Audi has changed its driver lineup for the 2016 season. Six race drivers – including four Le Mans winners – plus a reserve driver are forming the squad for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
In the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Audi is going on the title hunt with two R18 cars. Audi and its sister brand in the Volkswagen Group, Porsche, have agreed on maximum cost efficiency. That is why, in the Le Mans 24 Hours as well, they are going to field two instead of three race cars as in the most recent events. “We have two strong driver squads on the grid. They have been proving their prowess with Audi for many years,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Our drivers respect and drive each other to top performances.”
The individual as well as the combined tallies of the careers leave no doubt that the Audi drivers rank among the world’s best. No less than four Le Mans victories and two world championship titles are united in the team. Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer have won the Le Mans 24 Hours an amazing three times. They were FIA WEC Champions in 2012 and, with ten WEC race victories scored, are the most successful drivers in the world championship. A year later, Loïc Duval became world champion and in 2013 won the Le Mans 24 Hours as well. His teammate Oliver Jarvis has clinched an overall victory for Audi in the Sebring 12 Hours, plus a class victory in the Daytona 24 Hours. Lucas di Grassi forms a strong team with Duval and Jarvis. It has only existed in this formation since 2015. Since the second half of last year’s season, it has regularly been challenging its own teammates. Di Grassi has been proving his skills with alternative powertrains in FIA Formula E as well. In the inaugural season, he kept the title race open up to the finale.
René Rast completes the squad as the seventh driver. Last year, he instantly showed good performances in his sports car races at Spa and Le Mans. He is available as a reserve driver for Le Mans and concurrently continues his successful GT3 career. In this discipline, he has won the 24-hour races at Spa and at the Nürburgring.