Audi has revealed it's driver line-up as its seek to defend its Le Mans 24 Hours title in the 2011 edition of the race, which will mark the first appearance at La Sarthe for the new R18.
While the same nine drivers who raced last year were already confirmed, Audi has revealed that it will field the nine in an unchanged line-up as it seeks to beat Peugeot to top honours for a second straight season, with Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller seeking to defend their crown in the #1 car.
Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello will again share a car, while the third Audi will once again be in the hands of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer.
The same line-ups will also be used for the Le Mans Series event at Spa prior to Le Mans itself.
Audi will start its season with an entry at Sebring with a revised version of the older R15 TDI, with Capello/Kristensen/McNish and Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller as the drivers, while following Le Mans, the team will field two R18s in the remainder of the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
Kristensen and McNish will share one car, with Bernhard and Fassler in the second, although Audi could call up Dumas for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta if required.
"Over the last few years we've had a very strong and harmonious driver line-up at Le Mans,' Head of Audi Motorsport Wolfgang Ullrich said. “Any one of our three cars could have won, which explains why it was our aim to compete with an unchanged driver squad at Le Mans in 2011. I'm delighted that we achieved this. Now we can concentrate solely on the development of the Audi R18 and need not integrate any new drivers into the team, which would have been associated with additional work and risks. The schedule to Le Mans is tight enough as it is.
"Due to the clashing dates in the DTM and ILMC it wasn't easy to form the driver squad. For example, it prevented Mike Rockenfeller from driving a complete season in the R18. But with Porsche 'factory' driver Timo Bernhard, Marcel Fassler, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish for the sport prototypes we have a strong core squad with which we are well placed.”