On clinching a title and the sixth victory of the season at the seventh of eight rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Audi had two reasons to celebrate. After the success in the Manufacturers’ World Championship had been determined in Japan three weeks earlier, Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) in the Audi R18 etron quattro won the drivers’ classification in China. At Shanghai, the trio only had to take third place. Their team-mates Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/D/F) won the race following a strong performance.
Now all six Audi factory drivers, who are contesting the entire WEC, have won a World Championship: Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish follow Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer, who were the first to decide the new FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in their favor last year. Three victories – at Silverstone, the Le Mans 24 Hours and Austin – plus three second places at Spa, São Paulo and Fuji, and third place at Shanghai, provided the foundation for the Championship success.
In the current season, Audi has celebrated 14 podium finishes, including six victories in the WEC. The drivers’ title was decided in the most important single market of AUDI AG in China on a circuit that actually does not suit the Audi R18 etron quattro well. Despite this factor and a puncture that required an additional pit stop Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer secured the first sports car victory for Audi in China. Tréluyer, following a strong final sprint, crossed the finish line with an advantage of 15.374 seconds. Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish in the battle for the title avoided any unnecessary risk and concentrated on driving a flawless race throughout. Audi is now traveling to the WEC finale at Bahrain, where in three weeks from now the brand aims to take its seventh WEC victory of the season.
Commenting on the victory, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport) said: “That was a brilliant victory because it was a really hard-fought one. The race was thrilling all the way to the end and decided only in the last half hour. The team performance was particularly nice because car number ‘2’ helped out car number ‘1’ with tire sets. Consequently, we delivered a great result for the Audi brand and showed how harmoniously our team functions. In the winning team, Benoît Tréluyer had a very important part. The track suits him particularly well.”
Echoing his thought and revealing the facts about the race, Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest) said: “The race started very hard but ultimately ended in a brilliant result for us. During the course of the race the situation between our competitor and us completely changed. Even at the midpoint of the race we didn’t believe that we were going to take victory. We won and the new driver World Champions were on the podium too. ‘Well done’ to the whole squad.”
Mentioned below are the results of aforementioned race:
- Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) 190 laps in 6h 01m33.343s
- Lapierre/Wurz (Toyota) + 15.374s
- Duval/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) – 1 lap
- Beche/Belicchi/Prost (Lola-Toyota) – 5 laps
- Conway/Martin/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) – 13 laps
- Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla (Morgan-Nissan) – 13 laps
- Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman (Morgan-Nissan) – 13 laps
- Graves/Kerr/Dolby (Oreca-Nissan) – 14 laps
- Lux/Shulzhitskiy/Wirdheim (Zytek-Nissan) – 15 laps
- Cheng/Ihara/Nicolet (Morgan-Nissan) – 18 laps