Audi has admitted that it will have to rely on its efficiency and racecraft if it is to challenge Peugeot for victory in this weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours.
The three factory R15s have been consistently outpaced by the four Peugeot 908s – three works and one ORECA-run car – and Audi Motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich concedes that they can't challenge the Peugeots on pace.
"On Wednesday, we weren't quite where we wanted to be, but on Thursday we made good progress," he said. "At Le Mans, speed isn't the only thing that counts. It's important to have vehicles with good driveability and, above all, efficiency as well. This is what we've been concentrating on.
"In addition, we now know that the R15 plus is pretty efficient in terms of tyre wear and fuel consumption - and all three vehicles were running absolutely reliably in qualifying, which is another very crucial factor at Le Mans."
The No. 9 Audi was the quickest of the three – Mike Rockenfeller qualified the car fifth, 2.2 seconds off Sebastien Bourdais' pole time, with the No. 7 and No. 8 Audis sixth and seventh.