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AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS

THE STORY OF THE 2011 LE MANS 24 HOURS


AUDI AGAINST A

THE STORY OF THE 2011 LE MAN


ALL ODDS

NS 24 HOURS


INTRODUCTION

The 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours will go down as an epic contest between Audi and Peugeot, one of the closest ever as the Audi crossed the finish line a mere dozen seconds after an intriguing 24 hours around the famed Sarthe circuit. Along the way two Audi’s suffered huge accidents - the first early on with Allan McNish at the wheel, and another in the night with Mike Rockenfeller in the cockpit. Both had all those watching fearful for the drivers, but for the incredible strength of the Audi R18 TDI they literally walked away unscathed. Thereafter it was three Peugeot 908’s versus the single Audi car #2. And boy di the French squad give it all in the remaining 14 hours to reel in - or rather make that derail - the German team’s sole survivor. It was about as close as motor racing can ge to WWF with non-stop action and mind games. The key was that the Audi R18, although it couldn’t run as far as the Peugeot on a tank of fuel, its tyres could last four stints, while the 908’s needed changing after three stints, a direct result of the low-drag, ultra lightweight design employed by the Audi backroom boys. Traditionally at Le Mans teams orchestrate formation finishes, with marshals waving flags on the sidelines of the race track, but with the duel for victory in full sw until the very last lap this was forfeited. Ultimately the #2 Audi crossed the line to take the tenth win for Audi, arguably the most satisfying of them all. Here we present the story of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours: AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS

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AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

CREDITS Content

Audi Kommunikation Motorsport

Photography Editor

Audi Kommunikation Motorsport Additional photography by Sutton Images

Production

E-Book by Motorsport27

Paul Velasco

r

wing

y

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PREVIEW DESTINATION LE MANS

DESTINATION LE MANS

for its tenth victory at the world’s most important endurance race. Exactly 183 days after its world In the past twelve debut in Ingolstadt the new Audi years Audi has won the 6,000 kil R18 TDI is facing a truly serious Le Mans 24 Hours nine withou challenge: When the starting lights times in races that have prob at the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours included extremely strong switch to green at 3 p.m. on 11 June rivals and has underlined 2011, Audi will have the chance its role as a technology leader in the Ingolstadt, 3 June 2011

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AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

process. The successes of the brand with the four rings have repeatedly been accompanied by technical ometers innovations. In 2001 Audi combined turbocharging ut any with direct injection lems technology. The TFSI, which made the Audi R8 nearly unbeatable, today plays a major part in

downsizing production engines. In 2006 Audi achieved the first Le Mans success of a diesel-powered vehicle. And on the occasion of last year’s one-two-three result, when the brand beat the distance record that had been in existence for 39 years at the Sarthe circuit, turbochargers with variable turbine geometry were used. 7


PREVIEW DESTINATION LE MANS

The Audi R18 TDI is yet another car packed with technical innovations – ranging from the compact 3.7-liter V6 TDI engine with a mono-VTG turbocharger to full LED headlights through to its ultra lightweight design which at the 2011 race at Le Mans will also be visually evident: The three vehicles fielded by Audi Sport Team Joest 8

sport plenty of puristic carbon fiber. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is considered an important material with respect to the coming electrification of production vehicles. Audi started to use the extremely light-weight, high-strength material in motorsport as early as in the nineteen-eighties. Despite the reduction in power


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

output due to the smaller, highly turbocharged engines prescribed in 2011 the Audi R18 TDI thanks to efficient aerodynamics achieves the same top speed at Le Mans as the predecessor model, the R15 TDI, did. The lap times set on the 13.629-kilometer race track during the test day in early May were already impressive. According to the

projections of Audi Sport’s engineers the new LMP1 sports car should have made even further steps regarding speed and consistency. During the last tests which followed the R18 TDI’s racing debut at the 1,000-kilometer race at SpaFrancorchamps the squad at Monza and Le Castellet primarily focused on 9


PREVIEW DESTINATION LE MANS

reliability and on performance to be as consistent as possible. As the acid test for Le Mans, the car had to cover a distance of 6,000 kilometers – about 600 more than it did when it clinched last year’s record victory. The R18 TDI mastered this requirement without any

problem and while fine-tuning the car the team achieved another perhaps crucially important final step. After the race at Spa Francorchamps the three race cars bearing chassis numbers R18-104 (Timo Bernhard/Romain Dumas/ 10


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Mike Rockenfeller), R18-106 (Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer) and R18-105 (Dindo Capello/ Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish) were completely dismantled at Audi Sport in Ingolstadt and reassembled with utmost care, as the most minute detail could

ruin the work of months. The three Audi R18 TDI cars arrived at Le Mans at the start of the race week where they were presented to the Technical Stewards for scrutineering in the city center of Le Mans on Monday afternoon. Audi were 11


PREVIEW DESTINATION LE MANS

the penultimate team to be inspected as a part of the squad travelled to Le Mans directly from the DTM race at Spielberg – including Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and Mike Rockenfeller, one of the three drivers that won last year’s race. The vehicles were in action for the first time in the free practice session on Wednesday afternoon. The first qualifying session was on the agenda for the evening of the same day. The final grid positions would be determined at midnight on Thursday after final 12

qualifying, with the race starting at on schedule at 3 p.m. on Saturday. At its tenth Le Mans run with a factory commitment Audi was supported by strong Le Mans partners: The roles of complet Alpinestars, Bosch, challeng Castrol Edge, Mahle, ye Michelin, O.Z. and TAG Heuer largely exceed those of classic sponsors. Most of them also providing technical support to Audi Sport for many years, for example Bosch as a supplier of


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

numerous important engine and electronic components and Michelin as a proven tyre supplier. Like Audi both use Le Mans for the technology transfer between motorsport and poses a the production side of the tely new house. ge every Before the race, ear spectators on location were able to catch a glimpse of the future of the automobile and of the Le Mans 24 Hours. As part of the presentation billed as “Le Mans vers le futur” the Audi

e-tron Spyder and the Audi Q5 hybrid were showcased – both as examples of the future electrification of the powertrain which Audi is consistently driving forward. In addition, on the day before the race, Audi presented a particularly exciting new road-going sports car at Le Mans: the R8 GT Spyder using ultra lightweight technology in many details. The “Audi ultra lightweight technology” inscriptions featured around the race track as well. Audi entertained about 1,200 guests – more 13


PREVIEW DESTINATION LE MANS

than ever before – at the venue on the race weekend. For this purpose an additional mobile Audi Terminal was established in the area of the braking zone after the start and finish from which the guests were able to enjoy a completely new view of the track. In total, the organisers estimated a turnout of more than 250,000 spectators. Millions of fans around the world watched the “race of the year” on television,. 14

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport): “Le Mans poses a completely new challenge every year Our aim and is a completely fight for different race every tenth Le time. This particularly victory w applies in 2011 due to innova the new regulations. The downsizing of the R18 T engines leads to new technical requirements which are right in line with the central theme


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

of our motorsport commitment: to test forward-thinking technology, which we can subsequently make m is to to our Audi’s available customers, in racing e Mans at the Le Mans 24 with the Hours. Furthermore, ative Le Mans is one of the most important races TDI in the world. That you can nearly cover the distance of an entire Formula One season on a

single weekend with the same car without any technical modifications makes the whole project so special. The nine Audi victories since 2000 did not occur by chance. Yet despite optimal preparation there is no guarantee for success in sport in general and at Le Mans in particular. It is our aim to fight for Audi’s tenth Le Mans victory with the innovative R18 TDI. Before the race we did everything within our means to be able to achieve this.” 15


THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #1

THE TEAM Romain Dumas • Like Timo Bernhard celebrated victory last year on his third run with Audi at Le Mans • Since last year has been enjoying particular attention with his compatriots as the first French Le Mans winner since 1999 “I’m traveling to Le Mans with a good feeling. All of our tests went well. Since the race at Spa we’ve again improved the set-up of the R18 TDI. The car is now even a little easier to drive. We’d very much like to give Audi another victory. I also wouldn’t mind sitting in this car again … I’ll continue to engage in sports activities up to the week of the race. But I’ve laid the most important physical foundation for the tough race week when I ran in the Paris Marathon in April. At Le Mans we’ll meet the same main rival again as in the previous years. Like we, they’re racing with a newly designed car. It’ll be a tough race. The motto for Saturday and Sunday at Le Mans will be: stay on track and don’t make a single mistake.” 16


