By Tarek Ramchani
Audi has just won the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours in dramatic fashion. The #2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro
crossed the finih line victorious after a thrilling and demanding 24-hour endurance event at the Circuit de La Sarthe.
The Audi brand bring home a thirteenth overall win at the big French classic. Joest Racing as team scored a record fifteenth win, eleven came with Audi Le Mans Prototype cars. Audi Sport Team Joest scored a fantastic 1-2 victory and took big and vital points in the FIA World Endurance Championship standings
The winning car shared by drivers André Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer and Marcel Fassler took the race lead back with two hours and half before the end of the race. The #2 Audi was leading earlier this morning before dropping in the standing with 23 minutes lost in its garage after a change of the turbocharger. The trio of drivers never gave up and was able to bounce back and retake the lead to the finish. This is the third outright victory for the three drivers together after the 2011 and 2012 wins.
Their team-mates Tom Kristensen, Lucas di Grassi and Marc Gené finished the race in a strong second place. The drivers of the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro faced bad luck too losing three laps whilst they were strongly leading overall. The #1 Audi took full advantage from the very long stop of the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid to take second and give Audi a fine 1-2 result. Bad luck yesterday hit the #3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The car with Marco Bonanomi, Oliver Jarvis and Filipe Albuquerque was forced to retire after a heavy crash.
Third place for the #8 Toyota TS040 Hybrid driven by Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sébastien Buemi. The very same car involved in a heavy crash yesterday which took the #3 Audi R18 e-tron quattro out of the race. This is the second straight year with Toyota cars on the podium.
Credits to Rebellion Racing, the only privateer and LMP1-L team in the field took a sensational fourth place overall with the brand new Rebellion R-One Toyota. The #12 machine was driven by Nicolas Prost, Nick Heidfeld and Mathias Beche.
Porsche for their return at Le Mans performed very well but faced a lot of bad luck. The Stutgart brand took honorable fifth and sixth places in LMP1. The #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid shared by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb in fifth just ahead of the sister and unlucky #20 in sixth place with Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and Mark Webber.
That was the 82nd running Le Mans 24 Hours. Next stop for FIA WEC teams and drivers will be at the Circuit of the Americas, September 20th.
Photo credit: Audi Media