Monday, June 13, 2011

Audi clinches tenth triumph at the Le Mans 24 Hours

Audi wins with ultra-lightweight technology at Le Mans

Impressive performance by the new Audi R18 TDI

Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer show strong nerves on the run toward victory

Ingolstadt/Le Mans, June 13, 2011 – At one of the most thrilling and

dramatic 24-hour races in Le Mans history Audi-ultra-lightweight

technology has prevailed. At 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


The drama at the 79th edition of the world’s most famous endurance could

hardly be surpassed. After Audi had lost two of its Audi R18 TDI cars as

early as in the first third of the race due to accidents all hopes were pinned

on car number “2” that had secured the 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 keep

Audi from taking victory.

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.

After 24 hours Lotterer crossed the finish line being frenetically cheered by

his team colleagues Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer and the entire Audi

squad in first place with a lead of 13.420 seconds.

"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.” André Lotterer


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 number “3” spun off the track when a GT car hit his left

rear wheel, hit the track barrier in a heavy impact and rolled over. Mike

Rockenfeller had an even greater guardian angel when he was also touched

by a GT vehicle at a speed of about 300 km/h. The Audi R18 TDI hit the

guard rails at 270 km/h. Protected by the Audi R18 TDI’s one-piece carbon

fiber monocoque, front crash absorber and other passive safety devices both

Rockenfeller and McNish were able to climb out of the wreckages uninjured.

“The safety standards at Audi are simply incredible and have saved my life,”

said Mike Rockenfeller. “It was a fantastic triumph of Audi ultra-lightweight

technology in extreme conditions,“ commented Rupert Stadler, Chairman of

the Management Board of AUDI AG. “We not only had the most reliable but

also the quickest car this year.”

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