Motorsport history was made today, as the Audi R10 TDI, powered by Shell V-Power Diesel fuel technology, took an awe-inspiring victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring - the first time a diesel-powered sports car has won a world-class endurance motor race.
In a technology-defying landmark result, the performance and efficiency advantages of Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel helped drivers Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Dindo Capello to complete 349 laps of the Florida raceway - beating off some of the fastest gasoline cars in the world to finish in first place.
The winning car got off to a blistering start, putting in some stunning lap times. Its competitors began scheduled re-fuelling 33 minutes into the race. However, the Audi diesel engine fuelled by Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel kept going - pitting 60 minutes into the race, enabling it to put in some devastating lap times as other competitors filled up.
Shell V-Power Diesel is a top performance diesel fuel designed to help modern diesel engines deliver more power, for longer. Already available at thousands of service stations across Europe, the fuel technology behind Shell V-Power Diesel has been used to create this special racing diesel for the track.
In addition to its outstanding pace, the car was also noted by the sun-kissed Sebring crowd for its unusual engine note. As the other cars deafened spectators lap after lap, the Audi R10 TDI, while among the fastest, was noticeably quieter than the competition thanks to its diesel engine.
This remarkable performance was due in part to the inclusion of exclusive Shell GTL (Gas to Liquids) Fuel in the race formulation. Shell V-Power Diesel is the first and only premium diesel to use this special synthetic fuel technology which is created from natural gas using a unique synthesis process from Shell. GTL Fuel burns cleanly and efficiently because of its outstanding purity and cetane quality.
With the help of Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel continuously cleaning the fuel injection system, the winning Audi R10 TDI sustained great performance and consistently quick lap times right through to the end of the race.
With this relentless power, the car completed the race three laps ahead of the fastest gasoline-powered entry to secure an unforgettable maiden victory. It is this power and consistency that will stand it in excellent shape for its next competitive outing and the biggest challenge of all - the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Following Le Mans, the diesel campaign will continue as the Audi R10 TDI uses the same fuel in the final six races of the ALMS series.
Commenting on the landmark victory, seven-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen said: "Over the 12 hour race the car responded unbelievably well to Shell V-Power Diesel race fuel. We'll be working hard over the next few months to ensure we have the right package for Le Mans."
Mike Copson, Shell Motorsport Technical Manager added, "For the car to have even completed a 12 hour race on its first outing would have been a technological breakthrough and an outstanding result - winning the race outright is an astounding achievement. It is clear that Shell V-Power Diesel fuel technology delivers enduring power on and off the track. The experience we have gained in pushing this technology to the limits will be invaluable in keeping Shell V-Power Diesel ahead of the competition in the future."
Dr .Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport said: "The race showed that Shell V-Power Diesel will deliver the performance we need to compete for a victory in Le Mans."