Audi plans upgrades ahead of Japan WEC round

The Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer Audi being serviced during the Lone Star Le Mans race at Austin, Texas

The Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer Audi being serviced during the Lone Star Le Mans race at Austin, Texas

A list of unspecified upgrades will be welcomed onto Audi’s twin R18 machines as it tries to arrest a diminishing gap in the driver’s standings to Porsche ahead of the next World Endurance Championship round.

Audi goes into the Fuji 6 Hours from October 9-11 with the #7 R18 e-tron quattro driven by Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer clutching a 10-point edge.

The #7 Audi overcame a strategy gamble by starting the race on hard compound tyres and cashed in on the demise of the #18 Porsche to finish second in Texas and minimise its points loss.

The #18 919 was garaged with an electrical problem when leading its sister car with just over 30 minutes remaining before rejoining inside the final minute to be classified in 12th overall.

The Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard #17 Porsche 919 Hybrid took its second straight victory in Round 5 of the WEC to narrow the gap on the points-leading Audi.

While the upgrades will prove crucial, Audi is also wrestling with how it can reverse a pit stop disadvantage to its German relative.

“There are some upgrades planned for the next race but we will need to find a solution to avoid losing five seconds to the Porsche during each pit-stop,” Treluyer said.

“We have a fantastic chassis, which will help us offset Porsche’s eight megajoule hybrid system.

“Our best race lap is only one tenth shy of the fastest Porsche when there is no traffic.

“However, at the same time we struggle more when in amongst traffic because we have less of a boost with our (4MJ) hybrid system.”

Treluyer is expecting better performance from Audi at Fuji with the layout more suited to the aero package than the Circuit of the Americas.

“Fuji’s layout will be more favourable for us than Austin as we’ll be able to exploit the Audi R18 e-tron quattro’s stronger characteristics such as its excellent aerodynamics,” the 2012 world champion said.

“If we manage to find good mechanical grip in the last sector we will be impressively quick.

“Japan is a special place for both myself and Andre but neither of us has ever won an FIA WEC round at Fuji before, so we’re itching to get back there.

“It’s definitely a circuit where we would like to return to our usual form by scoring a great victory.”

Porsche hold the whip hand in the manufacturer’s standings over Audi by moving to 220 points, 36 clear of the Ingolstadt maker while Toyota languish on 101 points.

Driver’s points after 5 of 8 rounds

Pos

Driver

Points

1

André Lotterer

113

1

Benoît Tréluyer

113

1

Marcel Fässler

113

2

Timo Bernhard

103

2

Mark Webber

103

2

Brendon Hartley

103

3

Marc Lieb

77.5

3

Neel Jani

77.5

3

Romain Dumas

77.5

4

Lucas di Grassi

67

4

Oliver Jarvis

67

4

Loïc Duval

67

5

Nick Tandy

66

6

Nico Hülkenberg

58

6

Earl Bamber

58

7

Sébastien Buemi

49

7

Anthony Davidson

49

8

Alexander Wurz

46

8

Mike Conway

46

8

Stéphane Sarrazin

46

9

Kazuki Nakajima

45

10

Roman Rusinov

24.5

10

Sam Bird

24.5

10

Julien Canal

24.5

11

Filipe Albuquerque

24

11

Marco Bonanomi

24

11

René Rast

24

12

Matt Howson

20.5

12

Richard Bradley

20.5

13

Luis Derani

16

13

Gustavo Yacamán

16

13

Ricardo González

16

14

Nicolas Lapierre

12.5

15

Nick Leventis

5.5

15

Danny Watts

5.5

15

Jonny Kane

5.5

16

Simon Trummer

4.5

16

Pierre Kaffer

4.5

17

Ryan Dalziel

4

17

David Hansson

4

17

Scott Sharp

4

18

Jean-Marc Merlin

2.5

18

Jacques Nicolet

2.5

18

Erik Maris

2.5

19

Jon Fogarty

2.5

19

Ed Brown

2.5

20

Pierre Ragues

2.5

20

Oliver Webb

2.5

21

Harry Tincknell

2

22

Archie Hamilton

2

23

Johannes van Overbeek

2

24

Nick Heidfeld

2

24

Nicolas Prost

2

24

Mathias Beche

2

25

Daniel Abt

1.5

25

Alexandre Imperatori

1.5

25

Dominik Kraihamer

1.5

26

Paul-Loup Chatin

1.5

26

Nelson Panciatici

1.5

26

Vincent Capillaire

1.5

27

David Brabham

0.5

28

Zoel Amberg

0.5

WEC points structure

6 Hour Races

24H Le Mans

1st

 25 points

 50 points

2nd

18

36

3rd

15

30

4th

12

24

5th

10

20

6th

8

16

7th

6

12

8th

4

8

9th

2

4

10th

1

2

11th and beyond

 . 5

1

 

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