The Le Mans 24 Hours came to a slightly predictable end with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, a clear favorite, taking the victory. The fact that this is their second win in succession as well as their twelfth win overall, made their success pretty easy to predict. Due to some last minute changes to the Le Mans regulations, Audi was forced to make more pit stops than they had accounted for, forcing them to compensate with faster times around the track. The Audi R18 e-tron was equipped with electrically driven front axles and was continuously one of the fastest cars in the race. In fact, the winning R18 e-tron ran for all 24 hours without any technical problems.
The three drivers, Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish managed to take the lead early on. They reached the coveted one lap lead over the second placed Toyota and they never let it go. However this win was sadly overshadowed by tragedy. In the words of Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport, “We were all completely shocked by the news of Allan Simonsen’s death. During his career, he also contested races in the Audi R8 LMS. It shows that you must never stop doing whatever is possible for safety in motorsport. This is the first fatal accident we’ve had to witness in 15 Le Mans years. I hope it’ll remain the last.” Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Allan Simonsen. It’s truly sad that such a hard fought and well deserved win had to come in the shadows of such a tragic event. However, congratulations are still in order for the impressive excellence in driving and engineering exhibited by the Audi team.