- ILMC: Audi’s Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish robbed of win at Zhuhai
- 25th Anniversary of Porsche Exclusive
- The SEAT range features new additions to their engine line-up
- Skoda officially awarded the 2010 Intercontinental Rally Challenge Champion honours
- ILMC: KK Performance wins at Audi R8 LMS debut race
Posted: 09 Nov 2010 05:50 AM PST
A thrilling race that Peugeot wins in a way that they themselves would of protested. Audi clearly had them beat. The R15 TDI had the speed and Audi had the strategy. WIth both Audi R15′s on the podium, it’s a testament to that. With an hour left, both Kristensen and McNish were leading the race when Sébastien Bourdais and a GT2 classed Porsche came together. This took the 30sec lead out that they and Audi had developed. When Bourdais re-entered the race, the #1 Peugeot was 3 laps down and in front of Kristensen. Bourdais clealry slowed and blocked Kristensen from getting around for many laps. This in turn allowed Sarrazin to refuel and come out ahead of Tom and in the end win the 1000KM of Zhuhai by a mere 4+ seconds. Dindo Capello and Romain Dumas finished 3rd, 49+seconds down. Audi has not protested.
Audi Sport Team Joest thrilled the fans on its first showing in China with a fantastic season finale of the sports prototypes at Zhuhai. However, a controversial final phase deprived Audi of the victory the brand would have actually deserved.
During the entire 1000-kilometer race Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish and Dindo Capello/Romain Dumas at the wheel of the two Audi R15 TDI cars fought a fascinating duel with the two Peugeot 908 cars. One hour before the end, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish were clearly leading the race when the only safety car period caused their advantage to shrink from over 30 to 13.5 seconds.
Afterwards the spectators witnessed a sprint race in which every tenth of a second counted. Accordingly, Tom Kristensen was very surprised when immediately before the last refueling stop of his direct rival in the Peugeot, Stéphane Sarrazin, he was slowed by Sarrazin’s team-mate Sébastien Bourdais, who was running as much as three laps behind. This allowed Sarrazin to come back out after his last refueling stop with a one-second advantage over Kristensen and to ultimately win the race with a 4.8-second lead.
The controversial “teamwork” deprived the Chinese fans of a true final shoot-out. Nonetheless, they witnessed the performance capability and reliability of the two Audi R15 TDI cars that were equal and at times superior to the competition in the race that took place in warm humid weather and temperatures of 26 degrees in the shade. The strategy of changing the tires at each pit stop after the second hour of the race proved to be right. The Audi drivers were able to take advantage of the fresher tires again and again and made up the time lost in the pits after each change. In the crucial phase of the race Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen managed to distance themselves from their immediate rivals before the deployment of the safety car one hour before the end of the race thwarted their plans and forced them to settle for second place by a narrow margin. Dindo Capello and Romain Dumas occupied third place.
The finale of the Intercontinental Cup was the last race of the Audi R15 TDI in its current technical configuration. From 2011 onward, new Technical Regulations which prescribe a downsizing of the engines will apply to Le Mans prototypes. The successor model, the R18, will be presented in December.
The Audi R15 TDI competed in a total of nine races in 2009 and 2010. Three of them were victorious. The innovative diesel sports car secured its place in the history books primarily due to its one-two-three victory at the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours, the fastest Le Mans race of all time.
The Audi R15 TDI was developed, among others, in cooperation with Bosch, a major and long-standing innovation partner of Audi’s. Both companies pursue similar aims through their motorsport commitments: the development of optimal solutions for motorsport based on volume-production technology. Gasoline direct injection and diesel injection technology are good examples of these endeavors. In 1989 Bosch and Audi launched the world’s first diesel engine with direct injection and turbocharging technology on the market in the Audi 100 TDI. This technological strategy laid the foundation for the success story of today’s diesel engines – in production cars as well as in motorsport.
Zhuhai was also the first race in a Le Mans Series to see the fielding of the Audi R8 LMS. Marchy Lee, Alex Yoong and Mathew Marsh from the KK Performance team managed to clinch twelfth place overall and victory in the GTC class.
After the Audi R15 TDI and the Audi R8 LMS the Chinese spectators will soon be able to witness the Audi A4 DTM in action as well: on November 28, the finale of the DTM will be held on the city street circuit in the financial center of Shanghai.
Quotes after the race
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “We came very close to winning the race. Unfortunately, there was a safety car period in the final phase which caused us to lose a large portion of the advantage again which we had achieved. After the final pit stop we caught the second Peugeot that was no longer in contention for victory but that held up Tom (Kristensen) for several laps nonetheless. Tom also ruined his tires in the process. When he finally got past the Peugeot it was no longer possible for him to win the race. In our opinion this was not a particularly fair action on the part of our competitor but, unfortunately, things like these happen in motorsport. For us, it was important to deliver a fantastic race to the Chinese spectators and we managed to do this. To capture hearts and market share it is not necessary to win a race at all cost. Now we’re looking forward to the DTM finale in Shanghai.”