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #1 Timo Bernhard • Achieved his first victory at Le Mans last year • Contests the 24-hour classic with Audi for the third time • “For the first time we’re contesting Le Mans with the “number 1” car. Last year we traveled to Le Mans more or less as underdogs or as an ‘insiders’ tip.’ This year, victory will be the benchmark we’ll be measured by. The focus is on us and we’re the hunted. And that’s exactly what we want to be! It’s been ten years that I contested the first 24-hour race in my career, and that was at the Nürburgring. Yet despite all the routine and experience the game starts from scratch again each time. This year I’m expecting a very close race between Audi and Peugeot. We’re in for 24 hours in which the smallest mistake can be crucial. In Audi Sport and Team Joest I’ve got a very strong squad backing me. Up to the last minute the crew, my team-mates and I continued to optimize and adjust everything. In addition, there was the pre-test in April which Audi didn’t have at Le Mans in the two previous years. We’re traveling to the most important race of the year thoroughly prepared.” 18


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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #1 Mike Rockenfeller • Will travel directly from the DTM race at Spielberg to scrutineering at Le Mans • Like Marcel Fässler is contesting two 24-hour races within two weeks for Audi at Le Mans and at the Nürburgring • Is competing for Audi on six consecutive race weekends “Obviously it’s very nice to run at Le Mans in the ‘number 1’ car but it makes only a relatively small difference compared to previous runs. It’s true that the pressure of having to win this race once has ceased to exist. But that doesn’t change anything with respect to the competitiveness of the field in 2011. I’m eager to see how close the competition will be this year. Even the Audi line-up with its nine drivers is well balanced. I’m contesting the DTM in Austria immediately before the Le Mans week. But right after the race at Spielberg on Sunday afternoon I’ll make a complete mental switch to Le Mans. The most important moment is always when the sun rises on Sunday morning. If you’ve made it through the night alright and are running on a promising position you’re in for a thrilling final phase.” 20


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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #2 Marcel Fässler • Is contesting three 24-hour races for Audi this year, at Le Mans, Nürburgring and SpaFrancorchamps • After Le Mans will be sharing a cockpit with Timo Bernhard at the remaining ILMC races “Le Mans will be great again this year. At our last test two weeks before the race we made another step forward. Compared with last year there are several major differences: In addition to the Audi R18 TDI being a brand new car we had our first experience with it on the Le Mans track at the pre-test in April. That’s why we’re going into the first free practice session with different prerequisites this time. I personally reeled off a large number of kilometers in the R18 TDI too. I think that this year it’ll be even more important to drive fast and without making the slightest mistake. Compared with last year, for us in car ‘number 2,’ there’s only one possible improvement. Since the Le Mans week is very strenuous you’ve got to do a good job of managing your energy.”

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #2 André Lotterer • Is only contesting Le Mans for the third time • Spent the time before the race in Southern France and Belgium “For Le Mans I came up with a very special form of preparing myself this year. After clinching a victory in the Formula Nippon I decided not to race in Japan again on the weekend immediately before Le Mans. Instead, I’m concentrating all my energy on being successful with Audi. After our test I spent some time in Southern France together with my team colleague Benoît Tréluyer. I then enjoyed nature riding my bicycle in Belgium in order to recharge my batteries. It was of great value for me to be able to live my life the way I like in this important phase before the race. In a sporting and technical sense we’re traveling to Le Mans really well prepared. The car is fast and we learned a lot in April at Le Mans and at the most recent test. Furthermore, my two team-mates are now driving with the same seat insert which will be helpful at the pit stops.”

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #2 Benoît Tréluyer • Hails from Alençon, 50 kilometers north of Le Mans • Like André Lotterer only contests Le Mans for the second time for Audi “We’re arriving at Le Mans superbly prepared. Our tests have been properly finished and are going into the 24-hour race with a good feeling. We’ve become thoroughly familiar with the R18 TDI. Externally, the closed body is the biggest difference for the fans. Of course we drivers have to adjust to that as well. But the biggest difference from the R15 TDI is that the car is much easier to drive. That’s a major advantage for this endurance race. We’re facing the most important week of the year. I’ll take a whole week off before then to get some good rest. I’m traveling to Le Mans with confidence. Last year was our year of learning as the new driver squad in the team. It would be great if we could improve by one position in the final results this year.”

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #3 Dindo Capello • Has three wins at the 24-hour race on the Sarthe under his belt • Will celebrate his 47th birthday five days after the race “The level of excitement about the greatest race of the year is steadily rising. At the last test with the Audi R18 TDI we managed to make another step forward. You can immediately feel it: The car is now easier to drive at consistently high speeds. As always, the week at Le Mans will be long. And the long wait builds up higher pressure than when you’re sitting in the car and are driving it. Now I’m allowing myself to relax before the race, which is also why I’ve decided not to contest the next race of the Italian GT Championship at Misano in the Audi R8 LMS.”

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #3 Tom Kristensen • With eight victories at just 14 events remains the all-time record holder of the race that has been held since 1923 • Is contesting Le Mans as the team-mate of Dindo Capello and Allan McNish for the sixth time in a row “Every year Le Mans is the most important race on the calendar and every year the aims remain the same for Audi: shooting for victory. With the new Audi R18 TDI this edition of the classic race is guaranteed to be another exciting one. During each week that we drove this car we were able to continue to improve it. The tests went very well which gives us a good feeling before the race. Audi Sport has done a fantastic job. Now it’s up to the team and us drivers to make use of this potential in the race. Last year a slight misunderstanding threw us out of contention for victory. For this year we’re hoping for a flawless race. We’re willing to give everything.”

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THE TEAM AUDI R18 TDI #3 Allan McNish • Clinched his first victory at Le Mans 13 years ago • Has his 30th season in racing this year “This time Le Mans will be even more difficult than before for a number of reasons. On the official test day in April the top five cars were within one second of each other, on a lap distance of 13.6 kilometers! I think that the pace of Audi and Peugeot in qualifying and in the race will be very similar. That means that we’ve got to handle our pit stops in a sure and absolutely precise manner and that we need a good race strategy. Lap times are crucial, but so is the efficient use of fuel and the tires. Since November we’ve been completing tests that were focused on lap times as well as on durability. On the test day at Le Mans we were first and second and finished our race debut at Spa in third place. We’ve finished all preparations and are fully concentrating on the race.”

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PREVIEW LE MANS FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

A LAP OF LE MANS Romain Dumas and Benoît Tréluyer are the two French factory drivers in the Audi sportscar squad. Last year they finished first and second respectively at Le Mans and are ideally suited to introduce the track. Courbe and Chicane Dunlop Romain Dumas: “Le Mans starts immediately with a great spectacle. The first corner after the start and finish is taken at full throttle. This is fifth gear and still 275 km/h in the Audi R18 TDI. However, full throttle doesn’t mean that this part is easy. You have to start to brake at the apex of the right hand corner to get the Dunlop Chicane right. You are often too fast here but the corner can only be taken at 100 km/h in second gear.” Benoît Tréluyer: “It’s an advantage that this section is extremely well illuminated during the night. This makes braking much easier. You have to be careful because you approach at very high speed and the GT cars are much slower here. Under the bridge at full throttle and off we go again through the downhill right hander.” Virage de la Chapelle Benoît Tréluyer: “At the bottom in the right kink ‘Virage de la Chapelle’ the Circuit Bugatti turns off to the right. During the 24-hour race we continue straight on.” 34

S du Tertre Rouge Benoît Tréluyer: “Then come an extremely fast corner. It’s car gets a little nervous. Un rather painfully when I had a came to Audi.”


