Audi says its dramatic intra-team fight for Silverstone 6 Hours glory proved just how much the team has progressed over the winter.
It was Toyota's 2012 TS030 HYBRID that claimed pole position for the 2013 World Endurance Championship opener, albeit under a new format roundly criticised by the drivers.
The Japanese marque was not a factor in the race however, leaving the two 2013-spec R18 e-tron quattros free to stage a remarkable finish and claim a dominant one-two.
Tom Kristensen, whose team-mate Allan McNish overhauled a near-30 second deficit to claim victory, said the race was a testament to Audi's off-season progress after Toyota had edged ahead in late-2012.
"We've seen a thrilling battle in which Allan McNish recovered despite a spin," Kristensen said.
"Toyota's performance deserves respect. [It was] a nice race in which we clearly showed how we increased our pace in the winter."
Ralf Juttner, technical director of the Joest-run Audi squad, said the R18's race pace had proved superior to that of the Toyotas.
"Our pitstop intervals were shorter than Toyota's but we compensated for that with a faster race pace," he added.