Audi first to win international motorsport championship with a diesel engined sportscar
September 5, 2006 Congratulations to Audi on becoming the first car manufacturer to win an internationally recognised motor racing championship with a car powered by a diesel engine. Having made history by winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in June with its revolutionary Audi R10 TDI, Britain’s Allan McNish and Dindo Capello, of Italy, have added to the German manufacturer’s incredible 2006 success story to take the prestigious American Le Mans Series championship. That’s six starts and six wins so far and it’s a far cry from the until-recent perception of diesels as those rough-sounding, smelly, commercial vehicles that billow black smoke.
Dumfries-born McNish and Capello steered their Audi R10 TDI home to a hard-earned victory in the latest round at Mosport in Canada (3 Sep) to secure the ALMS title with two races remaining.
McNish and Capello, together with Tom Kristensen (Denmark), wrote history by winning the ALMS season-opening Sebring 12 Hour race (18 Mar) - the first time a diesel-powered sports-prototype had ever won an international sportscar endurance race.
The Audi R10 TDI, powered by an ultra-quiet and economical twin-turbo 5.5-litre V12 diesel engine producing over 650 bhp, then won the Le Mans 24 Hours (Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner) and has now started six races winning each one.