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Virage du Tertre rouge es the ‘S’ du Tertre Rouge, Romain Dumas: “You drive through Virage du Tertre s bumpy under braking; the Rouge at 190 km/h which exits onto the long straight. fortunately, I learnt this This is why it’s very important to carry a lot of speed a big accident here before I here, because it’s not so easy to make up what you lose at the start.” Benoît Tréluyer: “In this fast right hand corner you have to place the car precisely and be aware of where the car is relative to the high outside curb. The under floor is very easily damaged on it.” 35


PREVIEW LE MANS FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

Ligne droite des Hunaudières Benoît Tréluyer: “The straight is a public highway which is only closed for the 24-hour race. Our Audi R18 TDI reaches about 320 km/h before the first chicane. Then we have to find the right braking point.”

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Ralentisseur PlayStation Romain Dumas: “Absolutely. which serve as reference po however, I prefer to concen changes color at one point. T Benoît Tréluyer: “Even thoug relatively high speed this rig easy. You brake to 100 km/h second gear.”


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

n y. There are signs here oints. During the day, ntrate on the tarmac. It This is the critical point.” gh you approach at a ght-left chicane is quite h and must shift down into

Ralentisseur Michelin Benoît Tréluyer: “On the next straight we exceed 300 km/h again before the second chicane. It’s more difficult than the first as the rear tends to step out of line here.” Romain Dumas: “There are two reasons for this: The track surface changes and there are some big bumps. So, you really have to pay attention.” 37


PREVIEW LE MANS FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

Courbe des Hunaudières Benoît Tréluyer: “In the final part of the Hunaudières Straight there is a very gentle right kink. We barely notice it as such because we are still accelerating hard from the previous chicane.”

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Virage de Mulsanne Romain Dumas: “Then we b While the highway continue roundabout, we turn gently on the way to the sharp Mu zone starts exactly in this ge Benoît Tréluyer: “The rear is under braking. Mulsanne cor that you recognize at night f distance away; because of th of spectators’ barbecues eve


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

bear down on Mulsanne. es straight on into a to the right beforehand ulsanne corner. The braking entle right corner.” s really very light here rner is a part of the track from a surprisingly long he smell: the typical aroma en wafts into the cockpit.”

Virage d’Indianapolis Romain Dumas: “We shift from second to sixth along the next straight. At this point the track is lined by trees on the left and right – this commands respect. We are travelling at over 300 km/h as we head towards the gentle right corner of Indianapolis. In this banked corner we brake hard for the 90 degree left. In my opinion it’s one of the most impressive corner combinations on the entire circuit. You shouldn’t take too many risks as the walls are very close to the track.” Benoît Tréluyer: “It’s a really good place for the spectators because we approach at lightning speed. The cherry red glowing carbon brakes are also spectacular, especially at night.” 39


PREVIEW LE MANS FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

Virage d’Arnage Benoît Tréluyer: “The crossroads at Arnage is the slowest point. The aerodynamics are also of little importance in this 90 degree right.” Romain Dumas: “Be careful at this crossing! It looks harmless and is taken at only 75 km/h, but a lot can happen. The tarmac is incredibly bad. When it rains there is no grip whatsoever. There is a tire wall immediately on the exit of the corner. It’s better not to out brake yourself here.” 40

Virage Porsche Benoît Tréluyer: “A very fast right entering the Porsche c public road onto the race tr corners is blind, however, be here. But you can smell the


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

t sequence starts with the corners. You turn off the rack again. This sequence of ecause of the topography fans’ barbecues again.”

Virage du Pont Romain Dumas: “The Porsche Curve opens a sequence of corners in which a possible mistake simply leads to the next. The first left corner, Virage du Pont, follows, then immediately after the next one which runs into the S du Karting. The first is flat, for the second you have to lift lightly. Your line has to be absolutely perfect; you also need a particularly good car here.” Benoît Tréluyer: “Correct as this sector is unforgiving. Since the test day we know that the Audi R18 TDI is very good through here 41


PREVIEW LE MANS FROM A DRIVER’S PERSPECTIVE

S du Karting Benoît Tréluyer: “The track continues with the S du Karting. It is extremely difficult. You have to be careful of the high curbs on the inside! The rear of every car is very light here. The hoards of spectators here are always very impressive.” Romain Dumas: “You can only get through this long, sweeping right hand corner quickly with a clean, fluid driving style. A good car and strong driver make the difference here. You should stay well away from the curbs because the yellow concrete bananas could damage the car.” 42

S Ford Benoît Tréluyer: “At the end is a final chicane before we You have to take care on th careful on the approach: car lane obviously brake a little bank on the applause of the watch us from the VIP Loun track to the right.” Romain Dumas: “You have to around 280 km/h for this lef can run over the curbs a litt


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

d of a short straight there rejoin the Circuit Bugatti. he approach: You have to be rs turning right into the pit earlier. We can certainly e Audi guests here. They nge directly alongside the

o brake very hard from ft-right combination. You tle, but not too much.”

Virage du Raccordement Benoît Tréluyer: “Afterwards there is a slow left-right combination leading back towards the start and finish. We need about three and a half minutes to complete the 13.629 kilometers. Pretty quick, don’t you think?” With Audi ultra on pole at Le Mans First pole position for Audi at Le Mans since 2006 Front row is firmly in Audi’s hands Audi R18 TDI also impresses with consistency

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FIRST QUALIFYING SYSTEMS CHECK

FIRST QUALIFYING: SYSTEMS CHECK

Le Mans, 9 June 2012 • Audi in lurking position • Positions two, three and four in first qualifying • Main focus was on race preparation • Accident by Romain Dumas 44

After the first qualifyi edition of the Le Mans 24 H R18 TDI cars occupy positio Audi Sport Team Joest primarily to prepare for the pursuing different programs TDI was equipped with addi


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

ing session for the 79th Hours the three new Audi ons two, three and four. t used the first practice day e race. All three cars were s on the track. One R18 itional sensors to measure

tire temperatures among other things. On another car the balance for the aerodynamics version planned for use in wet conditions was tested. The third team was mainly working on the suspension set-up. To make optimal use of the six available hours Audi Sport Team Joest chose not to intervene in the battle for provisional pole position in the final phase of 45


FIRST QUALIFYING SYSTEMS CHECK

qualifying. Only Mike Rockenfeller (Audi R18 TDI #1), André Lotterer (#2) and Allan McNish (#3) each received a set of fresh Michelin tires at the beginning of qualifying on which they moved to the front of the field. They were bumped to positions two, three and four by the best Peugeot only half an hour before the end. The fastest lap of an Audi R18 TDI was achieved by André Lotterer (3m 27.939s). Mike Rockenfeller was

merely one hundredth of a second slower (3m 27.949s). Allan McNish had no free lap and set a time of 3m 28.301s. At 22:23 Audi Sport Team Joest suffered a set-back when Romain Dumas in the Audi R18 TDI designated as car number “1” hit a GT vehicle that was standing on the track in the Mulsanne corner head on. “I saw neither yellow flags nor warning lights,” reported Dumas, who was not injured

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FIRST QUALIFYING SYSTEMS CHECK

in the accident. The safety concept of the new LMP1 sports car proved its viability as well: damage occurred primarily to body parts. A repair before the final qualifying session will be possible without any problem, particularly since all three cars will be prepared partly anew on Thursday according to 48

schedule and equipped wit “Of course it was unf happened, especially since it Romain (Dumas) and Mike ( valuable practice time,� com Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ul that the incident had relativ


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

th the race engines. fortunate that the accident t caused Timo (Bernhard), (Rockenfeller) to lose mmented Head of Audi llrich. “But we’re happy vely minor consequences.

We collected a lot of valuable data today that will help us with our race preparation. We only sent our cars out on the track on fresh tires at the beginning and immediately afterward concentrated on our work for the race again. That the quickest five cars are within just 1.8 seconds of each other confirms how close the competition is at Le Mans this year.” 49


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

FINAL QUALIFYING: POLE POSITION

Le Mans, 10 June 2012

The front row of the grid fo legendary 24 Hours of Le M • First pole for Audi at Le Mans since 2006 one of the most thrilling qu • Front row is firmly in Audi’s hands years the new Audi R18 TD • Audi R18 TDI also impresses with consistency lightweight technology prev time of 3m 25.738s and clin 50


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

or the 79th edition of the Mans belonged to Audi. In ualifying sessions in recent I and the company’s ultravailed. Benoît Tréluyer set a nched the top grid position

for Audi. His French team-mate Romain Dumas was merely 0.061 seconds slower. For Audi, this marks the sixth pole position at Le Mans in total and the first since 2006 when the brand with the four rings achieved the first victory of a diesel-powered vehicle at the world’s most 51


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

famous endurance race. Although Audi Sport Team Joest concentrated on preparing for the race again on Thursday night, the three Audi R18 TDI cars set the pace in the two final qualifying sessions. Benoît Tréluyer’s performance was particularly impressive. The Frenchman clinched the pole position 30 minutes before midnight on the 21st lap of a race 52

simulation on used tires – a LED headlights of the R18 T illumination of the track at n despite making several attem to beat Tréluyer’s fastest tim captivating qualifying in whic running within just six tenth


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

also thanks to the full TDI which ensure optimal night. The competition mpts to do so tried in vain me in the final phase of the ch the fastest six cars were hs of a second.

