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For the ninth time Audi has won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and thus equalized Ferrari’s position in the roll of honor in the French endurance classic. Only Porsche’s track record reflects more victories.

At the 78th edition of the race, efficiency and reliability were the decisive factors yet again – both are special fortes of the Audi brand which has a reputation of developing highly efficient automobiles. The three Audi R15 TDI cars of Audi Sport Team Joest ran without the slightest technical problems over the entire distance and occupied the top three places after the fastest Le Mans race of all time. After 2000, 2002 and 2004, Audi thus managed to achieve a one-two-three triumph at Le Mans for the fourth time.

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Yes indeed. Congrats to Audi for the 1-2-3 finish. Wish they could have done a Truth in 24 redux for this year. I'd be interested to know what happened to the 4 Pugs.
 

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Yes...Peugeot screwed it up badly...

Some say that Peugeot was cursed ? I would rather say they screwed it up badly...
Led by the #2 PUG a few minutes after 7 am on Sunday, the #1 PUG and #4 Oreca-PUG withdrew from the race with apparently similar engine issues. The engine failures that struck the #2 PUG and #4 PUG were in particular strikingly similar. I do not believe that this is pure coincidence. While you could argue that the #1 PUG and #4 PUG failed because the drivers pushed too hard to catch up with the Audi’s, the #2 PUG was said to be “cruising” at the time the engine burst into flames. You may therefore reasonably wonder whether any of the 908’s could have reached the end of the race whatever the circumstances…
Peugeot were clearly not cursed I believe, but rather struck by a series of engine failures (except for the #3 PUG) that could well be the result of Peugeot pushing the engine “tuning” too much to the extreme. It was mentioned on Eurosport during the broadcast of the race that the 908’s engine was developing the same amount of power (if not more…) than the year before despite the new engine restrictions imposed on diesel-powered cars. WTH ?!?!? If that is true, what were the people at Peugeot expecting ? Who knows what would have happened later on during the race with the #3 PUG had the car not suffered a suspension problem…
The thing that baffles me from Peugeot is the considerable “wastage”… Why on earth were they trying to run 4 or 5 seconds quicker a lap than the Audi’s with the evident reliability risks ? Were they overly confident or trying to “crush” Audi ? Probably.
In the end, this is a very bitter and painful experience for Peugeot…and very bad for their brand image…
Like the “Very Wise” Emanuele Pirro reminded (and probably a number of other guys before him): “In order to finish first, first you have to finish”.
I like this saying so much that it has now become part of my signature :laugh:

Well done to Dr. Ullrich, Timo, Romain, Mike, Marcel, André, Benoit, Dindo, Tom, Allan and the whole Audi team :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

This was truly a great race to watch. Next time I shall try to experience it live !
 

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I just saw it as a very passionate French response. Whereas Audi would conserve for a podium finish (as witnessed last year), Peugeot's view was basically one of all or nothing and they ended up with nothing.

I got in an argument with one of our staffers last night who said it was 'anti-climactic' because Peugeot basically lost the race and Audi didn't 'take it from them'. I couldn't disagree more. Yes, I'm going to be partial to Audi but the thing about Le Mans unlike maybe a 2-hour ALMS race is that this is not a sprint. Le Mans is chess whereas a 2-hour race is checkers. In a 2-hour race you have less chance of failure, less pit time and less variables. Audi's main focus for its sportscar program has always been Le Mans and their main strategies are based around that... saving time in pits through open top design (in the past as rules heave really negated this), reliability, consistency on track with experienced endurance racers, etc. Consider the nuanced strategy and Audi did very much 'take the win' in this race. Yes, had Peugeot's not failed then Audi likely would have had to at best settled for podium but in the end Peugeot's strategy failed before their cars did. They ran ran 'just enough' to stay ahead of Audi, pacing them from the lead and letting Audi stay within striking distance of about 1 lap or even on the lead lap. When Peugeot had the inevitable longer time in the pits (just try being as quick as Joest) they lost their lead and Audi had 1-2 with the #9 and #8 cars. At that point their strategy went from bad to worse going all out to not take back podium positions but take back the lead. I think it made for one of the most intriguing races I've seen in Le Mans out of the five I've attended.
 

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I agree. I guess if it were last year, I'd argue that the result was similarly anticlimactic. Sure the R15s had not all retired, but Alan/Tom/Dindo were 6 laps down.

As Truth in 24 showed. This is less a race than a "systems challenge" which stresses teams in multiple dimensions: driving, mechanicals, teamwork, organization. It's why Le Mans is so fascinating (and all the more remarkable that Tom has won it so many times). You can overcompensate in one dimension, but chances are small that you can win that way.

Would that BP could function with such precision.
 

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I think that Porsche has the most 1-2 and 1-2-3 finishes at Le Mans, but I don't have a number, though Audi has a 100% track record with getting at least a podium at Le Mans in every start.

I also sense that there'll be more updates soon-some of the offical Audi Sport press photos(end of race/late race and podium photos) aren't up yet an then there's the Inglostadt and Neckarsulm victory celebrations on Monday.

So I guess that things are still trickling in, both here and at Audi Sport itself--Le Mans has been over nearly a week, and things are still being digested or haven't even happened yet. But having to wait nearly 2 years to win Le Mans again and waiting since 2004 to have a podium sweep, Audi and you guys can take all the time you want in my book. :)

And any further word on Peugeot and the LMIC and Oreca's LMS involvement post-Le Mans? Peugeot did put out a press release this spring stating an intent to enter the LMIC, but that seemed to hinge on Le Mans. Maybe the cracked tubs and turbocharger/engine failures rattled Peugeot, as well as the fact that the R15 seems to be more at home at Silverstone and Road Atlanta than at Le Mans.

I've been asking about the engine failures that Peugeot had, but there's no clear answer nor offical word from Peugeot, but the failure seemed to be caused by turbo failures. And then there's the rumors of Audi entering at least one more LMS race before Silverstone to sew-up the LMS championship that Audi and Allan and Dindo lead(reported on Speed's coverage of the race). Don't expect Audi to sit idly by until September, whether or not Peugeot shows up for the LMIC.
 
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