Tom Kristensen (Audi R15 TDI #7): “It was a very challenging race for Audi Sport Team Joest at Zhuhai. The start was a little bit funny. One of the Peugeots was already gone before we were allowed to go. This was strange. We had some guesses to do on the setup because of the two days of rain. Nevertheless the car was quite good but the ‘green’ circuit did not allow us to do two stints. I stopped with almost no more rubber left. From then on Allan (McNish) just single-stinted the tires which he did brilliantly and brought us back in contention. When I got back in the car everything was going really well. With the lead we had, the safety car killed us. From then on it was really tough. Driving behind Bourdais I noticed how much the aero upsetted my car. And I also had a front left slow puncture. Wen I got clear with only four laps left it was not possible for me to regain what the sister car gave to Sarrazin. It could have been a great finale of another great year if I had been in the lead where I deserved to be and fighting with Sarrazin to the flag. Now it was a little bit different but nevertheless an end of a great sesaon. Winning Le Mans this year was very good for Audi. I hope we can keep having real fights with Peugeot in the future.”
Allan McNish (Audi R15 TDI #7): “It was a very exciting race. After having such wet test sessions the engineers gambled a little bit with the setup and they gambled in the correct way. The car handled pretty well all the way through the race and came to us as the race progressed. Dindo (Capello) and Tom (Kristensen) were able to mix the Peugeots at the start of the race. We changed the strategy and went to three single stints for me in the middle of the race. This was a better way to run it. Torwards the end Tom was pushing really hard and we were in the lead. Unfortunately we had a little bit of blocking from the other Peugeot which was out of contention. This was an era which was a little bit frustrating. But it is the way it goes. The Pace Car took away the 30-second lead we had. I was pleased with the team’s performance, with the car and mine and Tom’s performance. It was just disappointing the race ended a little bit under a cloud.”
Dindo Capello (Audi R15 TDI #8): “An exciting start of the race. Then our setup was a little bit hard on the rear tires. At the beginning we decided to double stint the tires. Looking back this was a mistake because I had no more rubber left on the rear left tire. That’s why from the next run every driver was only doing one stint with each set of tire. A part from that the car was quite good but a little bit inconsistent. It was difficult to judge. From my side it is good we did a podium again – as I did in all races I did with the R15 TDI this year.”
Romain Dumas (Audi R15 TDI #8): “Dindo (Capello) was doing great in the beginning. We thought that we’d have a good chance. Unfortunately, we changed the setup of the car after the warm-up. The car was good on fresh tires but not on used ones in the second part of the stint. It was too hard on the tires; that’s why we lost some time in each stint. We weren’t really able to fight with the front runners. The level was extremely high. We were only able to make up some ground to our sister car in the end due to the safety car.”
Ralf Jüttner (Technical Director Audi Sport Team Joest): ”That was really exciting – albeit with a result that spoils my good mood. In all fairness, I’ve got to say that at the race’s midpoint I was expecting us to be clearly beaten here. I can only praise the drivers and our two crews here who continually managed to put us back into contention again. At the pit stops we were again clearly faster than Peugeot – and we had to be, too, because we changed tires more frequently. That we managed to stay on their heels so closely was only possible because the crews were incredibly good and the drivers really made good use of the tires. So when our hope of winning this race came up, it was really justified. The most hurting thing for us was the caution period. The 30 seconds we had would have been enough for us. But afterwards we only had eleven and that was simply not enough. That Bourdais then drove in front of Tom’s (Kristensen) car and slowed him so that the other car could come back out of the pits in front of him wasn’t so nice. I don’t think we’d do something like this. Still, for the spectators it was a great race.”
1 Montagny/Sarrazin (Peugeot) 232 laps in 5h 35m 39.053s
Final standings, LMP1 manufacturers classification:
Posted: 08 Nov 2010 07:39 AM PST
For the past 25 years, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has been offering the option – under the term “Exclusive” – of individually tailoring a Porsche to create an unmistakable, unique vehicle immediately on ordering it. Porsche Exclusive offers hand-crafted refinement ex-works to provide a highly personalised touch in terms of design and performance. Virtually any customer desire can be fulfilled by Porsche Exclusive following a personal dialogue. The sole prerequisite is technical and qualitative feasibility. Implemented with the finest craftsmanship and using selected materials, the skilful hands of the Exclusive specialists create components and complete vehicles in which personal care and dedication can be seen and felt down to the very last detail. Bespoke, manual work – also with needle and thread wherever appropriate – is the most important principle of Porsche Exclusive. Because no machine handles material with as much finesse as human hands.