This was the first pole position at Le Mans for Tréluyer, who together with Marcel Fässler and André Lotterer, will start from the grid in the number “2” Audi R18 TDI. In the Audi R18 TDI trimmed for uncompromising lightweight design Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller clinched the 53


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

front row as well. The car designated as number “1” had been slightly damaged in the first qualifying session on Wednesday night. The crew of car number “3” on the other hand is in for a lot of work. While trying to push forward onto the two front rows of the grid from fifth place Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen slid against the 54

track barrier in the “Tertre extensive damage the R18 T Capello, Tom Kristensen and repaired before the race. Th fiber monocoque remained The 79th edition of th will be started on Saturday


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Rouge� section. Despite TDI driven by Dindo d Allan McNish can be he single-component carbon intact in the impact. he 24 Hours of Le Mans at 3 p.m. by FIA President

Jean Todt. Audi has the chance to secure its tenth Le Mans victory. In view of the extremely narrow time gaps between the front runners it will be more important than ever to deliver a zero-mistake performance in the race.

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FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

Quotes after qualifying: Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich Head of Audi Motorsport “The front of the field is incredibly close together at these 24 Hours of Le Mans. That doesn’t surprise me though but makes me all the happier that we’ve managed putting two of our Audi R18 TDI cars on the front row. That’s the nicest way to say thank you to the squad for their work and commitment during the past few months and also this week. Of course we know that the pole position at Le Mans means nothing yet. But our cars have been very quick on the long-runs as well. I believe that we’ve got a very good base for the race.” 56


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Ralf Jüttner Technical Director “It goes without saying that clinching the pole position at Le Mans is a great thing. But actually I’m even more pleased with the fact that we continually developed the cars further throughout the weekend. All three Audi R18 TDI are good race cars. That’s been shown by the long runs. And then, if on top if that, the qualifying session results in achieving fast times and securing the front row without really having made a major effort to do so but just grabbing the opportunity and using a little less diesel fuel in the tank and running on new tires then that’s obviously a great thing. If you consider that Benoît Tréluyer’s pole position was clinched at the end of stint then that’s further proof of how well we’ve set up the cars for the race.” 57


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

AUDI #2: POLE

Marcel Fässler “Clinching the pole position at Le Mans is a fantastic experience. Media interest is huge. The pole also demonstrates the outstanding performance capability of the Audi R18 TDI. Obviously, we’ve been doing a good job during the winter. We three drivers did our job too: All three of us were running fast and reliable. That’s a great start into the weekend – and of course a good starting base for the race.”

58

André Lotterer “Qualifying was really good was a combination of pleasu night sessions we mainly tes how they would perform on time the car was very quick Tréluyer delivered a really g in the process. I was able to of the third qualifying sessio is great but no reason to be focus was not on clinching i test program in a concentra to do this. The 24 Hours of pole is just a very small thin


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Benoît Tréluyer fun. You could say that it “I am very happy. I just really realize now that it is ure and purpose. In the just fantastic for me. I was born so close to here and sted the tires to find out the 24 Hours is such a challenge and I was not even n the long runs. At the same thinking about the pole position and then I did and it is k. My team-mate Benoît just fantastic. I’m so happy about the car, about the job good lap and clinched pole by the mechanics, engineers and it’s just such a nice o have some fun at the end present to them for all the work they have done up to on too. The pole position now. We will just try and make it to the end now. The ecome euphoric. Our main best spot on the grid is not that important it’s always it but on completing our better to get it of course but honestly what I would ated manner. We managed like to do is to be on the top of the podium at the end Le Mans are long, so the of the race. That is the most important thing.” ng.” 59


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

AUDI #1: SECOND

Timo Bernhard “Qualifying was mainly focused on set-up work and preparing for the race. We did a good job of completing our program and checked off our list item by item. That in itself makes us feel very satisfied. Being on the front row at Le Mans is fantastic. That not just one but two Audi cars are on it is positive for the whole squad. As far as our car is concerned, we never had a really free lap and were too often stuck in traffic to go on a serious chase for times. But that wasn’t our main goal. Instead we prepared our car well for the race and all three of us have been able to gather a lot of driving time and confidence. All in all it’s been a successful qualifying event.” 60

Romain Dumas “That was a great qualifying lot, which is a very importan The car was quick but unfor to get a perfect lap. The first very nice and shows clearly We were fast with new tires a good sign for the race. Ne few things to improve and t from now on.”


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Mike Rockenfeller . We improved the car a “I think we really tried a lot of things and constantly nt point for a 24 hour race. improved the car. In the end we can be satisfied. On rtunately I didn’t manage Wednesday we were a bit unfortunate when Romain t row for Audi – that is (Dumas) had an accident in which he was not at at that we are competitive. fault. A car was standing across the track in front of s and old tires and that is him. That caused us to lose a bit of time. Nevertheless, evertheless there are still a we reeled off a great program on the whole. We’re hat’s what we will work on well prepared for the race at Le Mans. Now we’ve got to see what happens. Being on position two is okay. That means you don’t start in all the commotion. It’s a good starting base.”

61


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

AUDI #3: FIFTH

Dindo Capello “It’s great that Audi is back on the pole position at Le Mans – it is a good feeling – and congratulations go to Ben. He did a great job to set his lap time. It came during the end of a long run, not even trying to qualify which makes it very impressive. Tom was trying very hard on his last lap and something happened but this kind of incident can happen. Fortunately tomorrow is a free day and we have time to fix everything and be ready for the race. We will be strong in the race”

62

Tom Kristensen “Congratulations to the tea and to Audi on clinching the was fantastic in both qualify the potential to be far at the of the night session I had a l tried another fast lap – but sectors never fit together p guys have a lot of work to d my accident and I can alread Dindo and I will give everyth them a nice reward for thei


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

ams of the two sister cars e front row. Our car, too, ying sessions today and had e front. At the beginning lot of traffic and therefore unfortunately all three perfectly. I’m sorry that the do on my car now after dy promise now that Allan, hing in the race to give r great work.”

Allan McNish “From a development for the race point of view, the car was improved a lot and I now feel very confident with the R18 TDI. We were able to push in every situation. Obviously it’s unfortunate and going to be hard work for the guys to repair after the incident at the end but these things happen. It’s part of motor racing. It’s part of pushing. But what really bodes well is that there are six cars covered by around half a second at the front of the grid. That means that we have got a fantastic race ahead.” 63


FINAL QUALIFYING POLE POSITION

64


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011 Qualifying results top ten: 1. Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer 2. Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller 3. Lamy/Bourdais/Pagenaud 4. Montagny/Sarrazin/Minassian 5. Capello/Kristensen/McNish 6. Gene/Wurz/Davidson 7. Lapierre/Duval/Panis 8. Jani/Prost/Bleekemolen 9. Collard/Tinseau/Jousse 10. Belicchi/Boullion/Smith

(Audi R18 TDI) (Audi R18 TDI) (Peugeot) (Peugeot) (Audi R18 TDI) (Peugeot) (Peugeot) (Lola-Toyota) (Pescarolo-Judd) (Lola-Toyota)

65

3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m

25.738s 25.799s 26.010s 26.156s 26.165s 26.272s 30.084s 32.883s 33.066s 34.573s


THE RACE THE START

SATURDAY 15H00 THE START

66


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

67


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 1 Audi Sport Team Joest has lost one of its three Audi R18 TDI cars in the Le Mans 24 Hour race owing to a heavy accident. Allan McNish (#3) had just taken the lead on lap 15 when he collided with a GT car in the “Virage de la Chapelle� section of the track. He crashed into the armco barrier at high speed and 68

rolled. McNish got out of th and was taken to the Medic precautionary checks. Until 15:50 hrs all three Audi R18 field by a considerable marg


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

he car without assistance cal Center at the track for the time of the accident at 8 TDI cars were heading the gin.

