Audi Ready to tackle Le Mans – watch the race at Audi Mission Viejo!

No other manufacturer can claim the success that Audi has experienced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As Audi Sport gears up for this weekend’s 80th edition of the endurance classic on the Circuit de la Sarthe, they stand in position to take an unprecedented 11th victory – in only 13 starts.

And once again, Audi takes technology to new heights, fielding the first diesel hybrid in the prototype class – the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. Putting the new diesel hybrid car number #1 on the pole position are last year’s winners – Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer. Their teammates, Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen andAllan McNish will start fourth in #2 Audi.

Not to be outdone, the Audi TDI returns in 2012 in the guise of the Audi R18 ultra – the lightest Le Mans prototype ever built by Audi. Starting on the outside of row number one will be Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval and Marc Gené in the #3 Audi, with Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Mike Rockenfeller starting sixth in the Audi #4. Separating the four Audi teams are the two new Toyota hybrid prototypes.

Both sets of teams carry drivers who have a score to settle with the venerable track: Veteran Scotsman Allan McNish tangled with a slower Ferrari in the first hour of the 2011 race and flew into the barrier near the Dunlop Bridge. The fact that McNish walked away from the dramatic crash showed the degree of safety built into the Audi R18 prototype. Seven hours later, Mike Rockenfeller, who had helped Audi to the race victory a year before, was tagged by another Ferrari near Indianapolis corner and slammed into the barrier – and again, Audi proved its strength as Rockenfeller was uninjured.

SpeedTV will cover much of the 24 hours of action, with only two breaks for other programming (with action then moving to Speed.com) – including a stint throughout the night and into the finish on Sunday morning (times listed are Pacific):

5:30am – 10:00am

11:30am – 4:00pm

4:30pm – 6:30am

Don’t get SpeedTV? There are lots of options for race viewing:

Follow the action online on Audi TV http://tv.audi.com/portal/

– Join John Hindhaugh and the crew at Radio Le Mans http://www.radiolemans.com/

– Audi Sports live page at http://www.audi-liveracing.com/desktop/index.jsp?l=en_US

Or come down to Audi Mission Viejo, we’ll have all the action on our showroom television!

Schedule (times are Pacific)

Saturday, June 16

Midnight–12:45am Warm-up
5:22am Beginning of starting procedure
6:00am Start

Sunday, June 17
6:00am Finish

For more on the pole-winner – Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen explain how the 2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro is the evolution of racing!