AUDI SPORT: GOOD START
AUDI RS 5 DTM
The Audi RS 5 DTM is the car Audi contests the successful DTM touring car series with. It’s the championship winning car of the 2017 season. For 2018, the Audi RS 5 DTM was developed further. The brand with the four rings puts a total of six of them on the grid. These cars are fielded in pairs by three long-standing DTM partners: Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi Sport Team Phoenix and Audi Sport Team Rosberg.
Technology/output: aspirated V8 engine, 4.0 litres of displacement, more than 500 hp (368 kW), top speed of about 275 km/h, rear-wheel drive.
AUDI FACTORY DRIVER NICO MÜLLER EXPLAINS HOW TO BEST MANAGE A START IN THE AUDI RS 5 DTM:
“My Audi RS 5 DTM poses a real challenge at the start, mainly due to its clutch. It’s made of carbon fibre and will bite more or less forcefully, depending on the degree of heat. What this means is that the clutch requires the driver to use it with a particular sensitivity.”
AUDI R8 LMS GT3
AUDI RS 3 LMS
The Audi RS 3 LMS is another customer race car, which Audi has been offering since the 2017 season. It is fielded in various touring car classes – in short TCR. In 2018, the national and regional TCR scope was expanded. Since then, the highest class has been the new FIA WTCR being held in Europe, Africa and Asia. Two Audi Sport customer racing partner teams are fielding a total of six Audi RS 3 LMS cars there in 2018. Additionally, the touring car competes in sprint and endurance races in various national and regional TCR series. Plus, there are notable single events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, club sport or hill-climb races.
Technology/output: inline-four turbo engine, 2.0 litres of displacement, 350 hp (257 kW), top speed of up to 265 km/h, front-wheel drive.
“As soon as red comes, it’s time for preloading. In other words using the paddle in the steering wheel to put the car in first gear, slightly lifting the left pedal to sense the biting point of the clutch and thereby preloading my Audi RS 3 LMS – in a way it’s like drawing the string of an archery bow. At the same time, I push the rev limiter button in the steering wheel using one finger. This special feature keeps the engine from exceeding a pre-set start RPM."
“When the lights start the race I release the handbrake, stay on full throttle and swiftly let the clutch engage. As always: with a great deal of sensitivity! Because in spite of all the precautions it’s easy to stall the engine in a WTCR car, especially when the turbocharger speed massively drops. Sensing the clutch anew every time is another special challenge. It noticeably changes with every starting procedure in the three races of a WTCR weekend. As soon as we’ve started I let go of the rev limiter button. From then on, it’s time to fully focus on turn one.”
AUDI S1 EKS RX QUATTRO
AUDI e-tron FE04
The Audi e-tron FE04 is the first racing car with the four rings that has already been determined as a title winner in 2018: Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler won the teams’ classification in the 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship with it. Season four of the world’s first electric series for single-seater racing cars ended in mid-July 2018. The teams’ championship was clinched by the Brazilian Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt from Germany. Their cars are single-seater racing prototypes and evolutions of the model in which Audi factory driver di Grassi claimed the drivers’ title in 2016/2017. Together with technology partner Schaeffler, Audi developed and built the motor-generator unit (MGU), the gearbox, the powertrain software and parts of the suspension.
Technology/output: electric motor-generator, power supplied by a lithium-ion battery, up to 272 hp (200 kW) in qualifying, up to 245 hp (180 kW) in the race, top speed of about 225 km/h, rear-wheel drive.
DANIEL ABT, WHO SCORED HIS FIRST TWO FORMULA E VICTORIES IN 2018 IN MEXICO CITY AND BERLIN, EXPLAINS THE START IN AN AUDI e-tron FE04 FROM THE COCKPIT PERSPECTIVE:
“Generally, anyone who’s used to driving cars with internal combustion engines will be surprised by driving off in an electric vehicle because the electric motor immediately delivers its power output. It doesn’t have to be transmitted to the driven wheels via a manually shifted gearbox with several gears.”
“One thing that totally differs in our case from all other circuit races: we don’t have a warm-up lap. Instead, I select the driving gear by pushing a button on the steering wheel and on command move forward a few metres into my grid position.”
“As soon as the red lights go off I don’t need to play with the clutch. I just have to concentrate on making precisely the right use of the accelerator pedal. Then the sprint towards turn one immediately starts.”
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