Positions after 1 hour: 1 Audi #1 2 Audi #2 3 Peugeot #8 4 Peugeot #7 5 Peugeot #9 6 Peugeot #10 69


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 1 • 14:30 Weather: cloudy, 17 degrees • 14:40 Starting drivers: #1 Bernhard #2 Tréluyer #3 McNish • 14:52 Formation lap begins, starting positions: #2 #1 #9 #8 #3 #7 #10 #12 #16 #13 • 15:00 Start: #2 P1 #1 P2 #3 P4 • 15:02 Positions after lap 1: #2 P1 #1 P2 #3 P4 • 15:22 Position change: #3 overtakes #8 • 15:25 #2 slight contact with a GT car • 15:32 #1 and #3 pit stop: diesel • 15:35 #2 pit stop: diesel • 15:36 Position change: #1 passes #2 • 15:39 Position change: #3 passes #2 • 15:50 Accident of #3 McNish after contact with GT car, Safety Car • 15:51 Safety Car • 16:00 #1 P1, #2 P2

70


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

71


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 2 The second hour of the race was completed at low speed fully behind the Safety Car following the crash of Allan McNish, who was examined at the Medical Center of the circuit. Following the wish of Audi’s team doctor, McNish was taken for precautionary further checks to a hospital. 72

Report - Hour 2 • 16:30 News from the Me is okay.


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

edical Center: Allan McNish

Positions after 2 hours: 1 Audi #1 2 Audi #2 3 Peugeot #7 4 Peugeot #9 5 Peugeot #10 6 Peugeot #8 73


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 3 After three hours, the #2 Audi R18 TDI led. BenoĂŽt Treluyer was running on the same set of Michelin tires since the start.Timo Bernhard (#1) had to come into the pits prematurely due to damaged front bodywork. The team took advantage and made driver and tire change. At 1800 hrs the #1 was running in fourth 74

place. Allan McNish returne examinations at the hospita suffer any injuries in his mas first hour of the race.


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

d to the race track. The l confirmed that he did not ssive accident during the

Positions after 3 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Audi #1 5 Peugeot #10 6 Peugeot #8 75


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 3 • 17:02 Restart after lap 23, #1 P1, #2 P2, #7 P3, #9 P4, #10 P5 • 17:03 Position change: #2 passes #1 • 17:09 #1 and #2 pit stop: diesel • 17:24 Position change: #2 passes #1 • 17:27 Position change: #7 passes #1 • 17:35 #1 pit stop: diesel, tires, new nose, Bernhard out, Dumas in. P6 • 17:48 #2 pit stop: diesel • 17:55 Position change: #1 passes #10 • 18:00 #2 P1, #1 P4

76


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

77


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 4 After four hours of racing, the #2 Audi R18 TDI was leading the Le Mans 24 Hours. Benoît Treluyer handed over the car to Marcel Fässler. The sister car (#1) with Romain Dumas at the wheel was running in fourth place. 78

Report - Hour 4 • 18:15 #1 pit stop: diesel • 18:28 #2 pit stop: diesel, t • 18:55 #1 pit stop: diesel • 19:00 #2 P1, #1 P5


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

tires, Tréluyer out, Fässler in

Positions after 4 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #8 5 Audi #1 6 Peugeot #10 79


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 5 The lead continued to swap amongst Audi and Peugeot in the fifth hour depending on the fuel stops. At 2000 hours, Marcel F채ssler (Audi R18 TDI #2) was running 14.4 seconds behind the leading Peugeot that had made one pit stop less at that time. A spin cost Romain Dumas some time but no 80

position. The #1 car was in the leader.


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

n 4th place 1m 23s behind

Positions after 5 hours: 1 Peugeot #7 2 Audi #2 3 Peugeot #9 4 Audi #1 5 Peugeot #8 6 Peugeot #10 81


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 5 • 19:09 #2 pit stop: diesel • 19:35 #1 pit stop: diesel • 19:47 #1: Spin in Tertre Rouge • 19:48 #2 pit stop: diesel • 20:00 #2 P1, #1 P4

82


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

83


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 6 Mike Rockenfeller took over the Audi R18 TDI #1 from Romain Dumas at 20:16 hrs. With constantly quick lap times, “Rocky” edged closer and closer to the third-placed Peugeot #9. Marcel Fässler (#2) took the lead shortly before the six-hour mark. He headed the field at 21:00 hrs by 1m 01s. 84

Report - Hour 6 • 20:16 #1 pit stop: diese Rockenfeller in • 20:28 #2 pit stop: diese • 20:56 #1 pit stop: diese • 21:00 #2 P2, #1 P5


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

l, tires, Dumas out, l l

Positions after 6 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #8 5 Audi #1 6 Peugeot #10 85


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 7 TDI #2 cockpit from Mar In the seventh hour the two Audi R18 TDI 21-second lead at 2200 hr prototypes continued to be the fastest cars in the field. Mike Rockenfeller chased the #9 Peugeot and got ahead into P3 thanks to a quicker pit stop. Within a few laps he opened a gap of 40 seconds. At 2109 hrs, AndrĂŠ Lotterer took over the R18 86


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

cel F채ssler and held a rs.

Positions after 7 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #8 5 Audi #1 6 Peugeot #10 87


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 7 • 21:09 #2 pit stop: diesel, tires, Fässler out, Lotterer in • 21:36 #1 pit stop: diesel • 21:36 Position change: #1 passes #9 • 21:39 Position change: #2 passes #7 • 21:49 #2 pit stop: diesel • 22:00 #2 P2, #1 P3

88


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

89


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 8 Shortly before 2300 hrs Audi lost a second car at due to a heavy accident. Mike Rockenfeller collided with a GT car while approaching Indianapolis corner and crashed into the barriers at high speed. The carbon monocoque of the R18 90

TDI resisted the massive out of the car on his own medical centre at the circ time of the accident both cars had a 1-2 lead in the


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

impact. Rockenfeller got n and was taken to the cuit for checks. At the h of the Audi R18 TDI e race.

Positions after 8 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #8 5 Peugeot #10 91


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 8 • 22:15 #1 pit stop: through gravel bed at pit entry, diesel • 22:25 #2 pit stop: diesel • 22:25 Position change: #1 passes #7 • 22:40 #1 (Rockenfeller): serious accident after collision with a GT car while • approaching Indianapolis corner, Mike Rockenfeller got out of the car on his own and will be checked at the medical centre of the circuit • 22:44 Safety car period, accident of Audi R18 TDI #1 • 23:00 #2 P1

92


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

93


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 9 After his accident Mike Rockenfeller was taken to the medical centre of the circuit. He was conscious and talking before being taken to hospital for further examinations. After eight hours of racing car #2 is leading. 94

Report - Hour 9 • 00:00 #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Positions after 9 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #7 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #8 5 Peugeot #106 Peugeot #10 95


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 10 The entire tenth hour was completed behind the safety car due to ongoing repairs to the track. Audi Sport Team Joest used the caution period for a driver change in which the #2 Audi R18 TDI kept the lead. 96

Report - Hour 10 • 00:21 #2 pit stop: diese Tréluyer in • 01:00 #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

el, tires, Lotterer out,

Positions after 10 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #8 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #7 5 Peugeot #10 97


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 11 After about 2h 15m behind the Safety Car the race went green again shortly after 1 am. Benoît Tréluyer controlled the pace at the front of the field and had a 2m 06s lead over the best Peugeot at 2 am. 98

Report - Hour 11 • 01:03 Restart lap 134 • 1:32 #2 pit stop: diesel • 01:41 Rockenfeller to s • 02:00 #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

l stay in hospital overnight

Positions after 11 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #8 3 Peugeot #9 4 Peugeot #7 5 Peugeot #10 99


