Audi's 600hp prototype taken for spin

Tue, 07 Dec 13:09:00 2010

The Audi R15 TDI which won last June's Le Mans 24 Hours spent 45 minutes lapping the streets of Clermont-Ferrand.

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A large crowd turned out to watch the one-off show, organised by Michelin, as the 600hp prototype had a little trouble warming up in sub-zero temperatures.

It took several minutes to heat the lubricant of the twin-turbo V10 diesel engine sufficiently for it to fire up, while Allan McNish kept the spectators entertained in an Audi R8 LMS.

The R15 finally took to the streets with Romain Dumas at the wheel. The wet, bumpy, narrow roads meant the car was unable to reach normal racing speeds, but the characteristic pitch of the German V10 and its acceleration performance provided eloquent pointers to its potential.

Mike Rockenfeller and Tom Kristensen then took turns in the car - and it was the latter, an eight times winner at Le Mans, who symbolically crossed the finish line before performing a spin in front of the main podium.

"It's great to be here in the home of our racing tyres and feel the passion everyone has for cars and for motorsport," said the Dane.

"Today's conditions obviously weren't ideal but, in a way, it was quite moving to pull out of the Michelin factory in our racing car and drive up the long road to the city centre." / Eurosport

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