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DTH News : Audi unveils its new R18 Coupe for Le Mans 2011
With Britain's Allan McNish behind its wheels, Audi hopes to score its 10th Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race victory next June.

Audi's retribution in this year's 24 Hours Le Mans though historic, ended in subtle despair as its French rivals Peugeot completely turned the victory tables with a clean sweep in the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Championship.

Audi will nevertheless go into next years 24 Hours Le Mans Championship as defending champions for the 9th time in history, and it stunning new R18 coupe is up for the challenge.Unveiled at the Audi Sportpark in Ingolstadt, Germany on the 10th of December, Audi's latest diesel powered sports-prototype now presents a "closed" cockpit, featuring a brand new 3.7-litre V6 TDI turbocharged diesel engine. Another new development is the six-speed transmission in the R18, which has been specifically modified for use with the smaller engine.

McNish, who has won the twice-around-the-clock French race in 1998 driving a "closed" sportscar (Porsche) and last raced one at Le Mans in 1999 (Toyota) thought the new R18 Coupe ran very well without any technical problems.The racing debut of the Audi R18 is planned for the Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) 6 Hours on May 8. Prior to the event, the new prototype will be able to do its first laps on the race track at Le Mans during the official test day on April 24 and gather important data for the race on June 11-12.

Audi is planning to field three Audi R18 cars at Le Mans next June, which will also be entered by Audi Sport Team Joest at the opening ILMC race at Sebring on March 19 2011.
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