced its entry into Formula 1 with a hybrid engine and unveiled its F1 racing car project. Finally, an electric racing car – Audi S1 ​​quattro Hoonitron – designed exclusively for American racing driver Ken Block (who passed away in early January 2023) to perform in gyms. Electrification is at the heart of the Bavarian automaker’s commitment to motorsport.

Photos: Audi

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