Audi does it again! Takes technology to a new level in winning 80th 24 hours of Le Mans

LE MANS, France — Audi has done it again!

Not only did it win its 11th 24 hours of Le Mans but it lived up to its slogan “Vorsprung durch Technik” by garnering a one-two finish with its new R18 e-tron (and a 1-2-3 finish with the R18 Ultra taking third) , a hybrid all-wheel drive diesel powered car — a first in the history of motorsports.

It was the No1 Audi driven by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, and Benoit Treluyer — who also are the defending Le Mans champions — who took the checkered flag after 24 hard fought hours. The threesome first had to fight off a stiff challenge from Toyota’s hybrid car and then for the last 12 hours ¬†have a “friendly” with its sister ship, the No. 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Toyota’s TS030 Hybrid arrived with great promise and had its moments during the race, wrestling the lead from the Audi dreadnaught at one point in time. But this was not Toyota’s day. No sooner had the No 7 Toyota grabbed the lead — and lost it — the No. 8 Toyota with Anthony Davidson at the wheel was hit by a back-marker Ferarri, mirroring the accidents that took out two Audis last year. The Toyota took the air and went into the tire wall at speed in Virage de Mulsanne. Although Davidson was able to extricate himself from the car on his own, he was taken to the hospital where it was found that he had broken two vertebrae.The No. 7 Toyota TS030 hybrid soldiered on — but around one am the engine save out ending the run of the Toyota.

The TS030 was impressive in its brief stay at Le Mans, particularly given the fact that it was rushed to the World Endurance Championship scene after Peugeot pulled the plug (on the pug) on its Le Mans program. The new car showed excellent top end speed, leading all comers in

Once the Toyotas exited stage right, the friendly was on between the defending Le Mans champion and the veteran Audi No2, piloted by Allan McNish, Dindo Capello, and Tom Kistensen. The battle heated up Sunday morning with the No.2 team wrestling away the lead. The lead went back and forth until the No. 2 car, with McNish at the wheel had an incident with another car. Luckily it did not put the car out of the race — but it ended for all intents and purpose any head-to-head dicing.

 

 

Vorsprung durch Technik

Outstanding debut performance by Toyota; They are done for the 80th running.

Le Mans, France – One of the best manufactures debut to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in recent history. The remaining No. 7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid has pulled out of the race due to engine problems. Toyota at one point in the race led, and was bringing the fight to Audi. The team has come into the race with very little testing, after destroying one of the chassis, and did not make the either Spa, or Sebring races.

After 5 hours of hard racing, we are under a Safety car after Toyota TS030 No. 8 driven by Anthony Davidson crashes hard.

Le Mans, France – After 5 hours of racing, we are under a full course Saftey Car, after the No. 8 Toyota TS030 driven by Anthony Davidson got tangled up with a slower GTE Ferrari. The Toyota pitched sideways, then went airborne, flipping and landing on its left rear, and crashing into the tire barriers. Anthony extracted himself from the Toyota, and went to work trying to see if the car was still able to get underway. However after several minutes of working on the car, he was forced to abandon the car. Anthony was taken to the track side medical center, and thankfully, was reported would no be taken to the hospital.

Shortly before the No. 8 Toyota accident, Romain Dumas crashed into the tire barrier at the first chicane, stuffing the car hard, and causing signifigant damage to the right front corner. Romain got out of the R18, and forcefully ripped of the broken body panels, and got back into the severly damaged Audi, and limped it back to the pits, with the front right wheel, only held on with what looked like one suspension point. Romain made it to the garage, and was swarmed by a team of Audi mechanics.

Safety Car is scheduled to be out for another 20 minutes or so, while the barrier is repaired from the Toyota accident. Current running order is:

Position 1: Audi R18 e-tron quattro driven by Marcel Fassler
Position 2: Toyota TS030 driven by Kazumi Nakajima
Position 3: Audi R18 e-tron quattro drivne by Dindo Capello
Position 4: Rebellion Racing Lola B12/60-Toyota
 
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