Ultimate race: Audi R10 TDI vs Harrier GR7 “Jump Jet”

Remember Audi's diesel-powered R10 TDI sports-prototype, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours last month? Well, the brits decided to put it against a Harrier GR7 "Jump Jet" multi-role combat aircraft in a race at RAF Wittering in England yesterday (6 July). If you think the Harrier gave it a beating, guess again….

Although the R10 didn’t actually win in the standing one-kilometre race, it gave the Harrier a scare as the Jet won just by one-tenth of a second !

The Audi, the first diesel-engined sportscar to win the famous Le Mans race, was quicker off the line - despite the R10 TDI being designed to start races from a "rolling" as opposed a "standing" start and faster to 150mph than the aircraft.

But the Harrier, piloted by Flight Lieutenant Pete Keenlyside, ultimately just beat the Audi to the 1km by literally a "nose" before the jet took off in a spectacular vertical climb.

Audi R10 driver, Allan Mcnish, comments: "I had a practice run against the Harrier moments before the race ‘proper’ and I came very close to beating it - it was a very close run contest. It was essentially a ‘fun’ race but when a racing driver and a pilot get together it quickly becomes serious. For our diesel-powered Audi, which we didn’t modify or prepare specifically for this event in any way, to come so close to beating a Harrier jet-fighter I believe was a tremendous achievement once again for TDI power."


Audi R10 TDI

Harrier GR7 "Jump Jet"


5.5 V12 turbo, 2 Garrett-turbo chargers, diesel direct injection TDI

Rolls Royce Pegasus Mk 105 turbofan weight 3746 lbs (1700 kgs)


Over 641bhp, in excess of 1100 Nm

21,750lbs thrust (approx 15,000bhp)



14.36m (47ft 2ins)



(Wingspan) 9.25m (30ft 4ins)



3.55m (11ft 8ins)


925 kg

8,864kg (19,500lbs)

Fuel type

Shell V-Power Diesel

Avtur F34 (Jet A1)

Fuel tank capacity

90 litres (20 gallons)

3,446 litres (758 gallons)

Fuel consumption

41 litres per 100km (6.89mpg)

97.74 litres per minute (21.5 Gallons) at max thrust

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