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 12 Halftime at Le Mans: After twelve hours of racing Marcel Fässler, Benoît Tréluyer and André Lotterer were leading the race in the #2 Audi R18 TDI. Tréluyer did consistantly quick lap times during his stint. 100

Report - Hour 12 02:12 #2 pit stop: diesel • 02:52 #2 pit stop: diese • 03:00 #2 P1


el

AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Positions after 12 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #9 3 Peugeot #7 4 Peugeot #8 5 Pescarolo #16 101


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 13 Driver c h a n g e : M a rc e l F ä s s l e r t o o k over the cockpit o f t h e # 2 A u d i R 1 8 T D I f rom Benoît Tr éluye r. A u d i c o n t i nu e s t o l e a d t he race with the Sw i s s d r i ve r d o i n g h i s s t i n t . 102

Report - Hour 13 • 03:29 #2 pit stop: dies Fässler in • 04:00 #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

sel, tires, Tréluyer out,

Positions after 13 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #9 3 Peugeot #7 4 Peugeot #8 5 Pescarolo #16 103


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 14 Audi co n t i nu e s a t t h e f ro n t g ro u p with its #2 R18 TD I . A s a fe t y c a r p e r i o d j u s t before the 15th ho u r m a r k , t h e l e a d i n g c a r s are in close proxim i t y, a f t e r w h i c h M a rc e l F ä s sler lost the lead du e t o a d i f fe re n t p i t s t o p r hythm. 104

Repor t • 04:10 • 04:46 • 04:59 • 05:00

- Hour 14 #2 pit stop: die #2 pit stop: die Safety car peri #2 P3


e s el e s el od

AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 14 hours: 1 Pe u g e o t #9 2 Pe u g e o t #7 3 Audi #2 4 Pe u g e o t #8 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 105


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 15 At sunr i s e , A u d i c o n t i nu e s t o h e a d the standin g s w i t h t h e # 2 R 1 8 T D I d r i ven by Marcel F ä s s l e r. A f t e r a n o t h e r s a fe ty car period, t h e S w i ss d r i ve r o n a q u a druple stint was jus t a h e a d o f Pe u g e o t ’s A n t h o ny Davidson. 106

Repor t • 05:22 • 05:28 • 05:41 • 06:00

- Hour 15 Restar t after la #2 takes lead #2 pit stop: die #2 P1


ap 202

e s el

AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 15 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Pe u g e o t #7 3 Pe u g e o t #9 4 Pe u g e o t #8 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 107


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 16 A n d r é L o t t e r e r c h a s e s t w o Pe u g e o t s a f t e r he took over the #2 Audi R18 TDI driving d u t y f ro m M a rc e l F ä s s l e r, w h o h a n d e d t h e c a r o ve r i n f i r s t p o s i t i o n a f t e r a n o h t e r safety car period. 108

Repor t - Hour 16 • 06:06 Safety car peri • 06:29 Restar t after la • 06:36 #2 pit stop: die Lotterer in • 07:00 #2 P3


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

od ap 217 e s el, tires , F 채 s s l e r o u t ,

Po s i t i o n s after 16 hours: 1 Pe u g e o t #9 2 Pe u g e o t #7 3 Audi #2 4 Pe u g e o t #8 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 6 Lola #12 109


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 17 A s a l l t h r e e Pe u g e o t s p i t s t o p a t t h e s a m e time , André Lotterer regained the lead just after 7 am. The German setting a new fastest race lap of 3m 25.289s. The safety car was o n c e d e p l o y e d a g a i n a t 0 7 : 3 7 h r s . A u d i t a ke a d v a n t a g e a n d m a d e a n e a r l y d r i ve r c h a n g e . 110

Repor t - Hour 17 • 07:05 #2 retakes the • 07:12 #2 pit stop, die • 07:37 Safety car peri • 07:58 #2 pit stop, die Tréluyer in • 08:00 #2 P3


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 17 hours: l ead 1 Pe u g e o t #7 e s el, P3 2 Pe u g e o t #9 od 3 Audi #2 e s el, tires , L o t t e re r o u t , 4 Pe u g e o t #8 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 6 Lola #12 111


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 18 B e n o î t Tr é l u y e r f o u g h t a g a i n s t t h e Pe u g e o t cars #9 and #7 in spectacular fashion. The Frenchman retook the lead and immediately built up an advantage. After 18 hours, he led the race by a margin of 13.418 seconds. 112

Repor t • 08:07 • 08:42 • 09:00

- Hour 18 Restar t after la #2 pit stop: die #2 P1


ap 241 e s el

AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 18 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Pe u g e o t #9 3 Pe u g e o t #7 4 Pe u g e o t #8 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 6 Pe u g e o t #10 113


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 19 W h i l e B e n o î t Tr é l u y e r e x t e n d e d h i s l e a d i n t h e A u d i R 1 8 T D I # 2 a g a i n s t t h e Pe u g e o t # 9 u p t o h i s p i t s t o p, t h e Pe u g e o t # 7 d ro p p e d back after an accident. Thus Audi and one Pe u g e o t w e r e l o c ke d i n a h e a d - t o - h e a d duel, the pair one lap ahead of the next 114

c o m p e t i t o r. M e a n w h i l e h i s t o m o re t h a n h a l f a t o p i t s t o p e a t t wo m i n


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

, Tr é l u ye r ’s i n c r e a s e d a minute when he had nutes to ten.

Po s i t i o n s after 19 hours: 1 Pe u g e o t #9 2 Audi #2 3 Pe u g e o t #8 4 Pe u g e o t #7 5 Pe u g e o t #10 6 Pe s c a ro l o #16 115


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR Report - Hour 19 • 09:19 #2 pit stop: diesel • 09:58 #2 pit stop: diesel • 10:00 #2 P2

116


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

117


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 20 B e n o î t Tr é l u y e r c o n t i n u e d t o a t t a c k , n e a r l y doubling the gap in the Audi R18 TDI #2 to almost one minute. In pursuit, in second was S é b a s t i e n B o u r d a i s i n t h e Pe u g e o t # 9 . W i t h f o u r h o u r s t o g o, t h e 2 0 1 1 e d i t i o n o f t h e L e Mans 24 Hour race was tight and tense. 118

Repor t - Hour 20 • 10:38 #2 pit stop: die • 11:00 #2 P1


e s el

AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 20 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Pe u g e o t #9 3 Pe u g e o t #8 4 Pe u g e o t #7 5 Pe s c a ro l o #16 6 Pe u g e o t #10 119


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 21 A f t e r a q u i n t u p l e s t i n t , B e n o î t Tr é l u ye r handed over the Audi R18 TDI #2 to André L o t t e re r. H e a d d e d 1 5 s e c o n d s t o t h e l e a d b e f o re p i t t i n g t w o m i n u t e s f ro m n o o n . A u d i ke p t t h e Pe u g e o t # 9 i n t h e d i s t a n c e a s a d r i z z l e s p i c e d a n e p i c r a c e u p e v e n m o re . 120

Repor t - Hour 21 • 11:17 #2 pit stop: die Lotterer in • 11:57 #2 pit stop: die • 12:00 #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Po s i t i o n s after 21 hours: e s el, tires , Tr é l u ye r o u t , 1 A u d i # 2 2 Pe u g e o t #9 e s el 3 Pe u g e o t #8 4 Pe u g e o t #7 5 Pe u g e o t #10 6 Pe s c a ro l o #16 121


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 22 André Lotterer maintained the lead with the Audi R18 TDI #2, despite light rain which caused difficult track conditions in the 22nd hour of a classic race. At this time it was re p o r t e d t h a t M i ke R o c ke n f e l l e r h a d b e e n d i s c h a r g e d f ro m h o s p i t a l i n t h e m o r n i n g . 122

Repor t • 12:20 • 12:33 • 12:39 • 13:00

- Hour 22 Light drizzle #2 off the tra c #2 pit stop: die #2 P1


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

k at seco n d c h i c a n e e s el

Po s i t i o n s after 22 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Pe u g e o t #9 3 Pe u g e o t #8 4 Pe u g e o t #7 5 Pe u g e o t #10 6 Lola #12 123