Exclusiveness and individuality directly from the factory
A team of about 100 specialists at Porsche Exclusive takes care of everything from development to sales. Whether it be refined interior equipment or performance enhancements, all options from the Exclusive range and the vehicles themselves are not only developed in Weissach, but are also to a large extent integrated in the production process of a new Porsche.
A separate, extensive Exclusive catalogue, which also shows examples of completely individualised vehicles besides the range of options, is of course also available for each Porsche model. The customer discusses further special wishes directly with the Porsche dealership or the Exclusive customer advisors in the Zuffenhausen or Leipzig factories. Selected “flagship dealers” also offer this high-quality service abroad. Porsche Exclusive is additionally represented world-wide at a number of events and trade fairs.
In 2009 Porsche Exclusive added a further gem to its portfolio in the form of the 911 Sport Classic. Limited to 250 vehicles, this was a 911 which perfectly combined tradition and modernity. Designed with Porsche’s discerning customers in mind, the Porsche 911 Sport Classic with fixed rear wing in the “ducktail” shape first exhibited by 1973′s legendary Carrera RS 2.7 was a quite special highlight.
25 years of success are a good reason to celebrate. Porsche Exclusive will be doing this in a manner which reflects the high standards of the company within the company: with a strictly limited edition of a new 911 Speedster. In homage to the first Porsche model that bore the name Speedster – the 356 Speedster – the production run for the new model is limited to 356 cars. In the best tradition as a puristic, open-topped two-seater with low windscreen and double bubble on the convertible-top compartment lid.
With the 911 Speedster Porsche Exclusive will herald in a year chock-a-block with activities. With a new book on the Porsche Exclusive history, which will be available in the Porsche Museum shop from March 2011, a special Museum exhibition to run from March to May 2011 or a special Porsche Travel Club trip in June, for instance. Amongst other venues, Porsche Exclusive can be experienced live at the vintage vehicle grand prix at the Nürburgring in August 2011.
Posted: 08 Nov 2010 07:00 AM PST
SEAT has updated the engine line-up on its Ibiza, León, Altea and Exeo models. The Ibiza is now available with the new 105 hp 1.2 TSI unit with a manual gearbox on its ECOMOTIVE version and a DSG gearbox to replace the 105 hp 1.6 engine. The Altea and León range now features the 140 hp 2.0 TDI engine with common rail technology and manual or DSG gearbox instead of the same unit equipped with a pump injector, while the Exeo range welcomes a new entry-level petrol engine – the 120 hp 1.8 TSI that is taking the place of the 102 hp 1.6.
SEAT Ibiza 105 hp 1.2 TSI – efficiency and dynamics combined
The new Ibiza 1.2 TSI combines trademark SEAT sportiness with outstanding efficiency. The compact 105 hp engine delivers brilliant performance and acceleration figures, amazing fuel economy and low emissions levels. It consumes on average only 5.1 litres for every 100 km, and its CO2 emissions level of only 119 g/km on the Ibiza ECOMOTIVE makes buyers exempt from paying registration tax.
The 1.2 TSI engine is available on all the Ibiza body styles (5-door, SC and ST) with Style and Sport trim mated to either the efficiently sleek seven-speed DSG gearbox or the five-speed manual with the automatic Stop/Start system and energy regeneration function of the ECOMOTIVE version.
SEAT León-Altea 140 hp 2.0 TDI CR – more comfort yet lower consumption
The SEAT León once again makes a statement. This time, equipped with the new, high-performance 140 hp 2.0 TDI CR engine, which combines nimble acceleration with an exceptionally smooth and efficient driving experience. The new SEAT León 2.0 TDI mated to a six-speed manual gearbox features a reduced emissions figure of 125 g/km (compared to 147 g/km of the previous model) and an average fuel consumption of only 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres, which is 15 % less than the engine it is replacing.
The 140 hp León 2.0 TDI CR can also be mated to a six-speed DSG instead of the manual gearbox. This combination delivers an average fuel consumption of 5.3 litres per 100 km and 139 g/km of emissions. Both versions are available in Style and Sport trim.
On the other hand, the Altea and Altea XL equipped with the 2.0 TDI engine only consume 4.9 l/100 km and record a CO2 emissions figure of 129 g/km, a further accomplishment in SEAT’s strategy to reduce its carbon footprint. Besides, this new version consumes 0.8 litres less per 100 km than the previous model, which is the same as a 14% savings. The new engine is considerably quieter and smoother, which makes driving on long trips much more pleasant.
But these achievements subtract nothing from the Altea’s performance – in fact, quite the opposite. 0 to 100 km/h acceleration takes 9.7 seconds, which means that the new version is also quicker off the blocks than the previous model, and top speed is clocked at 201 km/h. The same as on the León, the new 140 hp Altea 2.0 TDI CR versions can also be mated to the six-speed DSG gearbox, but only with Style trim.
