Audi R10 Car Review evo

2 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Audi R10 Car Review evo отключены

James Mills tests R10 — one of the most successful Le cars of all time

Through the two fifth-gear kinks my brain It can’t accept that I slow down

It may not have the of some the legends of Le Mans, but the R10 is right up there with the Think Porsche 956, GT40, Ferrari 250, D-type. I’m serious. The R10 won the world’s motor race not once but times. Not bad for a diesel.

And you know Before it was put in a museum, someone at Sport was barmy enough to strapping yours truly last year’s winning car and the power to ‘full qualifier’.

is tense. All around me, the guys Audi Sport’s German partner, Joest Racing, are making final checks on precious baby. Squeezed my lid, I can’t hear a – they’re in their world, I’m in ‘Why did I have to be the first to drive it?’ I fret.

if I bin it, at least I’ll have it. If I was last in the (admitedly short) there’s a chance there’d be no at all…

Up onto the sidepod I One foot drops gingerly to the followed by the other, and I lower into the depths of one of the most endurance racing cars in eyeline barely clears the top of the adjustable perspex wind-deflector, either side my vision is by energy-dissipating foam ‘collars’. My stretch out, near my back tilted unnaturally, but the fits like it was tailor-made.

Someone reaches in and straps me in It’s snug, cocooning and – kind of what you’d for from a 230mph machine no windscreen or roof.

I’m sat in silence. Fidgeting. Reminding myself switch does what, trying to divert my mind countless ‘What if…?’ It’s no good. What if I it? What if I don’t shift up a with MORE than 50 per throttle, like I’ve told to? What if the brakes – any anti-lock safety net – lock-up and I past the corner, into the barriers?

What if I spin off at the bend of northern Italy’s circuit, right into the wall in front of Head of Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich? How will he be then?

And now my earpiece into life. ‘Are you James?’ It’s the voice of engineer Howden Haynes. is it. The tyre-warmers come off and the car is wheeled out on jacks.

When the crew them, the R10 sits momentarily on its then they too are released, the air pressure causing the carbonfibre and honeycomb monocoque to shudder The instructions come to fire up the My heart is thumping. Ignition pulled out and down.

Check for on the gear display indicator. Say a prayer. Then punch the black starter button…

The 5.5-litre twin-turbo diesel V12 to life. I’ve been to familiarise myself with the for sensitivity. To my surprise, the engine up and down the rev-range like a machine. It’s so smooth.

Free from inertia. without moving away, it every inch the finely three-time Le Mans winner it is.

The two laps are frustrating. I’m to follow a car at 50 per cent power, on wet tyres, so the slicks can be kept warm, for my four laps proper. a firm shove of my left the short-travel clutch sinks to the and the first gear engages a clunk.

The camera car is halfway up the pit by the time I’ve feathered the and dialled in some rpm, and my feels as if it’s beating than the engine is turning

Time to catch up. I floor the but, to be honest, at half-power it barely faster than one of the uber-diesels you’ll find up the autobahns in rush hour. The is all good though: a steering that darts from one turn of lock to another a hint of resistance, a throttle translates the slightest pressure forward momentum and a tightly drivetrain without a hint of

Two laps later, I’m peeling the pitlane. The air-jacks lift the Over the radio, Haynes if everything is OK.

Then he leans into the and twists the engine mapping to position 1 of 12. ‘That’s full James. Exactly the same as the use. Go carefully and enjoy

With that, the warmed are on and the air-jacks rumble again as the R10 TDI down. Brush the throttle, the clutch out. If I was nervous I simply can’t afford to be

Concentrate, Millsy.

Four is nothing. Especially when only had five ‘familiarisation’ of a circuit you’ve not driven in an Audi S3. I need to know it feels like, though, so up the pitlane exit I floor the in second gear and WHAM! the big V12 TDI my chest and the gearshift lights through green, amber and

At the first blink of red, I to third and it hits me again –

This is more like it; that forces me to lift my from the tarmac in front to the suddenly rushing towards me. It the mind like a knife to the and that’s without a field of race-cars bunched up around me, oil and on the track, rain, or backmarkers across my racing line.

a right-left flick at the end of the pit straight, by a long, arcing right-hander widens to full throttle and gear again before I to stand on the brake pedal – it needs a serious shove your thigh muscles – and fingers twice snap the gearshift paddle and the ’box with a rev-synced BANG, into second.

In the fourth- and fifth-gear bends I’m not fast enough to push the and tyres to the edge of adhesion. my faith in the R10’s aerodynamics, earlier pinned regular Dindo Capello to the asphalt as he a fifth-gear kink at 163mph, is too big a for me: 125mph is all I can muster.


If anything, the tight corners that spit me off. In the second- and turns just one or two mph separate our The back wheels slip if I the throttle too wide as the car fires out of apex. That’s no surprise; a split second of easing the toward the floor, a faintly 1100Nm (811lb ft) is unleashed 1000rpm, and no matter how steamroller-wide the slicks, containing all of that is a job for the

Which, wisely, is most ON.

Again, the throttle hits its and flashing LED lights pierce my With both turbos on the free-revving diesel should eat up its rev-range in a flash, but with its torque delivery, Audi for a five-speed transmission to offset so each gear ratio is than you’d expect.

But no where you are in the rev-range, the V12 punches the car the road like a bouncer a drunken student from a And with every upshift of the transmission, the process starts all again. Then there’s the Sure, it’s quieter petrol-engined race-cars, but from I’m sitting it’s a mechanical rising and falling, unlike I’ve experienced before.

Capello says it’s out on the Mulsanne straight. I’ll his word for that…

At the end of the back I try braking as hard as my left leg allow. But no matter how much I I can’t generate enough pressure to bring the wheels to the of lock-up. As Capello later legs are an area that work at the gym. ‘The gets toned from all the but the legs have to be strong for or four hours at the wheel.’

The is easier, if a little light. says it was the best compromise for the – less fatigue, fast opposite lock to catch a and manageable in the high-speed turns the bodywork’s aero package up to 2.7g of lateral load at

The tub’s carbonfibre structure is stiff, giving the suspension the platform to work from. As cars go, the Audi is no flyweight – the at Le Mans, for example, dictate a of 900kg. Nonetheless, it responds and feels encouraging as I grow confident – at least in the bends I can approach the threshold of grip.

When I do, its natural tendency is to pushing the nose wide if you get with the throttle or carry too speed into a bend. But in two fast, fifth-gear kinks, my short-circuits. It can’t accept I shouldn’t slow down.

is another world, where racers excel and mere stumble.

And then it happens. James. Box.’ The voice me jump. Then I remember the I fumble around, the car coasting, as I for the radio button. ‘Was come into the pits?’ I ‘Yes, pit on this lap.’ I’m

That can’t have four laps, surely?

needs one more victory to Ferrari for the second most in the 24 Heures Du Mans, after This year its drivers a new V10 diesel-powered race car, the R15 You wouldn’t bet against them.

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