LE MANS, France — Audi won the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the twice-around the clock classic for the 11th time in the last 13 years Sunday afternoon at the famed Sarthe Circuit.
Drivers Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer shared the wheel of the winning Audi R-18 E-tron Quatro, completing 378 laps and defeating their team car of Allan McNish, Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen by a full lap.
It was the first triumph for a hybrid-powered car in the event.
It was the second consecutive victory for Lotterer, Fassler and Treyluyer in the world’s most famous endurance race, but came after an all night fight with McNish’s No. 2, which was determined when McNish made a slight mistake in the 23rd hour of competition, costing his team time.
“It was as tough a race as last year. It was on edge the whole time,” said Lotterer. “At first it was finding your rhythm and then it was flat out through the whole race. It was a great fight and the end we were a bit luckier than the No. 2 car.
“It is fantastic. It is an honor to join the guys that have won this race twice.”
Third-place went to the Audi of North America R-18 wheeled by Mike Rockenfeller, Oliver Jarvis and Marco Bonanomi.
The Starworks HPD ARX team took the LMP 2 victory with drivers Ryan Dalziel, Vicente Potolicchio and Thomas Kimber-Smith doing the driving.
In the GT Pro category, it was former Formula One driver Giancarlo Fisichella leading the Ferrari 458 Italia operation to victory along with co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander.
Finally, the Larbre Competition Chevrolet Corvette took the checkered flag first in the GT Am classification with Patrick Bornhauser, Julien Canal and Pedro Lamy driving.
Highcroft Racing’s experimental DeltaWing car retired from the race after 75 laps and was scored 52nd overall.
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