Skip to content

Audi reigns for fourth consecutive year at Le Mans

Jun 23, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT

AUTO-FRA-MOTOR-RACING-ENDURANCE Getty Images

Audi’s dominance continues at the biggest sports car race in the world.

For the fourth consecutive season, the German manufacturer is on the top step of the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with now nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen of Denmark taking the checkered flag in the No. 2 Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro along with co-drivers Loic Duval and Allan McNish.

One of Audi’s sister teams, the No. 3 of Oliver Jarvis, Lucas di Grassi, and Marc Gene will join the podium as well, placing third behind the runner-up No. 8 Toyota Hybrid squad of Sebastien Buemi, Stephane Sarrazin and Anthony Davidson.

It was not an altogether perfect race for the Audi camp, with the seventh-hour problems of the No. 1 R18 (Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer) eventually causing it to fall back to fifth place at the finish, 10 laps off the pace of the No. 2. But in a race that battled to achieve a steady rhythm through a staggering amount of safety car periods, the 4-Rings’ combo of Kristensen, McNish and Duval (who put the No. 2 on the pole for this 90th anniversary edition of Le Mans) turned in a tremendous performance.

“They’re all special but this one is amazing,” Audi Sport’s Brad Kettler told SPEED Channel. “The adversity we went through, having the guys work together – just incredible. The competition was amazing. I don’t know what to say, it’ll take me a while to figure it out.”

The subsequent podium celebration for the two Audi teams and the No. 8 Toyota group was a relatively subdued one following the death of Danish driver Allan Simonsen in the first hour of the race yesterday morning.

“They’re all emotional for different reasons – this one was obviously tender after everything that happened in the race, especially with the unfortunate accident at the beginning,” three-time Le Mans winner McNish told SPEED before going to the podium.

“That obviously played a little bit into Tom on the Danish side of things, but from my point of view and [the team’s] point of view, we had to work so hard and be so clean and tidy in difficult weather conditions. That was definitely the toughest, mentally difficult race that I’ve ever done here, without any question.”

For Duval, it is his first triumph at Le Mans in his fifth career start there.

Latest Posts
  1. Tony Kanaan isn’t counting, but Indianapolis 500 milestone means much

    May 23, 2015, 6:04 PM EDT

    Tony Kanaan Tony Kanaan

    Chip Ganassi Racing driver will make his 300th career start Sunday.

  2. GP2: Richie Stanaway and Status secure maiden victory

    May 23, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    © GP2 Series © GP2 Series

    After taking the lead at the start, Stanaway goes wire-to-wire to take his first GP2 win in Monaco.

  3. Alonso: McLaren “too fragile at the moment”

    May 23, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren Honda drives during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Spaniard suffers another issue on his car during qualifying on Saturday, leaving him P15 on the grid before penalties.

  4. Formula E: Di Grassi disqualified, handing win to Jerome d’Ambrosio

    May 23, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Jerome D`Ambrosio (L-R) of Team Dragon Racing, Lucas Di Grassi of Team Audi Sport Abt and Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi of team edams-Renault pose during the victory ceremony after the 2015 Fia Formula E Berlin championships in Berlin May 23, 2015. Di Grassi won, D`Ambrosio placed second and Buemi placed third.  AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Audi Sport ABT driver delivers a crushing win in Berlin at the disused Tempelhof airport, only to then be disqualified in the hours following the race.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Eli Tomac defends Lucas Oil Pro Motocross points lead at Glen Helen

    May 23, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Photo: George Crosland/ProMotocross.com Photo: George Crosland/ProMotocross.com

    Live coverage from Glen Helen starts with the pre-race show at 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra and continues with first motos at 5 p.m. ET. Second motos will be live on NBCSN at 7 p.m. ET.

  6. Ricciardo frustrated to only qualify fourth in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo  during the qualifying session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Red Bull driver matches his best qualifying result of the season, but feels a top three grid slot was within reach.

  7. “Karamo” aside, Sage Karam looks for big things in second Indy 500

    May 23, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    A pink Camaro, a Justin Bieber reference and an improved maturity level: all in the second month of May for Chip Ganassi’s rising star, Sage Karam.

  8. Grosjean to face five place grid penalty in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Lotus F1 Team's French driver  Romain Grosjean  drives during the third practice session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET        (Photo credit should read JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Lotus driver will start tomorrow’s race from 15th place on the grid.

  9. Will young guns buck veteran-dominated trend in Indy 500?

    May 23, 2015, 1:45 PM EDT

    WillJPMHelio Getty Images

    While the likelihood is of a veteran triumph, can one of IndyCar’s relative “next generation” break through in the Indianapolis 500?

  10. Vettel: Fight for pole impossible after fall in temperature

    May 23, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during qualifying for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Ferrari driver explains how the fall in temperature ahead of qualifying meant Ferrari could not challenge Mercedes in Monaco.

  11. Carlos Sainz Jr to start Monaco GP from pit lane

    May 23, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    xxxx during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. Getty Images

    Toro Rosso driver dropped to the back of the grid after failing to complete a weight check during qualifying on Saturday.

  12. Williams drivers hopeful of points in spite of poor Monaco GP qualifying

    May 23, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 21:  Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams drives during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 21, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas limped to their worst qualifying results of the season in Monaco.

  13. Will Power: “It’s the first time I feel I have a shot at winning” Indianapolis 500

    May 23, 2015, 11:09 AM EDT

    Indianapolis 500 - Coors Light Carb Day Getty Images

    Team Penske credits an oval-whelming improvement during his 2014 championship season.

  14. Lack of rhythm costs Rosberg in battle for pole in Monaco

    May 23, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's German driver Nico Rosberg  drives during the third practice session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Rosberg falls short in his bid for a third successive Monaco GP pole position.

  15. The best news of the Indy weekend: Hinchcliffe posts photo of him walking

    May 23, 2015, 10:08 AM EDT

    James Hinchcliffe James Hinchcliffe

    Hinchcliffe, in a hospital gown, up and walking, in utterly fantastic news.

  16. Hamilton delighted with “incredibly special” Monaco pole

    May 23, 2015, 9:34 AM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton gestures as he celebrates  taking the pole position in the parc fermee after the qualifying session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / POOL / BORIS HORVAT        (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Despite having 42 pole positions to his name before today, Lewis Hamilton had never had one in Monaco – until now, that is.

  17. Hamilton storms to first Monaco GP pole position

    May 23, 2015, 9:06 AM EDT

    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team's British driver Lewis Hamilton  drives during the third practice session at the Monaco street circuit in Monte-Carlo on May 23, 2015, ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC        (Photo credit should read ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Hamilton rallies to claim pole position for the first time in Monaco.

  18. WATCH LIVE: Monaco GP qualifying on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET

    May 23, 2015, 7:45 AM EDT

    MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 23:  Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives during final practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 23, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) Getty Images

    After Sebastian Vettel finished fastest in practice, can Ferrari take the fight to Mercedes for pole position today?