- quattro-equipped A6 Avant pace car rides the waves on waterlogged circuit whilst R8 racer takes historic victory
While last Saturday’s UK round of the Le Mans Endurance Series saw the Silverstone circuit briefly masquerade as a canal, multi-million-pound rear-wheel-drive sports prototypes struggled to keep pace with the Audi A6 safety car, which was completely unfazed thanks to its advanced quattro four-wheel-drive system.
The 335PS, V8-powered A6 4.2 quattro carried on regardless through the vast pools of standing water and driving, horizontal rain that conspired to create conditions described by Audi racer Allan McNish as the most difficult and challenging of his racing career. The Audi RS 4 quattro and A6 4.2 quattro Safety Cars were called into action on an unprecedented number of occasions - so many in fact that one of them was in the lead for almost half of the 5 hour and 50 minute race duration.
Of the competitors proper, it was McNish in his 520PS Audi PlayStation Team Oreca Audi R8 who coped best with the treacherous conditions, going on to win the nail-biting 151-lap, 482-mile race. It was an historic final British victory for the remarkable Audi R8, which retires from competition in Europe at the end of this season.Published 18 August 2005