Mixed double for the Audi R10 TDI at Mosport
o Two races in America within a week
o Huge contrast between Mosport and Detroit
o Electronics help set-up work and race strategy
Ingolstadt -- In the last week in August the Audi R10 TDI competes on two race tracks which could hardly be more different: On 24 August the American Le Mans Series appears at the Canadian circuit Mosport, one of the fastest tracks on the calendar. On the agenda only six days later on the Belle Isle in Detroit (USA) is the slowest street circuit on the US sportscar series' calendar.
The two Audi Sport North America team Audi R10 TDI prototypes are not just the only diesel cars in the high-caliber starting field of the US racing series -- they are also equipped with state-of-the-art electronics which are becoming increasingly complex. At Mosport a new version of the tire-pressure monitoring system will be used, which is also found in a similar form in Audi road cars.
"This is a very important safety aspect," explains Christian Weck, Project Leader for Le Mans Prototypes (LMP) at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt. "It is a great help that we can warn a driver if the tire pressure is falling during a race. The new version runs at an even higher sample rate than before."
The tire pressures are only four of almost 100 parameters that are logged by sensors and transmitted by telemetry to the pits while the R10 TDI is running. Additional safety relevant parameters are brake wear and brake temperatures, aerodynamic data or changes in the ride-height which could point to damage on the suspension.
The electronics also help the race strategy: Pre-programmed engine maps stored in the Bosch Motronic MS14 unit allow the engine power and fuel consumption to be regulated during a race. With the corresponding "Mix" setting the fuel consumption per lap can be reduced. This can help by saving an additional fuel stop.
The electronics also play an important role during pit stops: The so-called "start function" controls the engine's start procedure immediately after the pit stop by briefly providing a constant engine speed of 5,000 rpm. The driver can thus concentrate solely on perfect modulation of the clutch.
It is nowadays even impossible to ignore the importance of electronics during preparation for an event: Every circuit is simulated beforehand by Audi Sport. The computer calculates the expected lap time and makes proposals for the gear ratios. Tire partner Michelin also receives relevant data from which proposals for tire pressure and camber values are derived.
The simulation also takes into consideration the various suspension and aerodynamic configurations available for the Audi R10 TDI, which can differ between the two Audi Sport North America cars. Championship leaders Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner prefer a car that has a very precise turn-in. However, to achieve this they accept the "light" rear axle. Emanuele Pirro rather tends to prefer an understeering car.
The Italian starts at Mosport together with fellow countryman Dindo Capello, who is in action more frequently this year in the European based Le Mans Series. Marcel Fassler competes for a second time in Detroit. The Swiss should gain more experience at the wheel of the diesel sportscar following his successful debut at Road America.
Emanuele Pirro about Mosport: "Mosport is a fantastic circuit of the old-caliber which is steeped in history and happens to be one of my favorite circuits. All the corners are very fast. The track is very challenging for a driver. The Audi R10 TDI is very good at Mosport, even though you feel the high weight in the fast corners."
Marco Werner about Detroit: "Detroit has an excellent layout and would be a fantastic race track if the tarmac asphalt was a little better. There are not only the typical street circuit 90 degree corners but also interesting, varied sections where one curve follows another and where the line must be perfect."
Mosport was scene of the closest ever finish in American Le Mans Series history in the year 2000: Dindo Capello and Allan McNish won by a mere 0.148 seconds ... Audi has scored five overall victories to date at Mosport ... Dindo Capello holds the Mosport track record in 1m 05.829s ... Mosport is the second fastest circuit on the American Le Mans Series calendar ... Dindo Capello has won the race at Mosport three times already, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner have both won once there ... Detroit is the slowest circuit on the American Le Mans Series schedule ... Detroit hosts an ALMS race for the second time.
The schedule at Mosport
Friday, 22 August
14:25 -- 14:55 Test session (GT cars)
14:55 -- 15:55 Test session
15:55 -- 16:25 Test session (prototypes)
Saturday, 23 August
09:35 -- 10:35 Free practice
13:30 -- 14:30 Free practice
14:40 -- 15:00 Qualifying (GT cars)
15:10 -- 15:30 Qualifying (prototypes)
Sunday, 24 August
10:05 -- 10:30 Warm-up
15:05 -- 17:50 Race (2:45 hours)
The Schedule in Detroit
Friday, 29 August
09:00 -- 10:30 Free practice
15:20 -- 16:20 Free practice
16:35 -- 16:55 Qualifying (GT cars)
17:05 -- 17:25 Qualifying (prototypes)
Saturday, 30 August
09:50 -- 10:15 Warm-up
14:35 -- 17:20 Race (2:45 hours) Credit: Audi PR