June 16, 2014 2:33:25 pm
Audi won the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race for the 13th time on Sunday in a one-two finish after a battle through the night with the factory Porsche and Toyota teams.
Switzerland’s Marcel Fassler, Frenchman Benoit Treluyer and Germany’s Andre Lotterer took the victory in the number two car ahead of the number one driven by Denmark’s Tom Kristensen, Spaniard Marc Gene and Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi.
Toyota took third place with Britain’s Anthony Davidson, Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre and Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi.
Kristensen had been chasing a record-extending 10th Le Mans victory after his triumph last year.
In what was a dramatic race all seven factory LMP1 cars encountered problems at various stages.
In the second hour a violent downpour caused two drivers to crash, which resulted in the safety car coming out for 40 minutes.
Many of the main contenders jostled for position in the first half of the race but the second half was dominated by Audi and Porsche.
The number one Audi inherited top spot 16 hours into the race when its sister car was called into the garage with turbocharger issues.
With less than three hours remaining in the race the leading Audi pitted with similar turbocharger problems.
The 17 minutes lost in the process gifted the lead to the Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and former Formula One driver Mark Webber, who had completed a quadruple stint.
However the Porsche, returning to Le Mans for the first time in 16 years, struggled to cope with the pace of Lotterer in the Audi as the trio regained the lead with two hours remaining and held on to claim their third victory in the world’s most famous endurance race.
Porsche remains the most successful manufacturer with 16 Le Mans titles.
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