Audi says Sebring 12 Hours win the perfect finale
|By Sam Tremayne||Monday, March 18th 2013, 17:37 GMT|
Audi's enthralling 1-2 finish was the "perfect finale" to its history as a Sebring 12 Hours competitor according to head of motorsport Wolfgang Ullrich.
The 61st running of the race was also the last to be sanctioned by the American Le Mans Series. Since 1999, when the ALMS first sanctioned the race, Audi has triumphed 11 times.
The latest victory came after a thrilling intra-team battle between the two R18 e-tron quattros. The lead changed hands multiple times before victory was eventually decided by just eight seconds in favour of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Oliver Jarvis.
"That was a perfect finale," Ullrich said.
"I'm very happy about this one-two victory in a race in which both of our cars battled against each other all the way to the finish and delivered a fantastic show to the many fans.
"The entire squad worked hard, so winning after a long twelve hours is the sweetest reward.
"After victories with TFSI and TDI technology, Audi on clinching the win today with a hybrid car has continued the success story at this race."
Treluyer, who held off a charging Tom Kristensen in the final hour, added: "We won the last race of the LMP1 sports cars at Sebring - we're very proud of this.
"I think that the fans witnessed a thrilling race in which we had to give one hundred percent to beat our sister car. For us the American dream has come true."
Allan McNish, who partnered Kristensen and Lucas di Grassi in the second R18, said the lead battle was a fitting way for Audi to depart from Sebring.
"What a fantastic race. We arrived here with Audi in order to say goodbye to our fans at Sebring with a thrilling performance and I believe we managed to do that," he said.
"It was a fierce battle from the first to the last lap. I'd like to congratulate the team of our sister car.
"On a very personal note I was personally really pleased with my own performance. Some of my stints were the best I can remember in the past few years."
After triumphing at Sebring, Audi defends its FIA World Endurance drivers' and manufacturers' titles in 2013. The first round will take place at Silverstone on April 14.