Four car Audi entry heads Le Mans line-up

Audi will return to defend its 2011 Le Mans crown

Audi will return to defend its 2011 Le Mans crown

Audi has not let Peugeot’s recent withdrawal from sportscar racing dampen its enthusiasm for the Le Mans 24 Hours, with the German marque upping its commitment to four cars for this year’s race.

Team Joest’s assault on the 2012 event will be split between two diesel-electric and two diesel powered R18s.

The official entry list for the race also includes two Toyota TS 030 Hybrids, as expected.

Audi has been running a hybrid test car since late last year, which like the Toyota, is believed to use a flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery system.

A total of 15 LMP1 cars feature on the entry list, including the JRM HPD ARX 03a to be driven by Australian David Brabham.

Compatriot John Martin meanwhile has been confirmed to make his Le Mans 24 Hour debut in the ADR-Delta entered Oreca 03 – Nissan LMP2 car.

Rounding out the entry is Highcroft Racing’s ambitious Delta Wing project, for which Scotsman Marino Franchitti is the first confirmed driver.

CLICK HERE for the full Le Mans 24 Hours entry

In other sportscar news, entries for the new World Endurance Championship have now closed, with Toyota a late addition to the list of registered manufacturers alongside Audi.

Although it is unknown whether the Toyota will expand its program to a full schedule, the Japanese marque’s decision has rescued a difficult situation for the championship’s promoters the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, whose contract with the FIA stipulates that two manufacturers must compete in LMP1.

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