The three drivers who teamed up to provide Audi with its eighth victory at Le Mans, in the face of greater opposition from Peugeot, in 2008 will be charged with leading the German marque's defence in next month's 77th edition of the 24 Hours classic.

The #1 Audi R15 TDI will thus be driven by Rinaldo 'Dindo' Capello, wins record holder Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish, while the Ingolstadt marque also retains its other Sebring combination intact in car #2, with Germans Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner taking turns at the wheel. The team's third entry, meanwhile, will be crewed by Germany's Timo Bernhard and French co-drivers Romain Dumas and Alexandre Pr?mat.

"The twelve-hour race at Sebring was a successful dress rehearsal for us," explained Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, the head of Audi Motorsport, "That's why we didn't make any changes to the driver teams that competed at Sebring. The squad for the third car automatically resulted from this decision. I'm convinced that we've filled the cockpits of all three R15 TDIs at Le Mans with outstanding racers."

Thanking Porsche for the loan of regulars Bernhard and Dumas, Ullrich insisted that both drivers have had ample opportunity to thoroughly familiarise themselves with the R15 TDI in testing. The first 'second generation' diesel-powered sports prototype has undergone further development since its victorious debut in Florida, with an aerodynamics package 'optimised' for the higher-speed Le Mans circuit layout and various components 'adapted' to comply with the ACO's decision to increase the minimum weight for diesel-powered cars by 30kg.

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