Car home race] Although Audi currently focuses on the two races of Le Mans and the German Touring Car Masters (DTM), Audi has not only been recorded in the history of motorsport development of this century-old car brand. Only limited to this. As one of the oldest automakers in Germany, Audi's racing championship history can be traced back to the beginning of the last century. Below, let us review Audi’s century-old racing history together.
1. Early racing activities (early 20th century-before the First World War)
In 1906, Horch (founded in 1899), the predecessor of Audi, produced a car equipped with a 4-cylinder engine. It participated in the Herkomer Run, the most difficult and longest car rally race in the world at that time, and won The brand's first ever racing championship.
Since then, August Horch (Horch, the founder of Audi) has become more interested in racing, and personally took part in several car racing to win the championship. However, an engine test failed, causing Horch himself to quarrel with other investors in the company. Horch left the company named after him in a fit of anger and created the Audi brand.
In 1911, Horch personally drove the Audi Model C to participate in the Alpine International Rally. He successfully completed 2,250 kilometers of extremely difficult mountain and road stages, and eventually won the championship. In the race that year, only 10 of the 75 participating vehicles reached the finish line without penalty points.
This victory prompted Horch to organize the Audi team, which won three consecutive championships from 1912 to 1914. However, as Germany declared war on Russia and France and invaded Belgium in August 1914, the First World War broke out, and the world motor sports was interrupted for a while.
2. The Auto Union “Silver Arrow” dominates the arena (early 1930s-before World War II)
In 1934, the Auto Union began to invest in motorsports. Its A-type racing car came out. This mid-engined racing car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the most outstanding car designer of the 20th century.
For the first time, the Auto Union Type A race car installed a 4.4-liter 16-cylinder engine (with a maximum power of 295 horsepower) behind the driver’s seat and the fuel tank in the middle of the car body. This way, no matter how much fuel, it will not affect the center of gravity of the car. : The best front-to-back specific gravity of 50, which greatly improves the controllability of the vehicle.
Stucker drove the four-ring A car to win 7 championships in the European GP Grand Prix (the predecessor of F1), German road races and mountain races, becoming the double champion of track and mountain races.
Both the Auto Union’s four-ring logo and Mercedes-Benz’s cars are presented with bright silver aluminum bodies, and these two silver teams will dominate the stadium for the next five years. Since then, silver has become a symbol of German racing colors, just as red represents Italian racing, green represents British racing, and blue represents French racing.
In 1935, the legendary driver Bernd Rosenmeier made a blockbuster in the GP Grand Prix. After that, he almost dominated the dry and wetland races and won the European Drivers Championship this year. In 1936, Rosenmeier drove the four-ring B-type and C-type silver arrow racing car to win the European GP Grand Prix, the German Championship and the mountain championship.
By the end of 1937, the four-ring silver arrow racer had won 32 races in 54 races it participated in, setting a total of 15 world records and 23 racing records of the same level.
As the pinnacle of the Auto League, this 16-cylinder, 520-horsepower, four-ring C-type “streamline” race car combines the world's top chassis design, aerodynamic design, engine technology, and lightweight body technology at that time.
Italian “car king” Tazio Novorali joined the four-ring Silver Arrow team and won 3 GP Grand Prix championships for the Auto Union, including the last GP Grand Prix before the end of World War II-the championship in Belgrade. At that time, the stadium was shrouded by the dark clouds of war. Hitler invaded Poland two days ago and detonated World War II. Britain and France had just declared war on Germany. Novorali ended the Auto League’s five-year track legend with a victory. Since then, the war has forced a halt to motor racing in the world.
During World War II, Auto Union produced military off-road vehicles according to official instructions. After the war, all production equipment of Auto Union was confiscated and dismantled by the Soviet Red Army. The company’s accumulated decades of models and technical research and development materials were lost. Files and customer information were also burned. More deadly, in 1948, the Auto Union Company and the Four Rings logo were cancelled by the local Soviet regime, and the Four Rings brand was forced to bid farewell to world motorsports for a long time.
3. Quattro battles in the rally field (1980s)
The development of the New Auto Union has not been smooth. It has undergone two major changes. The first was acquired by Mercedes-Benz in 1959, and the second was sold to Volkswagen in several stages from 1964. In the late 1960s, the New Auto Union was hit hard by the Great Depression, and the oil crisis in the 1970s once again caused the New Auto Union to struggle. Over the past 30 years, Audi has also fallen into silence on the court. Until 1980, the introduction of quattro full-time four-wheel drive technology led Audi on the road to recovery. At this time, the Audi racing car equipped with the quattro system also began to accept the test on the field.
Driver Hannu Mikra drove an Audi car to win the Swedish Rally, winning the first victory for Audi in the World Rally Car Championship.
In 1982, in order to increase the viewing of the game and attract more manufacturers to join, the FIA established Group B (Group B) rules. This category has almost removed all modification restrictions on participating vehicles, and the World Rally Championship (WRC) ushered in the craziest era. Following Mikra’s victory in Finland and the United Kingdom and Stig Blomvist’s victory in Sweden and Italy, the Audi Quattro with a full-time four-wheel drive system won the 1982 World Rally Championship.
The power output of Audi quattro A1 and quattro A2 cars has been increased to 350 horsepower. However, the chassis structure of these two racing cars is basically derived from the original car, and the four-wheel drive system is relatively simple, coupled with severe turbo lag, making Audi ranked second in 1983 by only 2 points.
The Audi Sport quattro is equipped with a 2.1-liter five-cylinder 20-valve turbocharged engine from the Audi civilian car RS2. The power output has been increased from 306 horsepower to 450 horsepower. This year, Audi once again sealed the king.
