Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen described his third place in this year's race as "a welcome back to earth."
The Dane had been bidding for an unprecedented seventh consecutive Le Mans victory, but the car he shared with Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello suffered a series of problems and finished 13 laps down in third.
"Maybe it is a welcome back to earth for me, but at least I am privileged to be a part of this Audi victory," said Kristensen.
"It was a very great moment, it was a very nice atmosphere in the team.
"Even though I have not done so much testing with this car, I have been a part of it (the team) since Sebring. It is absolutely wonderful."
Kristensen admitted that he knew that victory would be almost impossible after he had to bring the car in for a change of fuel injectors in the fourth hour, losing 25 minutes.
"It was early when we lost a lot of laps and we knew that it would be very difficult," he said.
"But we never gave up and in that sense I am very proud to be on the podium.
"For our car it is a little bit about the spirit of Le Mans, which is that you have to overcome the race.
"What I mean is that we faced a lot of challenges. The car was quite often in the garage but the boys did a fantastic job of getting us back out to keep fighting.
"Every time I have been a part of a team or a crew that has finished the race then I feel that we have won."