Shell is delighted to announce a major partnership with Audi Sport, to develop the world's first ever diesel-powered car capable of winning the famous 24 Heures du Mans race (Le Mans).
The 2006 race will see Shell V-Power Diesel fuel technology put to the test in the ultimate challenge, where blistering power, engine endurance and unrivalled fuel economy are critical to success.
The technical partnership is unveiled today with a live demonstration through the streets of Paris, and next year will see the Shell V-Power Diesel-driven Audi R10 line up alongside some of the world's fastest gasoline-driven cars for what is widely regarded as the world's toughest motor race.
With over five decades of on-track success at the forefront of top-level, international motorsport, Shell is no stranger to Le Mans. Shell provided lubricants for the Audi R8 car which has dominated the race in recent years. Since then Shell has developed and launched Shell V-Power Diesel across much of Europe. It is this fuel technology that Audi Sport will put to the test in 2006.
Whilst the project will see two of the biggest names in motorsport striving for an historic milestone in racing, the expertise behind the technology comes from a deep understanding of what works on the road. Audi, inventor of the TDi technology and pioneer of the European diesel revolution, has worked extensively with Shell in the past - and has been involved in the development and testing of Shell V-Power Diesel.
This advanced fuel is designed to help the latest generation of diesel engines to continuously deliver more power, and will utilise Shell's exclusive synthetic GTL Fuel technology. Shell has led the introduction of this innovative fuel technology and is already supplying GTL through more than 3,000 of its Service Stations as the special ingredient at the heart of Shell V-Power Diesel.
In addition, the crucial role of the car's diesel injection system has been carefully considered. Development in this area will be important for the next generation of Shell V-Power Diesel - to ensure it remains at the front of its field.
Following an extensive testing programme, the Shell-fuelled Audi R10 may race for the first time at Sebring, Florida, in March 2006, ahead of 24 Heures du Mans on June 17 2006.
Commenting on the partnership, Shell's Vice President of Retail Marketing Bruce Rosengarten said: "We are delighted to be working with Audi Sport to develop a diesel with the power to win such an historic race as 24 Heures du Mans. Shell V-Power Diesel is already the choice of thousands of drivers everyday, and with the same technology used to power the Audi R10, we are sure that many more will soon experience the enduring power it is designed to deliver."
Head of Audi Sport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, said: "We are proud to bring together the leaders in diesel innovation for this historic challenge. Out tests show that Shell V-Power Diesel will deliver the kind of performance we need to win Le Mans - and are delighted that it will now power the Audi R10."