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24 HOURS OF LE MANS: IT’S AUDI, 1-2-3

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Published on Sun, Jun 13, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

r15no9

The winning No. 9 Audi R15 Plus Audi banks on efficiency and reliability to beat the faster Peugeots In the end, it was—again—all about endurance. It was a nail-biter into the 22nd hour, as the faster Peugeot 908 HDi FAP of Gené/Wurz/Davidson was going at break neck speeds to catch the first-place Audi R15 plus of Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller. The pace proved to be too much of a strain for the car, as it began leaking oil. After the No.1 Peugeot was rendered out of commission, all Peugeot hopes were on the semi-works Oreca No. 4. Loic Duval was hammering the car in an attempt to catch the third place No. 7 Audi driven by Dindo Capello. Duval was within 10 seconds of third place when the engine blew. This left Audis crossing the finish line in first, second, and third place—a familiar situation for the Audi mark. Audi has won eight of the last 10 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance races. With the 2010 win, Audi has nine wins—equaling Ferrari’s record. Actually, Audi has 10 wins, if you count the parent company Volkswagen-orchestrated Audi-based Bentley Speed 8 win of 2003. Only Porsche’s track record of 16 wins at Le Mans remains untouched. According to Audi, the three R15 TDI cars did not actively participate in the chase for times in qualifying. Instead the Audi squad used every available minute to fine-tune the set-up of the cars for the race. Consequently, the Audis started the race from positions five (Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/Mike Rockenfeller), six (Dindo Capello/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish) and seven (Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Treluyer)—behind four Peugeots. All three vehicles completed programs prescribed by the engineers and technicians in order to gather as much data as possible and to test tires. “On Wednesday, we weren’t quite where we wanted to be but on Thursday we made good progress,” explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “At Le Mans, speed isn’t the only thing that counts. It’s important to have vehicles with good drivability and, above all, efficiency as well. This is what we’ve been concentrating on.” The 2010-specification Audi R15 TDI, which bears the internal project name “R15 plus” is slightly faster than the R15 that was beaten by Peugeot last year. “In addition, we now know that the R15 plus is pretty efficient in terms of tire wear and fuel consumption,” said Dr. Ullrich. “And all three vehicles were running absolutely reliably in qualifying – which is another very crucial factor at Le Mans.” This year’s winning Audi completed 397 laps at a speed of 225.228 kph—a new distance record, beating their team mates in second by one lap and the third pace Audi by three laps. The winning Audi was driven by Mike Rockenfeller, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard, with Bernhard crossing the finish line. The AIM Team Oreca No. 7 car was the first petroleum-engined racer, finishing fourth with 373 laps. First in the LMP2 division went to No. 42 Strakka Racing HPD car, finishing fifth overall. The car also won the Michelin Green X Challenge. In the GT1 class, the winner was the No. 50 Saleen, trailed by the No. 72 Corvette and the No. 52 Aston Martin. In the GT2 class, the winner was the No. 77 Porsche, trailed by the No. 89 Ferrari and No. 97 Porsche. There were 27 classified finishers. The Spyker No. 85 came in last place among the finishers. The No. 4 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP had the fastest lap, but didn’t finish. - Roy Nakano

r15no9pit

Diesel power wins Le Mans 2010 Le Mans 24: Race Final Results Place, Car No., Team, Class, Final driver, Best, Gap, Last 1. No. 9 Audi, AUDI SPORT NO. AMERICA R15 TDI (LMP1), Timo Bernhard, 3'22.282, 396L, 3'35.725 2. No. 8 Audi, AUDI SPORT TEAM JOEST R15 TDI (LMP1), Benoit Treluyer, 3'21.541 +1L, 3'34.771 3. No. 7 Audi, AUDI SPORT TEAM JOEST R15 TDI (LMP1), Dindo Capello, 3'21.965 +3L 3'34.308 4. No. 6 AIM, Team O TEAM ORECA MATMUT 01-AIM (LMP1), Andy Meyrick, 3'28.818, +29L, 3'47.845 5. No. 42 Strakka Racing-HPD, ARX.01 (LM P2), Danny Watts, 3'33.742, +30L, 3'51.169 6. No. 007 Aston, ASTON MARTIN RACING (LMP1), Stefan Mucke, 3'24.100, +32L, 3'41.589 7. No. 35 OAK Racing-Pescarolo-Judd (LMP2), Jan Charouz, 3'41.915, +37L, 3'56.573 8. No. 25 RML-Lola HPD Coupe (LMP2), Mike Newton, 3'37.921, +40L, 4'10.670 9. No. 24 OAK Racing-Pescarolo-Judd (LMP2), Jacques Nicolet, 3'48.842, +56L, 4'03.969 10. No. 41 Team Bruichladdich-Ginetta-Zytek 09S9 (LMP2) karim ojjeh3'47.974+57L3'56.409 11. No. 77 Team Felbermayr Proton-Porsche 997 GT3, RSRLM (GT2), Marc Lieb, 3'59.542, +59L 12. No. 89 Hankook Team Farnbacher-Ferrari F430 GTLM (GT2) Leh Keen, 4'01.038, +61L, 4'20.240 13. No. 50 Larbre Competition-Saleen S7RLM (GT1), Gabriele Gardel, 3'56.469, +66L, 4'13.355 14. No. 97 BMS Scuderia Italia SPA-Porsche 997 GT3, RSRLM (GT2) Richard Westbrook, 4'01.765 15. No. 72 Luc Alphand Aventures-Corvette C6.RLM (GT1), Jerome Policand, 3'55.631, +1'56.345 16. No. 95 AF Corse SRL-Ferrari F430 GTLM (GT2), Giancarlo Fisichella, 3'59.990, +74L4'09.757 17. No. 76 IMSA Performance Matmut-Porsche 997 GT3 RSRLM (GT2) Raymond Narac, 4'00.957 18. No. 28 Race Performance AG-Radical SR9-Judd (LMP2), Pierre Bruneau, 3'54.606, +1'17.315 19. No. 78 BMW Motorsport-BMW M3LM (GT2), Augusto Farfus, 4'02.306+77L4'07.081 20. No. 40 Quifel-ASM Team-Ginetta-Zytek 09S (LMP2), Olivier Pla, 3'39.604+80L3'50.322

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