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Once a test of pure endurance, the FIA’s World Endurance Championship has in recent years become an extended sprint, with last year’s Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 covering an extremely impressive 3,318 miles in just 24 hours. For the latest iteration of Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro, Audi Sport has made quite a few changes to their car, all of which have yet to be truly ‘competition tested’. As such, their upcoming European tests will focus equally on speed and outright reliability.
In a report published by Motorsport.com, Loic Duval has gone on record about some of the challenges that come along with bringing a new car to an extremely competitive series. “The car is really different and some great work has been done by the team. It looks really promising,” Duval told the site. “The real question mark when you change everything like we have done is the reliability because it is all so new.”
Motorsport.com also received comment from Dr. Ullrich, who went on to say, “We’re on schedule, we are in the process of understanding of systems, how to use them for performance and reliability. There is still much to do.”
Of course, no one will really know where the car will stand in terms if outright speed until the R18 e-tron quattros line up against competitors from Porsche, Toyota, and others at the 6 Hours of Silverstone in April. We can rest assured, though, that this year’s R18 e-tron quattro will be quicker than last year’s version.
Read the full report over on Motorsport.com.