From the appearance of the Audi Sport quattro S1 car, it has an exaggerated body aerodynamics package (the downforce generated by the huge front wing presses the car on the track), and the rear water tank design makes the car's center of gravity distribution more balanced. The power output of the improved five-cylinder engine is increased to 480-500 horsepower, and it is also equipped with a dual-clutch transmission for the first time. The Sport quattro S1 car weighing only 1090 kg can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in only 3.1 seconds. This year, German driver Walter Rowell won the Sanremo Rally in the Sport quattro S1.
Due to the excessive power performance of Group B cars, which caused safety hazards, serious casualties occurred many times during the race. Therefore, the FIA decided to cancel Group B after 1986 and replace it with Group S with a power limit of 300 horsepower. As a result, Audi developed the Sport quattro RS 002 with a center-mounted four-wheel drive, but the S group ultimately did not implement it.
To challenge the Pikes Peak mountaineering race, Audi launched the ultimate version of the Sport quattro S1. The maximum output power of the car is close to 600 horsepower, and it only takes 2.3 seconds to accelerate from a standstill to a speed of 100 km/h. From 1985 to 1987, Audi decided to quit after winning three consecutive championships in Pikes Peak with the car.
After that, Audi returned to Europe and began to compete in the DTM and Le Mans events, opening the curtain of Audi's modern motorsport.
4. DTM German Touring Car Masters (1990-contemporary)
At first, people were not optimistic about Audi's performance, because no one would believe that a flagship luxury car could win the race. Unexpectedly, Hans Stucker drove an Audi V8 quattro to win 8 of the 22 races throughout the year. In the final race, Stuker won again and eventually won the title of Drivers of the Year.
The driver Biela Rictor has won the championship of the year again, making Audi the first car brand to successfully defend its title on the GTC. Since then, due to disagreements with GTC officials, Audi chose to withdraw from GTC events and turned its attention to other events.
In 1996, Audi participated in the German, Italian and British Touring Car Championships. The Audi A4 Super Touring Car supported by local dealers. It also participated in the Touring Car Series in Belgium, Spain, Australia, South Africa and other countries, and achieved great success. Countries won the championship.
The private team ABT-Sportsline started to participate in the race based on the DTM car built by the Audi TT. The first year was bleak and only scored 19 points; in 2001, he won the second place of the season; in 2002, he won the title of championship. But the Audi TT-R racing career is about to come to an end, because the Audi manufacturer team decided to return to DTM the following year in the fall of 2003.
◆ Review of Audi A4 DTM racing history (R11/R12/R12 plus/R13/R14/R14 plus) equipped with Mugen engine
At the end of the first season, Ekstrom of the Audi Team won the Drivers' Championship of the year with 4 championships, creating a good start for Audi to return to the DTM. In 2005 and 2006, the Audi team won the runner-up and third runner-up respectively.
5. Le Mans Endurance Race (1999-contemporary)
After this attempt, Audi finally decided to adopt the open structure design of the car, so the invincible Audi R8 car was born from 2000 to 2005.
In 2004 and 2005, the Audi R8 continued its winning streak at Le Mans, increasing the number of championships to 5 times. In addition, since 2000, the Audi R8 car has won the American Le Mans Series championship for six consecutive years.
|2000-2005 Audi R8 Le Mans record|
|years||Horsepower (hp)||Vehicle weight (kg)||Fuel tank (L)||Number of turns||Ranking|
The achievements of the Audi R8 racing car benefited from the TFSI turbocharged direct-injection engine that was equipped in 2001. This technology provides a competitive advantage in long-distance endurance races with its low fuel consumption characteristics. The Audi R8 has won a total of 63 victories in all 80 races it has participated in, and none of the R8's engines have failed during the race.
In 2006, the Audi R10 TDI appeared in the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the successor to the R8. Audi won the championship again in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and became the first diesel engine in the history of Le Mans. The car brand that won the championship. In 2007 and 2008, the Audi R10 still did not let the championship fall behind.
In order to optimize the aerodynamic characteristics of the new car, the design of the nose cone has been improved. At the same time, in order to adapt to the new rules, the VTG variable section turbocharging system is also adopted. This time, Audi not only won the top three on the podium, but also broke the total mileage record set by the Porsche 917 in 1971 with a score of 5,410 kilometers.
In addition to participating in Le Mans as a manufacturer, in 2008, Audi also developed a GT3-level R8 LMS car for private teams.
In 2010, Audi released the second-generation R8 LMS race car to upgrade the chassis and suspension system, and added more user-friendly designs in the car. It also optimized the complex electronic and exhaust systems of the previous generation models, and improved the performance of the engine cooling system to ensure that the racing car can work stably for a long time even in extreme environments.
As of the 2011 season, the Audi R8 LMS has won at least 118 races and 13 world championship titles. The Audi R8 LMS Ultra racing car will enter the race from March 2012.
The Audi R8 GRAND-AM car has made its debut at the American Daytona 24-hour endurance race in early 2012, but the results of the race were not satisfactory.
Summary: Audi has participated in motor sports for more than a hundred years, and it has won high honors in every era of the competition. In 2012, Audi will continue to compete in Le Mans and the DTM German Touring Car Masters. In addition, Audi will provide customer teams with R8 LMS/GRAND-AM cars to participate in car competitions around the world. Through innovation after innovation on the field, Audi not only conveyed its pursuit of high-efficiency technology, but also put these new technologies into its mass-produced cars, allowing more users to feel the charm of sports.