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Audi wins incredible Le Mans 24 Hours

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 12th June, 2011 - 10:59pm

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The victorious Audi team on the podium

The victorious Audi team on the podium

Andre Lotterer has brought home a famous victory for Audi and his co-drivers Bernoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.

The team which lost its #1 and #3 entries to heavy accidents early on, beat its leading Peugoet rival by just 13s after an absorbing race-long battle.

Lotterer took the wheel with 3 hours and 40 mins remaining after an unprecedented five-stint run from Treluyer, and kept his nerve despite intermittent rain and a charging Simon Pagenaud in the #9 entry.

Pagenaud trailed Lotterer by just 6.5s after the pair pitted together with just over half an hour remaining, before the Audi driver pulled away during the final stint thanks to his team’s decision to take new tyres.

It was a race-long duel between the Audi and the Peugoets

It was a race-long duel between the Audi and the Peugoets

The two cars had swapped the lead continuously throughout the race as the surviving Audi proved faster but less fuel efficient than its French rivals.

Nicolas Minassian brought the #8 Peugeot home third, two laps down on the winner, ahead of Marc Gene in the sister #7 car.

Car #8 was delayed momentarily by brake issues before nightfall on Saturday, and fell further behind when handed a 60s stop-go penalty for a pitstop infringement in the early morning. A gamble on intermediate tyres in the closing stages failed to pay dividends for the all-French line-up.

Car #7 remained in contention until Hour 19 when Alexander Wurz made contact with the barriers at Indianapolis – dropping the car four laps that it would never recover.

The #7 and #8 Peugoets were both involved in questionable manoeuvres in the final hours, as the lapped entries slowed the #2 Audi where possible in order to help their team-mate’s cause.

The Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot fought back from a night-time crash to take fifth place, ahead of the #12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota and the #22 Kronos Racing Lola-Aston Martin.

It was all about the Corvettes in the GT classes

It was all about the Corvettes in the GT classes

Eighth outright and first in LMP2 was the Graeves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan, which ended the 24 Hours six laps ahead of the #26 Signatech Oreca-Nissan. The #33 Level 5 Motorsports Lola-HPD was third in class and 10th outright, a further lap adrift of the Signatech entry.

Corvette Racing recovered from seeing its #74 car crash out of the lead in GTE Pro during the morning to take the win with its #73 entry, after Antonio Garcia managed to hold off Giancarlo Fisichella in the AF Corse Ferrari in the final stint.

A Corvette also took out GTE Am, thanks to the efforts of Labre Competition. The French team took a class one-two as its Porsche survived a spin in the final 10 minutes at Arnage to secure second in class.

The race will forever be remembered for the monumental accidents that saw the retirement of the #1 and #3 Audis after separate collisions with GTE Ferraris. Thankfully drivers Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller were both able to walk away from the high-speed crashes.

Le Mans is always spectacular

Le Mans is always spectacular

Jean-Christophe Boullion also crashed heavily during the race – ending the #13 Rebellion Racing Lola-Judd’s race in the Porsche Curves during Hour 14.

The Pescarolo squad took the hardest blow of the day however, with Emmanuel Collard crashing the team’s #16 car out of a long-standing fifth place in the final hour as the track became damp.

CLICK HERE for more on McNish’s crash.

CLICK HERE for more on Rockenfeller’s crash.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s Hour 18 race update.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s Hour 12 race update.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s Hour 6 race update.

See below for the full result

Pos No. Car Team Class Gap
1 #2 Audi Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1
2 #9 Peugeot Team Peugeot Total LMP1 +   13.854
3 #8 Peugeot Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 +   2 Laps
4 #7 Peugeot Peugeot Sport Total LMP1 +   4 Laps
5 #10 Peugeot Team Oreca-Matmut LMP1 +  16 Laps
6 #12 Lola Rebellion Racing LMP1 +  17 Laps
7 #22 Lola Kronos Racing LMP1 +  27 Laps
8 #41 Zytek Greaves Motorsport LMP2 +  29 Laps
9 #26 Oreca Signatech Nissan LMP2 +  35 Laps
10 #33 Lola Level 5 Motorsports LMP2 +  36 Laps
11 #73 Corvette Corvette Racing GTEP +  41 Laps
12 #36 HPD RML LMP2 +  41 Laps
13 #51 Ferrari AF Corse GTEP +  41 Laps
14 #49 OAK OAK Racing LMP2 +  42 Laps
15 #56 BMW BMW Motorsport GTEP +  42 Laps
16 #77 Porsche Team Felbermayr-Proton GTEP +  43 Laps
17 #76 Porsche IMSA Performance Matmut GTEP +  44 Laps
18 #80 Porsche Flying Lizard Motorsports GTEP +  45 Laps
19 #40 Oreca Race Performance LMP2 +  51 Laps
20 #50 Corvette Larbre Competition GTEA +  53 Laps
21 #70 Porsche Larbre Competition GTEA +  54 Laps
22 #65 Lotus Lotus Jetalliance GTEP +  60 Laps
23 #75 Porsche Prospeed Competition GTEP +  62 Laps
24 #66 Ferrari JMW Motorsport GTEP +  65 Laps
25 #35 OAK OAK Racing LMP2 +  67 Laps
26 #68 Ford Robertson Racing GTEA +  70 Laps
27 #83 Ferrari JMB Racing GTEA +  83 Laps
28 #44 Norma Extr LMP2 + 108 Laps
29 #16 Pescarolo Pescarolo Team LMP1 Retired
30 #55 BMW BMW Motorsport GTEP Retired
31 #74 Corvette Corvette Racing GTEP Retired
32 #81 Porsche Flying Lizard Motorsports GTEA Retired
33 #48 Oreca Team Oreca-Matmut LMP2 Retired
34 #63 Porsche Proton Competition GTEA Retired
35 #13 Lola Rebellion Racing LMP1 Retired
36 #61 Ferrari AF Corse GTEA Retired
37 #59 Ferrari Luxury Racing GTEP Retired
38 #71 Ferrari AF Corse GTEP Retired
39 #88 Porsche Team Felbermayr-Proton GTEP Retired
40 #42 HPD Strakka Racing LMP2 Retired
41 #60 Aston Gulf AMR Middle East GTEA Retired
42 #39 Lola PeCom Racing LMP2 Retired
43 #89 Ferrari Hankook Team Farnbacher GTEP Retired
44 #58 Ferrari Luxury Racing GTEP Retired
45 #64 Lotus Lotus Jetalliance GTEP Retired
46 #57 Ferrari Krohn Racing GTEA Retired
47 #24 OAK OAK Racing LMP1 Retired
48 #1 Audi Audi Sport Team Joest LMP1 Retired
49 #5 Oreca Hope Racing LMP1 Retired
50 #62 Ferrari CRS Racing GTEA Retired
51 #15 OAK OAK Racing LMP1 Retired
52 #79 Aston Jota GTEP Retired
53 #20 Zytek Quifel-ASM Team LMP1 Retired
54 #3 Audi Audi Sport North America LMP1 Retired
55 #007 AMR-One Aston Martin Racing LMP1 Retired
56 #009 AMR-One Aston Martin Racing LMP1 Retired

 

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