Luxury car maker Audi has taken out a leading Automotive Pioneering and Innovation Award for a 650HP Diesel engine.
The revolutionary Audi R10 TDI has won the “Pioneering and Innovation Award” from the British magazine “Autosport” for the most important innovation of the 2006 motorsport season. Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich accepted the prestigious trophy Sunday evening in London in front of more than 1,000 guests. Also in attendance at the prestigious awards evening were Audi Sport “factory” drivers, Allan McNish, the 2006 American Le Mans Series champion, and Emanuele Pirro.
The 650-hp diesel sports car won the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in June just 200 days after its roll-out. Audi has thus become the first car manufacturer in the 80-plus-year history of Le Mans to win the endurance classic with a diesel engine. The R10 TDI remained also unbeaten in its first American Le Mans Series season winning all seven races it competed in and giving Audi another title in the world’s most popular sports car series.
“When we informed our potential suppliers about the diesel project, they asked us if we really wanted to do this,” said Dr Ullrich at the prize-giving ceremony in London. “It was taking a big risk. We knew that. But who else could have done it except Audi?”
Dumfries-born McNish and fellow 2006 Series champion Dindo Capello (Italy) plus Tom Kristensen (Denmark) wrote motorsport history when the trio claimed the first international endurance sports car race victory in a diesel-engined sports car (Sebring 12 Hours, Florida). Pirro (Italy), Frank Biela (Germany) and Marco Werner (Germany) wrote another chapter in motorsport history by steering their Audi R10 TDI to victory at Le Mans.