THE RACE HOUR BY HOUR

Race Facts - Hour 23 Repor t - Hour 23 F i e rc e b a t t l e f o r v i c t o r y a t t h e L e M a n s 2 4 • 13:24 #2 pit stop: Di h o u r s c o n t i n u e d u n a b a t e d a s A u d i e n t e re d • 14:00 #2 P1 the final 60 minutes of the endurance classic in the lead. Behind the wheel in the Audi R 1 8 T D I # 2 w a s A n d r é L o t t e r e r. 124


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

e s el

Po s i t i o n s after 23 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Pe u g e o t #9 3 Pe u g e o t #8 4 Pe u g e o t #7 5 Pe u g e o t #10 6 Lola #12 125


THE RACE THE FINISH

SUNDAY 15H00 THE FINISH

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AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011 Race Facts - Hour 24 A u d i c ro s s e d t h e f i n i s h l i n e to win the 2011 Le Mans 24 H o u r s , a we l l d e s e r ve d v i c t o r y a f t e r a f i e rc e b a t t l e t h ro u g h o u t t h e d ay, n i g h t a n d d ay a g a i n . The R18 TDI with Benoît Tr é l u ye r ( F ) , M a rc e l F ä s s l e r ( C H ) a n d A n d r é L o t t e re r (D) sharing driving duties, t r i u m p h e d b y t h e n a r ro w m a r g i n o f 1 3 . 8 5 4 s e c o n d s o ve r t h e i r Pe u g e o t # 9 r i v a l s . Repor t • 14:04 • 14:22 • 15:02

- Hour 24 #2 pit stop: diesel #2 pit stop: diesel, tires #2 P1

Positions after 24 hours: 1 Audi #2 2 Peugeot #9 3 Peugeot #8 4 Peugeot #7 5 Peugeot #10 6 Lola #12

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AUDI VICTORY AGAIN

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NST ALL ODDS

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THE AFTERMATH AGAINST ALL ODDS Le Mans, 12 June 2011 • Audi clinches tenth triumph at the Le Mans 24 Hours • Impressive performance by the new Audi R18 TDI • Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer show strong nerves on the run toward victory After one of the most thrilling and dramatic 24-hour races in Le Mans history Audi-ultra-lightweight technology prevailed. During the fascinating thriller, which kept 250,000 spectators at the race track and millions in front of their TV sets watching in awe, Marcel Fässler (Switzerland), André Lotterer (Germany) and Benoît Tréluyer (France) in the innovative Audi R18 TDI clinched the tenth Le Mans victory in total for the brand with the four rings. The drama at the 79th edition of the world’s most famous endurance can hardly be described. After Audi had lost two of its Audi R18 TDI cars as early as in the first third of the race due to dramatic accidents all hopes were pinned on car #2 that had secured pole position in qualifying for Audi. For 16 hours Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer were on their own in the battle against three factory-fielded Peugeot cars that left no stone unturned to 130


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THE AFTERMATH AGAINST ALL ODDS keep Audi from taking victory. On Sunday morning the four quickest vehicles were still within just a few seconds of each other at the front of the field. The lead kept changing, also on account of the different strategies. And Fässler, Lotterer and Tréluyer continually brought the performance advantage of their diesel sports car to bear which, in the first year of the engine downsizing, was clearly the fastest car in the field at Le Mans. At 3m 25.289s André Lotterer on the 229th race lap even managed to beat the fastest time set in qualifying. The reliability of the new Audi R18 TDI was impressive as well. Across the entire race distance the vehicle designated as car #2 did not have the need to come in for a single unscheduled pit stop. Only a problem with the fuel tank caused a bit of a headache for Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich and the Technical Director of Audi Sport Team Joest, Ralf Jüttner. The full 65-liter capacity could not be used. Consequently, André Lotterer had to achieve a sufficient lead for an additional refueling stop in the final phase – in extremely difficult conditions in drizzling rain at times which made the track extremely slippery. 132


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Lotterer mastered this hurdle as well. After the final stop the German started his last stint with a seven-second advantage over the second-placed Peugeot. In the end he crossed the finish line after 24 hours being frenetically cheered by his team colleagues Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer and the entire Audi squad in first place with a lead of 13.854 seconds. For the three Audi drivers who had finished as the 134

runners-up last year this ma exploit – and the tenth for A “It was a fantastic triu lightweight technology in ex commented Rupert Stadler, Management Board of Audi the captivating race himself celebrated a record victory


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

arked the first Le Mans Audi. umph of Audi ultraxtreme conditions,” Chairman of the AG, who had watched in the pits. “After we last year primarily thanks

to reliability and efficiency, we not only had the most reliable but also the quickest car this year.” Management Board Member for Development Michael Dick said, “The team as well as the entire Audi squad did a first-class job that deserves great respect. This tenth Le Mans success of our brand was no doubt the one that required the toughest battle – which perhaps also made it the most valuable one. At 135


THE AFTERMATH AGAINST ALL ODDS

the same time, albeit involuntarily, we proved that our engineers design very safe cars.” Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller sustained no injuries in extremely severe accidents in the first third of the race. McNish in the Audi R18 TDI designated as car #3 had taken the lead shortly before the end of the first hour when a GT car hit his left rear wheel in the “La Chappelle” section. The R18 TDI spun off the track, hit the track barrier in a heavy 136

impact and rolled over. The A carbon fiber monocoque wi was able to climb out of the and returned to the race tra medical check at the hospita Mike Rockenfeller had angel when shortly before 1 position two he was also to on the left rear wheel while


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

Audi R18 TDI’s one-piece ithstood the crash. McNish e wreckage uninjured ack after a precautionary al. d an even greater guardian 11 p.m. while running on ouched by a GT vehicle e running at a speed of

about 300 km/h. The Audi R18 TDI turned left and at 270 km/h hit the guard rails on the entrance to the “Indianapolis” turn. The carbon fiber monocoque developed and produced by Audi using a new type of technology withstood the impact. The front crash absorber and all other passive safety devices of the car fulfilled their purpose as well. Rockenfeller was able to climb out of the wreckage. As a precautionary measure, last year’s 137


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winner spent the night in the hospital but was released again on Sunday morning. “The safety standards at Audi are simply incredible and have saved my life,” said Mike Rockenfeller. “I’ve never had such an accident before in my career and hope I’ll never have such an experience again.” Allan McNish commented in a similar vain: “I want to thank the Audi designers for having developed a car that you can climb out of unharmed after such severe accidents.” On clinching its tenth victory in 13 years Audi 140

has added another impress story at the Le Mans 24 H success of a TFSI engine in a diesel-powered car in 20 with variable turbine geom again triumphed with innov “Audi ultra technolo acid test this weekend,” sa Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich after t finish line. “If you pursue n involves a risk. But this risk


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

sive chapter to its success ours. After the first 2001, the first triumph of 006 and the first exploits metry, VTG, last year Audi vative technology. gy has passed an extreme aid Head of Motorsport the car had crossed the new paths this always k has absolutely paid off.

The Audi R18 TDI was in a class of its own at Le Mans 2011. Particularly due to the two extremely serious accidents this has been the most difficult Le Mans race for us in an emotional sense so far. That our team managed to keep the strong competition at bay for 16 hours with just one car is almost unbelievable. Everyone at Audi can be proud of this triumph. However, the news that Allan (McNish) and Mike (Rockenfeller) came out of these extremely heavy accidents so well is at least as important as that of the tenth Audi victory.� 141


THE AFTERMATH THE WINNERS Marcel Fässler

The dream did come true and it’s really fantastic because we worked hard for this all winter “This has been a tremendous day. The last six hours were incredible. It just seemed like they wouldn’t pass. When I looked at the time I kept thinking it had stopped. I said to myself: The clock can’t be running, it would have had to be over a long time ago. I tried to stand somewhere where I couldn’t listen to any commentators. But that was simply impossible. You could see the dream coming closer and closer. And then there were moments when everything became increasingly difficult, like the situation with the slow puncture just before the end when André (Lotterer) was driving. And then you start trembling again: Will the dream really come true. And then it did come true. It’s really fantastic. We worked hard for this all winter. Le Mans is the most important race. I’m particularly happy to be the first Swiss to have won it.” 142


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THE AFTERMATH THE WINNERS André Lotterer

I’m very happy Allan and Rocky are okay and despite the accidents we have got a reason for joy “It was a very intensive race. I was pushing like crazy from the first to the last minute. I felt no boredom in the car. I gave everything that was possible. And I had no choice but to do that either. In the end it worked out. I’m simply happy that together we’ve managed to do this. All the mechanics and everyone else worked so hard to prepare the car. This is a great reward for many hours of overtime. Due to the two accidents yesterday was a difficult day for Audi Sport. I’m very happy that Allan (McNish) and Rocky are okay and that despite the accidents we’ve got a reason for joy.”

