Audi continues to reign Le Mans as competitors break down

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Race event, Le Mans 24h, Circuit de la Sarthefr

Audi has taken victory in the 82nd edition of the 24 hours of Le Mans with its #2 car, driven by Treluyer, Fässler and Lotterer. They finished ahead of Audi #1 and the Toyota #8.

The race started excitingly with rain mixing things up by lap 2. Around half an hour into the race, many drivers came in to change for mix or wet weather tyres as rain intensified across the entire track.

Meanwhile the Toyota #7 with Wurz starting the race soon started to pull away from the rest of the field. Audi then also moved up with #2 going into second place and #3 slotting into third place, ahead of the second Toyota TS 040 Hybrid of Davidson, Lapierre and Buemi. By that time, Porsche #14 was already down 4 laps due to problems on the car.

The slippery track then caught out Audi #3 as Marco Bonanomi crashed heavily in the Porsche curves, effectively ending the race for this Audi at a very early stage in the race. The Toyota #8 also crashed but with minor damage, allowing a return to the pits and the track afterwards, 3 laps down on the leading Toyota.

At the halfway points, Toyota #7 was still in the lead, ahead of Audi #2, Porsche #20 Audi #1, Toyota #8 and Porsche #6. In LMP2, Oak Racing #35 was leading thanks to a troublefree run in the Ligier - Nissan. GTEPro was lead by Af Corse #51 of Bruni, Vilander and Fisichella. GTEAm saw the Aston Martin Racing #95 leading, their Vantage V8 being driven by Poulsen, Heinemeier-Hansson and Thiim.

13 hours and 59 minutes into the race, Toyota's victory hopes vanished as Nakajima suddenly halted on track having lost all electric power on the car. As he failed to get back to the pits, Audi #2 took the lead, followed by Porsche #20 and Audi #1, both 3 laps down on the leader. The remaining Toyota #8 was 11 laps down, mostly due to their accident in the second hour of the race.

As the sun was out again, Audi #2 went into the pits for a turbo change that took 20 minutes, a fate that later also passed onto the then leading Audi #1. The problems made Porsche believe in their own victory changes once again, but with Webber behind the wheel just 90 minutes from the end, the #20 lost power and returned to the pits, not to be seen racing again. The Porsche #14 suffered a gearbox issue 2 laps later, also ending its race.

This effectively put the end result in LMP1 on the table with Audi #2 leading, ahead of Audi #1 and the Toyota #8 in third.

While LMP1 was mostly decided by consistency and reliability, LMP2 was more of a straight battle, often seeing the top two or three run with less than 20s in between them. In fact, one hour from the end, the fight was still tense between #38 Jota Zytek of Oliver Turvey and the #46 TDS Ligier of Ludo Badey.

It was eventually McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey who won, 30s ahead of the TDS Ligier #46. Third on the podium in LMP2 is the Signatech Alpine #36.

In GTEPro, AF Corse won in the #51 of Fisichella, Vilander and Bruni who crossed the finish line two laps ahead of Corvette Racing #73 and the #92 of Porsche Team Manthay.

GTEAm finally was won by Aston Martin Racing #95, ahead of Proton Competition #88 and AF Corse #61.

Full results at http://www.24h-lemans.com/en/race/results_2_2_2046.html


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