Audi took home a stunning sweep of the podium at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With the Peugeot 908’s showing considerably more pace during qualifying, not even Audi Motorsports boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich would have predicted a 1-2-3 finish for their R15 TDI diesel-powered LMP1 machines.
Audi played second fiddle to Peugeot throughout practice and qualifying, but the reliability of the German manufacturer’s cars came to the fore when it mattered most as Mike Rockenfeller, Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas took the chequered flag.
With second place going to the number eight Audi of Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer, and McNish, Kristensen and sportscar veteran Dindo Capello recovering to take a hard-earned third, what had threatened to be a disappointing weekend for Audi turned into a moment of triumph.
This success now sees them tie with Ferrari as the second most winningest team in the history of the Le Mans 24-Hour. At the moment only Porsche can lay claim to having more trophies in their prize cabinet.
Although having said that, the the victorious Audi R15 TDI driven by Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller completed a total of 397 laps and covered a distance of 5 410 kilometers, a feat that sees them shatter the 1971 record set by Dr. Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep in the legendary Porsche 917.
“After taking third place last year, it was our declared aim to bring the Le Mans trophy back to Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, and we managed to do this in an impressive way,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “I’m incredibly proud of this squad and sincerely thank the entire team and everyone who has contributed to this achievement.”