Published by Autobahn Buzz (Audi R18)
- e-tron quattro succeeds once more at Le Mans
- 2nd victory one by one for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro
- Duval/Kristensen/McNish triumph in remarkable race
- Fatal accident in GT class overshadows Audi’s excellence
For the 2nd time in succession, Audi has been victorious at the Le Mans 24 Hours with a hybrid race automobile and quattro drive, thus continuing its one-of-a-kind excellence tale at the world’s most epic endurance race. Victory was clinched by Loïc Duval (F), Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GIGABYTE).
As expected, the twelfth victory for the four rings at Le Mans was one of the most challenging and hardest-fought ones. Following a modification in the rules that was made summarily, the three Audi R18 e-tron quattro automobiles on average had the ability to do two laps less on one tank of fuel compared to their main competition over at Toyota. The Audi drivers needed to compensate for the added brief stop by faster lap times on the track– and did so in a racing circumstances and a weather climate that sometimes was incredibly difficult.
Showers went across the track over and over throughout the dramatic race. The storms caused many incidents and a total of eleven security auto implementations. The contest competed greater than five hours under ‘yellow’ while the wrecked race cars were removed and repairs were carried out.
Video Highlights: Opening Ceremony and Pit Area Action of Team Audi
The three Audi R18 e-tron quattro vehicles, which are geared up with an electrically steered front axle, were the fastest autos in the field throughout the entire race– in addition to the most reliable ones: Victory in the Michelin Green X Challenge, a competiton of the cleanest, fastest and most efficient models, visited Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm too.
“We are obligated to repay the twelfth victory of our brand at Le Mans to the regular, cutting-edge spirit of our designers, the unconditional commitment of the whole group and the skills and tough nerves of our drivers. In support of Audi, I expand my sincere congratulations on this exce
llence to every one of them,” pointed out Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, who, customarily, personally checked out the race at the event. “This notes another excellent success for Audi where our hybrid system once again dominated and new technologies, which our customers will take advantage of in the future, were examined.” They included ingenious radiators and matrix-beam LED fronts lights, making maximum illumination of the corners in the evening twilight and later darkness– a critical advantage at Le Mans.
“We understood that, not least due to the administrative requirements, it would be extremely tough for us this year,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “As expected, Toyota was a very sturdy competitor– however our Audi R18 e-tron quattro joined a class of its own. My thanks visit the whole team that functioned for months to attain this excellence.”
The twelfth Audi victory at Le Mans was achieved by the number ‘2’ Audi R18 e-tron quattro steered by Loïc Duval (France), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland) that had begun the race from the post position. For Duval, the racer who had clinched the pole placement on Wednesday, this was the initial success at the classic French endurance race and the third for Allan McNish. Tom Kristensen, who has actually been the sole record holder of the race since 2005, thrived for the ninth time.
The victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro competed 24 hours without the smallest technological issue. Duval/Kristensen/McNish took the lead at 21:43 on Saturday evening and would not relinquish it anymore around the circuit time and time again, and finally triumphantly crossed the finish line at 15:00 on Sunday. The three Audi motorists accomplished the vital one-lap advantage over the second-placed Toyota at a very early phase and preserved all of it the entire means throughout, even in partially chaotic conditions with torrential rain.
Bad luck struck the various other two Audi squads that almost at the same time were forced to make unscheduled brief stops quickly before completion of the seventh hour of the race and, up to that time, had allowed for an Audi one-two-three lead up to that time. Oliver Jarvis was touched by a slower vehicle and, therefore, experienced a punctured tire on which he needed to complete nearly an entire lap that cost the team two laps. In the thrilling last stage, Le Mans novice Lucas di Grassi (Brazil), Marc Gené (Spain) and Oliver Jarvis (Great Britain) handled to overtake the Toyota that had actually been operating in third spot up to that time, and to therefore protect third place on the podium.
Due to altering the generator Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Benoît Tréluyer (France) lost their certain lead by a total amount of twelve laps. With an excellent recovery, the 2011 and 2012 champions managed to progress from 24th location to place fifth in their R18 e-tron quattro.
The 90th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours was eclipsed by a fatal accident that occurred in the GT class shortly after the race started. “Obviously, this horrendous accident dampens the joy regarding one more wonderful Le Mans victory for Audi in which our team and our motorists were under severe stress for 24 hours and could not make any mistakes,” commented Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We were all entirely shocked by the updates of Allan Simonsen’s fatality. During his career, he also raced against the Audi R8 LMS entries in many contests. Our sympathy primarily goes to his friends and family yet to the group of Aston Martin also. It reveals that you must never ever quit doing whatever is feasible for safety in motorsport. This is the very first fatal accident we’ve had to witness in 15 Le Mans years. I wish it’ll stay the last.”.