Tom Kristensen reckons Audi's decision to switch him and Allan McNish to a second e-tron from this weekend's Bahrain World Endurance Championship race blows the title fight wide open.
Audi's Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer, who have used the e-tron for most of the year, lead Kristensen and McNish by 7.5 points in the WEC standings with three rounds to go.
The Dane and the Scot drove the e-tron at Spa and Le Mans, but switched to the non-hybrid Ultra for Silverstone and Interlagos. Kristensen reckons if they had stayed in the standard car, they would not have had a shot at the title.
"I think Allan and I have maintained our chances of being able to fight for the drivers' title for the rest of the 2012 season," he said. "We had good races at Silverstone and in Brazil, even if things didn't go completely according to plan there.
"With the R18 e-tron quattro, which we haven't driven since Le Mans in June, we can now accelerate just as well as our competitors. This helps in the title fight, which is still wide open. I promise every fan of our sport that they can look forward to a great and fair battle royal all the way to the finale."
The eight-time Le Mans winner added that he was expecting the e-tron to be even more competitive than when he drove it in June's 24-hour race.
"We put in a good performance with the R18 e-tron quattro at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the car proved that it can win this important endurance race first time out," said Kristensen. "Since then development at Audi Sport has not stood still. The car's greatest advantage is in traffic and under acceleration."