On Tuesday, Audi AG officially introduced the R10, its replacement for the legendary R8 endurance-racing sports car. The R10's significance is immediately apparent, as the car is powered by a 5.5 liter turbo-diesel V12. This will mark the first attempt at overall victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans using a diesel powerplant.
While there is much-deserved attention surrounding the powerplant of this car, a significant-but-overlooked fact is Audi's continued presence in endurance racing. The trend in endurance racing is to show up, dominate for a few years, then totally leave the sport. While this may be spectacular and give marketing gurus ammunition for decades, it is refreshing to see that Audi is interested in a more long-term relationship. This should do wonders for Audi's already excellent motorsports reputation. Ultimately the sport itself will benefit from this as the rest of the field realizes that they can't just wait for Audi to leave, but rather they have to step up and meet the challenge.