Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Legend Will Soon Die



The R8

Introduced at Sebring in 2000, the R8 has since won 5 Le 24 Heures de Le Mans Overall and LMP1 titles and the ALMS championship six consecutive times. The body was designed for durability, the engine for reliability. In an R8 battle at Le Mans one team shorted themselves on fuel for the formation lap, but the driver coasted around the 8 mile track, turning the car on and off to save fuel, before taking the checkered flag 24 hours later. This car is already fabled. It never dropped out of a race. It took 61 wins out of 77 races over 6 years. That is impossible.

2006

March 2006 saw the introduction of Audi's replacement for the R8, the diesel R10. The R8 had ran for 6 years at the top of the racing world. That is impossible. Audi put the R10 into competition at Sebring and it took a win and a withdrawl. They pulled the R10 out of the three ALMS races between Sebring and Le Mans to assure their victory at the big one. Audi Sport North America then joined Champion Racing for the entire ALMS season. The R10 comes again to ALMS post Le Mans, in Utah. In the meantime the joint team will race their 2000 R8s. This is the seventh competitive year for the R8 - that is impossible. I've heard a driver say the R8 is so durable it feels like a production car.

Houston, May 12th, 2006

The brand new Dyson Lolas and Penske Porsches were looking strong against the R8s but the rough surface of the street course took all four down. The Audi took the win. R8 driver Dindo Capelli said, "Now we are in 2006 and this car should not have been as competitive as it was today." That makes the record 62 of 78, and if it wins both of its last two races - Mid Ohio and Lime Rock - the R8 will retire with 64 of 80 wins: an 80% winning percentage exactly. That is impossible.

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