20. June 2012
Audi Sport and Akrapovič have triumphed again at the 24 hours of Le Mans. The powerful partnership secured the victory for a third consecutive year, following a breathtaking performance on the track.
The 24 hours of Le Mans is the most prestigious race in the FIA World Endurance Championship series and from the moment the two brands formed an official race partnership, they have gone all out to win. Thanks to a combination of unparalleled technology and sheer endurance driving skill, they were successful.
In the end it was last year's winners—André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler, and Benoit Treluyer—who claimed the 2012 victory with the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro after 378 laps. The great success of the Audi hybrid car was confirmed by the second-place finish for Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, and Allan McNish (#2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro), and the conventionally powered #4 Audi R18 ultra with Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis, and Mike Rockenfeller rounded off the perfect Audi podium. The impressive demonstration of "Vorsprung durch Technik" was confirmed by the fifth-placed #3 Audi R18 ultra with Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval, and Marc Gené.
Akrapovič exhaust systems have been used by the Audi Sport team since 2009, but this year saw the premium exhaust manufacturer become an official Audi Sport partner for the first time.
The machines which took the brands to victory were Audi’s new R18 e-tron quattro and the R18 ultra. The two different versions were crafted using the cutting-edge technology that typifies the German manufacturer’s famed slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’. To create an exhaust system capable of improving perfection, Akrapovič had to utilise all its technical development and manufacturing expertise.
The high-performance system is crafted from a specially developed titanium alloy, an incredible 40 percent lighter than a stainless steel equivalent. The material’s outstanding heat-resistant properties and durability were both crucial in achieving success within the punishing field of endurance racing.
To ensure the very best performance from both car and exhaust, Akrapovič and Audi Sport engineers worked closely to ensure the Akrapovič system was finely tuned to the car’s engine. The teams of experts worked together from the initial design phase, through to production, testing and, finally, race support. This stringent process is similar to that used to create the Akrapovič range of aftermarket exhausts – available for selected Audi models and other high performance brands.
Uroš Rosa, Akrapovič Technical Director said: “We set out to create a system which was capable of meeting the incredibly high demands of endurance racing, while simultaneously providing extra power – this result makes it clear that we succeeded.
“Audi Sport’s decision to choose Akrapovič as an official partner for 2012 underlines the performance levels of our exhaust systems and the skill level within our team. Every person involved on the project was watching the 24 hours of Le Mans with bated breath – and every person felt an incredible sense of pride and excitement when that car crossed the finish line.”