The Audi drivers have echoed each other's sentiments that they are confident in the R18's winning potential but is forecasting a tricky Le Mans 24 hours due to a range of challenges.
Having impressed at the Le Mans test day two weeks ago, Audi appears to have been forced on to the back foot during this week's preparations with technical problems on both R18 cars while also struggling to find a set-up in wet conditions all drivers are happy with.
Despite progress during the final qualifying session which was hit badly by heavy rain – forcing a brief red flag stoppage – former Le Mans winners Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer have invested their faith in the R18's potential but are aware of the challenges ahead.
“We did some good improvements on Thursday,” Lotterer said. “We have to stay cool and not change the car too much because the baseline was pretty good at the test and we had good speed. We need to head more in that direction.”
“It is going to a difficult race,” Treluyer added. “We've seen some sprint 24 hour races but I think this one is going to be a little bit different. With the expected weather conditions and the 60 cars on track is going to be a little bit more difficult, plus with the technical issues we had in the first races this season. We will be very careful.”
Fellow former Le Mans winner in the #8 Audi R18 Loic Duval is confident his team has found a solid wet set-up on Thursday and after his crew won last month's Spa 6 Hours remains steadfast with his belief in the team's capabilities at Le Mans.
“We definitely have the car,” Duval said. “Since the beginning of the season in Europe we've been doing well and also at the test day but the practice here was difficult with the weather. After the last practice we believe we have the car.”