The Altea range comes complete with the all-road Freetrack, which combines the great utility of the family-size Altea XL with the design and performance of an SUV. The four-wheel drive Altea Freetrack equipped with the new 140 hp 2.0 TDI CR engine consumes 5.9 litres per 100 km on average, and emissions stand at 155 g/km. This engine is not available on the Altea Freetrack mated to the DSG gearbox or on the two-wheel drive version.
SEAT Exeo 120 hp 1.8 TSI – a new engine that completes the range
The basic SEAT Exeo version now comes equipped with the modern 1.8 TSI engine. This turbo-charged direct injection petrol unit delivers 120 hp and replaces the previous 102 hp 1.6. It is available with Reference trim and the SEAT Exeo with this engine under the bonnet is extremely cost-effective.
The following figures demonstrate the increased dynamic properties of the Exeo equipped with this engine compared to the previous 1.6. The 1.8 TSI churns out its maximum torque of 230 Nm between 1,500 and 3,650 rpm compared to 148 Nm at 4,000 rpm. At 10.6 seconds, 0 to 100 km/h acceleration is two seconds faster and top speed is now 202 km/h against the 190 km/h of the 1.6 (all figures refer to the saloon). In addition, average fuel consumption has dropped by 3% to 7.3 litres per 100 km in the saloon and 7.4 litres in the Exeo ST estate version.
All of these engine combinations are available throughout the SEAT dealership network.
Posted: 08 Nov 2010 06:26 AM PST
Skoda has been officially awarded the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) Champion honours and Juho Hanninen & Mikko Markkula of Skoda Motorsport (factory team) have received the award for the best crew of the 2010 IRC Drivers competition. Skoda thus takes over from Peugeot, the team that previously dominated the championship for three years. Furthermore, this fantastic achievement by the entire team is underlined by the runner-up position of Jan Kopecky & Petr Stary, another crew that is part of Skoda’s factory team. Kris Meek (Peugeot), the winner of the series last year, finished third. The Head of Skoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek was handed the cup for the winner of the Manufacturers competition.
Skoda’s factory team took part in 11 of this year’s 12 IRC events in total and celebrated victory at 7 of them. Besides these wins, Skoda crews achieved a further 17 podium positions! Hanninen & Markkula won in Argentina, Sardinia and Scotland, Loix & Miclott in Belgium, Madeira and the Czech Republic and Kopecky & Stary at the Canary Islands. Private teams supported by Skoda importers did very well, too, particularly Skoda UK Motorsport. The success of the Fabia Super 2000 in the 2010 season was crowned by a number of triumphs in national championships, including in Germany (Matthias Kahle), Austria (Raimund Baumschlager), the Czech Republic (Pavel ValouSek), Spain (Alberto Hevia), Lebanon (Roger Feghali) and Slovakia (Jozef BéreS).
Summarising the season that has just ended, Head of Skoda Motorsport Michal Hrabánek says: “I wish to thank all those who have contributed to this historic achievement by Skoda and helped us to win the IRC championship – the management of Skoda, the members of the Skoda Motorsport team, our colleagues at the Technological Development Department, as well as subcontractors and colleagues outside the company. I also want to thank our Skoda importers in all the countries where the Fabia Super 2000 project was well received and contributed significantly to our joint achievements in terms of increasing awareness and enhancing the image of the Skoda brand – it has indeed been a great promotion for Skoda!”
Juho Hanninen: “The quality of this year’s IRC was really high. This is my first big international title and I am very proud of it. The whole team put in a great performance – we had no technical problem throughout the season, which is an important precondition for success, because to achieve a good result you first have to finish the respective events. I have made considerable progress on asphalt tracks, and I am already looking forward to further cooperation with Skoda Motorsport”.
Jan Kopecky: “I’d like to thank Skoda for the opportunity to be part of the Fabia Super 2000 project – all of the team members have been working hard, which has lead to this fantastic achievement for the brand. Finishing second in the IRC is nice – our ambition was, of course, to win the title, but our own couple of mistakes have made that impossible at the end of the day. Nevertheless, the season as a whole was certainly successful and we are already looking forward to the next one”.
- Skoda Motorsport
Posted: 08 Nov 2010 06:15 AM PST
Team KK Performance from Kuala Lumpur won the GTC class with the Audi R8 LMS on the car’s first running at the finale of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup at Zhuhai (China). Marchy Lee, Alex Yoong and Matthew Marsh occupied twelfth place overall although all three Audi R8 LMS cars had to go into the race with 30 kilograms of additional weight after a strong performance in qualifying. Henri Richard and Allan Lan clinched third place for the United Autosports team. The second United-R8 retired while having the lead.
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