March 16, 2013 will mark the end of an era as the world’s highest-caliber sports cars are running at the tradition-steeped Sebring 12 Hours for the last time. Before the Le Mans prototypes of the LMP1 class are no longer permitted at this event from 2014 on, Audi is coming full circle in Florida. In 1999, the first LMP sports car of the brand celebrated its debut on the former airfield – and now two prototypes emblazoned with the four rings will arguably be competing there for the last time.
“We’re in for a very emotional race weekend on which we’ll be taking the fans along on a journey into our past,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Sebring is where Audi’s sports car era that has been so successful began. We expect that with two current hybrid models we’ll be battling for overall victory at the 12-hour race for the last time this year. At the same time, on the fringes of the race, the fans can look forward to seeing four other race cars and several race drivers who made history at Sebring with Audi.”
In addition to a 2012-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro, an updated version of the prototype will be on the grid in Florida. Marcel Fässler/Oliver Jarvis/Benoît Tréluyer (CH/GB/F) and Lucas di Grassi/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (BR/DK/GB) will be driving the two hybrid race cars in the race. With six victories under his belt, Kristensen holds the record at this event.