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TECH UPDATE


Weight saving was a critical part of the new R18’s design, which went as far as a new lighter and stiffer monocoque than in 2011


of Audi’s LMP programme. ‘The difference is just stickers, and we have someone in the back of the pits ready to change any spare bodywork to the right colours. Both the Ultra and Quattro chassis have holes in the front for the driveshaft from the hybrid system, but on the Ultra cars that hole is covered by a blanking plate on the same mounting as the universal joint would be.’


Comparing the 2012 R18 to the 2011 car, you find a number of changes, one in particular Reinke is keen to highlight: ‘The air intake on the R18 is very different than the shape used in 2011. It is larger and wider and a regulation change is the reason. The change allowed us to have an undercut beneath it, so there is a sort of dent in the roof to do that. The reason for that is that


Carbon fibre gearbox casing is another crucial weight saving


in 2011 there was air there that was coming up from the front of the car over the windscreen that we didn’t want to get into the engine intake. So we had a design to get some of it out again. But


now we have adapted the tub, which gives us much cleaner airflow into the plenum. The flow over the windscreen stays attached to the bodywork and so goes under that intake.’


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