|October 2, 2008
ACO Presents Le Mans Trophy to Audi
In addition to twelve Volkswagen Group world premieres more than 1,000 journalists from around the world witnessed yet another highlight on the eve of the Paris Motor Show: Jean-Claude Plassart, President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) officially presented AUDI AG with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winners’ trophy during the Volkswagen Group evening.
The prestigious trophy is actually a challenge cup that the Le Mans winner can only hold for a year before returning it to the ACO before the start of the next race. An automobile manufacturer can only keep the trophy for ever if it wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in succession with the same team.
Audi now achieves this hat-trick for the second time after 2000, 2001 and 2002: Audi Sport Team Joest won three times in succession in 2006, 2007 and 2008 with the revolutionary Audi R10 TDI. They were the first ever victories for a Diesel Sportscar in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and further proof for the innovative power and entrepreneurial courage of AUDI AG.
ACO President Jean-Claude Plassart honoured Audi’s eight victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in his speech, before presenting the trophy amidst roaring applause to Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of the AUDI AG, Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich and Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen.
“Le Mans is and will remain one of the greatest challenges in motorsport,” said Rupert Stadler. “We are proud to have taken the hat-trick for a second time.” Stadler emphasised the special performance of the entire team this year, as it won the world's toughest race against incredibly tough opponents. Le Mans and Audi are very closely linked, which is expressed in an advertising campaign which Audi starts in the forthcoming days. Media representatives were presented with a first motif of “Le Mans” and “Le Audi”.
“The trophy will find pride of place in Ingolstadt,” said Stadler. Beforehand the impressive trophy will be on display on the AUDI AG stand during the Paris Motor Show.