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THE AFTERMATH THE WINNERS Benoît Tréluyer

The victory belongs to the team that has gathered here today “We’ve won an incredible race. A fantastic feeling! That was clearly a team victory. We only did the driving. The biggest job was the preparation. Without a fast and reliable car like our Audi victory at a 24-hour race wouldn’t have been possible. I’d also like to mention Marco (Bonanomi) who helped us very much. The victory belongs to the team that has gathered here today. It’s like in soccer: If just one person is missing you can’t win. It’s particularly nice that I attended the same racers school here at Le Mans as Marcel (Fässler) and Sébastien (Bourdais). This makes it all the better to be on the podium here at this venue with them.”

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THE AFTERMATH THE WINNERS Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich Head of Audi Motorsport

The sweetest result we have ever had at Le Mans “2011 was no doubt the most difficult Le Mans race we’ve ever contested – but in the end with the sweetest result we’ve ever had as well. From such a difficult situation we managed to recover again on our own power and in the end to defeat – albeit with a narrow margin – our really strong competitors from Peugeot. After eight hours we’d lost two of our three cars and knew that it would be extremely difficult with just one car. The entire squad gave everything to do the best for this car. Of course the drivers had to drive it. And they did a really fantastic job – although it was the squad with the least experience at Le Mans. Of course it’s extremely important that Allan (McNish) and Mike (Rockenfeller) came out of both accidents, which were really severe, without any injuries.”

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THE AFTERMATH THE WINNERS Ralf Jüttner Technical Director Audi Sport

I don’t think this has ever happened before “A completely crazy race – I don’t think the world has ever seen anything like this before. Maybe there have been races at Le Mans before with an even closer outcome. But to be dueling with several cars over the period of 24 hours within gaps of just seconds – I don’t think this has ever happened before. It was really nerve-racking. Everyone who has been here will only realize what happened a few days from now. After Spa we were sitting together. Not everything was going as planned there. At that time Jo Hausner wished for us to have a race here in which Audi and Peugeot would be within seconds of each other up to the end. And that’s exactly what we got – I could curse him for that ... It was a great victory for Audi – but also for Allan (McNish) and particularly for Mike (Rockenfeller). We had horrible accidents. We’ve got to thank Audi for building such safe cars.” 150


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2011 LE MANS FACTS & STATISTICS

2011 LE MANS FACTS & STATS Ingolstadt, 17 June 2011 • 249,500 spectators witnessed one of the closest finishes ever • Lowest fuel consumption of all Audi races at Le Mans • Up to 54 consecutive laps with one set of Michelin tires Audi recorded its tenth victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with ultra lightweight technology, an innovative V6 TDI engine and the first ever use of full LED headlights. The most important facts of a memorable race: After 24 hours the Audi R18 TDI with start number “2” had a winning margin of exactly 13.854 seconds over the second placed Peugeot. This equates to 763 meters. The victorious Audi R18 TDI covered 4,838.295 kilometers. The average speed was 201.266 km/h. The race was neutralized five times, four hours 46 minutes (44 laps) were spent behind the two safety cars. The longest full-course yellow lasted 2 hours 20 minutes. 152


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249,500 spectators witnessed Audi’s tenth victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, the brand with the Four Rings now holds second place alone in the all time winners list of the world’s most important endurance race. Only sister company Porsche has more wins (16 from 61 races). Audi’s winning ratio is an impressive 76.9 per cent.

Audi scored a podium result in all 13 Le Mans 154

events – ten of these factor 1999 Audi recorded 32 finis these wins, five second place Audi achieved 24 of a possib (61.5 per cent) in the proce

For Reinhold Joest’s t victory in the 24 Hours of L Audi. If you include the wins


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

ry efforts. In 42 starts since shes (76.2 per cent), ten of es and nine third places. ble 39 podium positions ess.

eam it was the twelfth Le Mans, the eighth with s scored by Dauer Racing

(1994) and Bentley (2003), in which the team was also involved, Joest Racing is credited with 14 Le Mans wins. Audi recorded a rare Le Mans hat-trick with pole position, fastest race lap and victory. The fastest lap set by an Audi R18 TDI in the race (3m 25.289s) was more than a second faster than the best from Peugeot (3m 26.298s). André Lotterer even undercut Benoît Tréluyer’s pole position time from qualifying in the process. 155


2011 LE MANS FACTS & STATISTICS The Audi R18 TDI was superior to its rivals at Le Mans and specifically in the fast corners. In the final sector of the circuit, to which the famous “Porsche Curves” belong, the Audi was eight tenths of a second faster than the best Peugeot. Top speed recorded by an Audi R18 TDI in the race on the Hunaudières straight:336.4 km/h. Following the Audi R8 (2000) and the Audi R10 TDI (2006) the Audi R18 TDI is the brand’s third LMP1 sportscar to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the first attempt. The lead changed hands a total of 46 times during the race. Four different cars led the race. Audi topped the leader board for 261 of the 355 laps. The winning car was credited with the most laps (246) in the lead. The victorious Audi R18 TDI visited the pits 31 times. Start number “2” spent 33 minutes 56 seconds in pit lane (“pit in” / “pit out”). The car was stationary for only 21m 03s. The triumphant trio completed the entire race distance with only nine sets of Michelin tires. The eighth and final tire change was only 156


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2011 LE MANS FACTS & STATISTICS required because the left rear tire lost air.Benoît Tréluyer completed the longest stint on the same set of tires – 54 laps (five stints). The 3.7 liter V6 TDI in the Audi R18 TDI consumed an average of only 37.08 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers and therefore less than 40 liters for the first time since Audi competes at Le Mans – helped in part by the long safety car phases. The chassis number of the victorious Audi R18 TDI is R18106. The Audi Sport Team Joest mechanics gave the car the nickname “Red Sonja”. Marcel Fässler is the first Swiss driver in history to win the race. The three victorious Audi drivers Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer can boast an impressive record: up to now they started twice for the factory Audi team at Le Mans, mounting the podium on both occasions. The first Le Mans victory for all three follows last year’s second place. All nine Audi drivers who started in 2011 have now at least one Le Mans victory to their name. A total of 14 drivers have won Le 158


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2011 LE MANS FACTS & STATISTICS

Mans with Audi to date: Seiji Ara (1), Timo Bernhard (1), Frank Biela (5), Dindo Capello (2), Romain Dumas (1), Marcel Fässler (1), Tom Kristensen (6), JJ Lehto (1), André Lotterer (1), Allan McNish (1), Emanuele Pirro (5), Mike Rockenfeller (1), Benoît Tréluyer (1) and Marco Werner (3). Benoît Tréluyer was only the fifth driver in Le Mans history to have won the race from pole position 160

(awarded since 1963) and th seventh car to win from the number “2” won for the sixt It was the eleventh victory Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfga was also involved in Bentley 2003. It was the 28th Le Ma automobile manufacturer an


AUDI AGAINST ALL ODDS THE STORY OF LE MANS 2011

he Audi R18 TDI only the e pole. A car with the start th time since 1923. at Le Mans for Head of ang Ullrich. The Austrian y’s win at the 24 hours in

ans victory for a German nd also the 28th for a

closed car. A diesel powered car won for the sixth time, Audi TDI technology lays claim to five of these. It was the 20th Le Mans victory for Audi tire partner Michelin, 14th in a row and the 10th with Audi. The number of retirements in the 79th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was particularly high: only 28 of the 56 cars that started reached the finish. 161


2011 LE MANS FINAL FRAME

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Audi Against All Odds: 2011 Le Mans Story  

Audi won the 2011 Le Mans 24 hours race in dramatic style

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