Audi R18 TDI #2 – Spark

2011 Audi R18 TDI #2 
Pilots: M. Fässler, A. Lotterer, B. Treluyer 
Team: Audi Sport Team Joest 
Race: 1st place (LMP1  class) at Le Mans in 2011 
Spark - 43LM11 (resin) 

Published 09/16/18

The R18 TDI is the successor to Audi’s R15 TDI, winner of Le Mans in 2010. The big difference between the two is that the R18 has a closed cockpit. In name of aerodynamics Audi opted for a roof – their last closed-cockpit prototype was the 1999 R8C. The chassis, designed by Dallara, was a carbon fiber composite and honeycomb monocoque.  And to keep things light and slippery the body was made of carbon fiber composite panels. Also new for 2011 was the mandatory vertical stabilization fin over the rear. According to ACO, the fin will avoid a LMP1 car becoming airborne if things go wrong.

I much prefer the these front fenders than the blocky ones of the last R18s.

As the R15, the R18 also uses a turbo-diesel engine. However, for 2011 the Automobile Club de l’Ouest made a few rules changes for the LMP1 class. The new rules limited turbo-diesels to 3.7 liters, so the old 5.5 l V10 of the R15 was out. Audi developed a new all-aluminum 3700 cm³ V6 (120º), with 24 valves and DOHC. Turbo-charged by a Garrett TR30R VGT turbine, it delivers 540 hp. All that power is transmitted to the ground through a S-tronic 6-speed gearbox.

Winner or not, that livery is BLAND.

In the 24 Heures du Mans of 2011 there were three R18 TDI in the race. Of the three, two DNF and car #2 here came in first place overall. That was Audi’s tenth overall victory, beating Ferrari and becoming the second most successful manufacturer at La Sarthe. In 1:43 form the model is your average Spark, with crisp detail and great paint job. HOWEVER, it’s b-o-r-i-n-g. I got it because it’s a winner, but that livery is not inspiring. At all 😣.

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