Audi brings the kitchen sink…

Like an iceberg, where only the very tip is visible, the three cars and nine drivers that make up the sharp end of Audi's Le Mans 24 Hours bid are just a small part of the overall effort. Below them, bobbing away underneath the surface, is a massive effort geared towards just one goal - getting an R8 to go further in one whole day than any other car in the field.

Audi brings the kitchen sink…

OK, take a deep breath and reel off a shopping list that wouldn't give much change out of a treble rollover win on the National Lottery...

Its cars, spares and equipment have been brought to the track in five articulated trucks. As well as those three fully-built R8s, the Joest team's spares inventory includes five spare engines, three complete transmission sets with full suspension, six spare radiator sets, six spare noses, five spare rear sets, five sets of extra sidepods and 52 spare shock-absorbers.

During the course of the race itself, the cars will consume 2660 litres of fuel each and get through 112 tyres.

On the human side of things, 235 technical and public relations support staff will lovingly tend to and report on the exploits of those three racing cars, with 14,000 copies of Audi's own daily newspaper, Audi Express, hitting the Le Mans news-stands over the course of qualifying and the race.

And kitchen sinks? Well, no official figures on those, but with Audi's paddock hospitality area the size of a small Bavarian town, you can bet they've brought a few of those too.

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Around the classes: first qualifying

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