Sunday, June 13, 2010

Audi wins 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place victory

. Sunday, June 13, 2010

As the clock struck the 24th hour of the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was Audi taking the checkered flag in a dominating 1-2-3 victory. Leading the pack was Timo Bernhard in the #9 (Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller), Benoît Treluyer in the #8 (Fässler/Lotterer/Treluyer) and Dindo Capello in the #7 (Capello/Kristensen/McNish) rounding out 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively. The Audi R15 TDI 'Plus' proved that in face of faster competition from Peugeot, efficiency and reliability ultimately won this race. We are truly overjoyed with Audi's epic Le Mans victory. It's days like today that make us proud to be quattroholics!

The race was far from complete Audi domination however. Despite an early retirement of the #3 Peugeot 908 HDi due to suspension issues; Peugeot held a strong lead, proving to have a faster car and consistently clocking blistering lap times. Although, Peugeot proved to have an Achilles heel. Over time, the 908's began suffering mechanical issues. Eventually, each remaining Peugeot would be out of the race due to engine failures. Unlike Peugeot, the Audi R15 TDI cars were nearly bullet-proof, running the entire race with no mechanical issues. In a story reminiscent of "the tortoise and the hare," Audi's strategy of efficiency and reliability proved victorious in the long run.

"Everyone at Audi can be proud of this historic exploit. Reliability, efficiency and sustainability are particularly important topics for car manufacturers today. And these are exactly the areas in which we have demonstrated our expertise this weekend,” commented Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler, who witnessed the captivating race live on location. "It was one of the most thrilling races in Le Mans history, a do-or-die battle. This one-two-three victory is the fourth 1-2-3 for Audi at Le Mans and no doubt the most valuable victory claimed after the fiercest battle in our company’s history. I express my thanks and great respect to the entire squad. They have performed an incredible and flawless feat of energy. Peugeot was a formidable rival who required us to give everything. We express our respect to the French squad for this.”

"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.”

In addition to logging the fourth 1-2-3 victory for Audi (2000, 2002, 2004 & 2010); the winning R15 TDI driven by Bernhard, Dumas and Rockenfeller set a new Le Mans distance record, completing a total of 397 laps and 5,410 kilometers in the 24 hours. Rounding out the record keeping, today's victory also marks Audi's ninth Le Mans win, matching Ferrari's record of second-most overall Le Mans victories.

For more detailed coverage of the race, visit our Le Mans hourly recap.

Written/compiled by
Quotes and photos via Audi Motorsport