BIG NEWS for 24h - Bernhard & Dumas in R15

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by jknight, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas
    Not at all surprised by this announcement (it almost makes me feel certain about the rumours of Porsche in LMP1 and I'll have to check out who may be hanging around Kolles this weekend!):

    The Audi driver lineup for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is complete: by signing Timo Bernhard (28/Germany) and Romain Dumas (31/France) Audi managed to engage two absolute endurance specialists for the most important sports car race of the year.

    Driving a Porsche RS Spyder Bernhard and Dumas were the most successful driver pairing in the LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series in the past three years. They clinched a total of nine overall victories for Porsche and, ultimately, won the LMP2 title twice in a row.

    "Without a doubt, Timo and Romain rank among the world's best sports car drivers," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We've come to know them in the American Le Mans Series as tough but fair rivals and are pleased that within the Group the opportunity now presents itself to have them race for us at Le Mans. We're convinced that Timo and Romain will definitely strengthen our driver squad. With victories at the 12-hour race at Sebring, the 24-hour race at Daytona and at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring under their belts they've already proven their skills as real endurance specialists."

    Le Mans is not unknown territory for the two Porsche "factory" drivers either: Bernhard has so far contested the French endurance classic three times and in 2002, at his Le Mans debut, celebrated victory in the GT class straight away. Dumas has started from the Le Mans grid as many as eight times - most recently twice in an LMP1 car entered by the Pescarolo team in which he finished third overall in 2007.

    "Winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans is any sports car driver's dream, that's why we are extremely happy about the opportunity to contest Le Mans for Audi," unanimously say both Porsche "factory" drivers. "Both of us are really excited and looking forward to the Audi R15 TDI."

    The two will test AUDI AG's new diesel racing sports car that won at its debut event, the 12-hour Race at Sebring (USA), right away as early as in April. The combinations of the total of nine Audi drivers starting from the grid at Le Mans on June 13/14 will be decided in the next few weeks.

    With Timo Bernhard (Germany), Dindo Capello (Italy), Romain Dumas (France), Tom Kristensen (Denmark), Lucas Luhr (Germany), Allan McNish (Scotland), Alexandre Prémat (France), Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) and Marco Werner (Germany) Audi Sport Team Joest's driver lineup is arguably as powerful as it can be.

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    I will most certainly be interesting to see who's paired with who. Based on size alone it could be Dumas, Bernhard, McNish. Could it be Werner/Rocky/Kristensen and the other Premat/Luhr/Capello?? Audi could shuffle the cards on this one.

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  3. Modeler

    Modeler F1 Veteran

    May 19, 2008
    State of confusion
    Full Name:
    That'd be a solid match of talent as well as size. Very much how I'd pair them up if it was my decision.
  4. speedy_sam

    speedy_sam F1 Veteran

    Jul 13, 2004
    Full Name:
    Agree. Fair pairing.

    But I think they will keep the #2 Audi as it with McNish, Capello and Kristensen - this team has worked and is best placed for the win - the Pugs will be stronger in Le Mans compared to bumpy Sebring. Audi will want to keep its best foot forward.
  5. AustinMartin

    AustinMartin F1 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2008
    Los Angeles/Idaho

    Same here. I think they're gonna stick to that line up.
  6. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas
    Allan said he'd be at Barcelona checking things out this weekend...hoping to run into him and may have to ask but doubtful for a reply!! Some of the US based guys are suppose to be helping Kolles this weekend too.

    Time will tell on this......imagine the group of "little pit bulls" in Bernhard/Dumas/McNish ! ! ! Allan no more the "terrier"!

    Got to catch a plane in a bit to Frankfurt then onto Barcelona.

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