Audi dominated the Le Mans 24-Hour race with a one-three-five victory in the premier LMP1 category. This marks the second successive victory for the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, which utilizes an electrically driven front axle. With eleven other victories behind them, the drivers behind the "four rings" cars fought hard to overcome difficult weather conditions and last minute track regulation changes.
Due to the changes, the rival Toyota team could run two additional laps over the R18s before running short of fuel. The additional Audi pit stops were overcome by faster lap times that carried through the race.
Eleven safety cars were deployed during the race and more than five hours were run under yellow flags, which hindered lead time. The winning #2 car, driven by Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen, and Allan McNish, started the race from pole before gaining a one-lap advantage over the second place Toyota. The ending result was a pole-start to finish race for the #2 car.
"We owe the twelfth victory of our brand at Le Mans to the consistent, innovative spirit of our engineers, the unconditional commitment of the entire team and the skills and strong nerves of our drivers. On behalf of Audi, I extend my sincere congratulations on this success to all of them," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "This marks another great success for Audi in which our hybrid system again prevailed and new technologies, which our customers will also benefit from in the future, were tested."
If it weren't for an unexpected pit stop for the #3 R18 e-tron quattro, the results would have looked more like a one-two-three finish. The #3 car, driven by Marc Gene, Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis, was touched by a slower competitor, which resulted in a punctured tire. Completing that lap cost the #3 car two laps. In the latter part of the race, the #3 car was able to overtake the battling Toyota TS030 Hybrid, which secured them 3rd place.
The #1 car, driven by Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer, lost significant time due to a driver change. The loss resulted in a 24th position spot on the grid but was made up with an impressive 5th place finish.