Audi says its dramatic intra-team fight for Silverstone 6 Hours glory proved that the team has regained World Endurance Championship supremacy from Toyota.
Toyota claimed pole position for the WEC opener with its hybrid prototype, albeit under a new format roundly criticized by the drivers. The Japanese marque was not a factor in the race, however, leaving the two R18 e-tron quattros free to stage a remarkable finish and claim a dominant 1-2.
Tom Kristensen, whose teammate Allan McNish overhauled a near-30 second deficit to claim victory, said the race was a testament to Audi's off-season progress after Toyota had edged ahead in late 2012.
"We've seen a thrilling battle in which Allan McNish recovered despite a spin," Kristensen said. "Toyota's performance deserves respect. [It was] a nice race in which we clearly showed how we increased our pace in the winter."
Ralf Juttner, technical director of the Joest-run Audi squad, said the R18's race pace had proved superior to that of the Toyotas.
"Our pit stop intervals were shorter than Toyota's but we compensated for that with a faster race pace," he added.