|June 17, 2007
Audi Stays in the Victory Lane at Le Mans
AUDI AG has continued its impressive series of victories in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in extremely difficult conditions. Frank Biela (Germany), Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany) repeated their success from last year thus giving Audi their seventh victory in the French endurance classic. For the second consecutive time, the Audi R10 TDI claimed victory. The revolutionary diesel sportscar from Ingolstadt remains unbeaten at Le Mans.
In the 75th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hour race, Audi again gave an impressive proof of "Vorsprung durch Technik”. The Audi R10 TDI was the fastest and the most reliable car in the field. From the first to the last lap, one of the three diesel sportscars from Ingolstadt headed the field.
More than 260,000 spectators witnessed one of the most exciting 24 Hour races in the history of Le Mans. Changing weather conditions at the beginning claimed the Audi R10 TDI with start number 3 when Mike Rockenfeller left the rain-soaked track on his third lap and collided backwards into the armco barriers.
The impressive showing of Dindo Capello, Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish came to a premature end as well: After having controlled the race with a considerable margin for more than 16 hours, the left rear wheel of their Audi R10 TDI loosened on Sunday morning. Dindo Capello who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Sunday was behind the wheel of the car. He had no chance of avoiding the accident.
Thus, during the last five-and-a-half hours, all hopes for Audi were left on the shoulders of the Audi R10 TDI with start number 1 of Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro and Marco Werner. Conditions were extremely difficult owing to torrential rain in the final phase of the race, however, the established Audi drivers mastered this task with bravado. The impressive winning margin of Marco Werner over the second-placed Peugeot was ten laps at the finish line.
After its seventh Le Mans triumph, Audi has moved up to third place in the historic records during the 75th edition of the French endurance classic. Only Porsche and Ferrari have won at Le Mans more often than Audi.
"This was certainly the most difficult race that we have ever contested at Le Mans”, said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG after the finish. "So this victory counts even more. On the race track, we have shown once more that we have the best technology, the best drivers and the best team. Everybody within Audi can be proud of this success.”