In case you’ve been living under a rock, this weekend marked the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was another big year for Audi, as they managed a full podium sweep, with the #1 R18 e-tron Quattro, winning the race. The car driven by Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer, was the first ever hybrid, to win at Le Mans.
I made time to watch about half the race over the last 24 hours, including the final 5 hours, which saw the #2 car (and race leader) crash at the hands of Alan McNish. After a shockingly fast 6-minute service, the #2 e-tron was back on the track, but its hopes of winning were gone. I was quite surprised to see McNish crash for the second year in a row (both times on the back of a Ferrari). He’s a driver that rarely makes mistakes and you could tell he was absolutely gutted. With rumors of this being Dindo Capello’s final Le Mans, it was a bitter sweet ending for the #2 car, who finished a commendable 2nd overall.
Audi continues to dominate the sport and is just 2 wins shy of tying Porsche’s all time record at Le Mans. This race is always a pleasure to watch and a completely different experience from Formula 1. Peugeot’s absence was definitely felt this year and after the Toyotas crashed out, Audi had no real competitors. It’ll be interesting to see who’s up for the challenge next year. I’m already looking forward it.
Photo courtesy of Michelin.