The German carmaker has been the king of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since the early 2000s with twenty-five successes achieved in La Sarthe divided between its different cars and the three driver crews who will drive the new R18 on the 11th and 12th June.
First there was the R8, a pioneer and winner in 2000-2001-2002-2004-2005. The R10 TDI succeeded it with three victories in 2006-2007-2008, and became the first to win the 24 hours with a diesel engine. In 2010 Audi won again with the R15 TDI Plus having covered 5410 km, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller beat the distance record, held since 1971 by the Porsche 917 of Gijs van Lennep and Helmut Marko. That makes nine wins.
For he trio of drivers who won in 2010 in the R15+ #1, it was their first victory at the 24 Hours, but in the number #3 there were three drivers with an impressive record; eight wins for Tom Kristensen, three for Dindo Capello and two for Allan McNish. Never in the history of Le Mans has a trio of drivers with such a record driven the same car. That brings us to our total of 25 victories.
Marcel Fässler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer in the R18 #2 have never won in La Sarthe, but they showed a good burst of speed at 1000 km of Spa-Francorchamps. The three Audi driver teams will each have good reasons for wanting to win this year in La Sarthe. The saga of the German Le Mans is far from over: a great sporting rivalry and new records undoubtedly lie ahead for the greater glory of the legendary 24 Hours ...
Photo : Dominique BREUGNOT - ACO/Nikon
ACO/ lemans.org/acreditated media press.
Photo: SPA-Francorchamps (Belgium), 1000 KM OF SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, May 7, 2011. Third behind the Peugeot 908, the "old masters" Capello / Kristensen / McNish (44 years average age). We have probably not heard the last word from them at Le Mans