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Audi considering closed-top car

Allan McNish, Audi, Le Mans 2010Le Mans winner Audi is considering a coupe body shape for its next LMP1 car, this week's AUTOSPORT magazine reveals.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich has hinted that he no longer considers it viable to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours with a open-top car.

His comments suggest that the R18 built to the new-for-2011 rulebook will follow Peugeot's lead and be a coupe.

Ullrich explained that one of the advantages of an open car had been during pitstops. The change in sporting rules slowed tyre changes at the start of last season has removed that.

"If you take pure performance, it is clear that the efficiency of a closed car is much better," he said. "One of the advantages of an open car has now been removed, so we must look at both concepts.

"We pushed hard with the ACO for the rulebook to give concepts the same chance, but this does not seem to be the case."

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Audi: Closed-top car not an option