Audi: Sebring '09 among best ever
|By Matt Beer||Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 11:50 GMT|
The winning Audi crew believe this year's Sebring 12 Hours will go down in history as one of the finest races the event has ever seen.
Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello eventually defeated Peugeot's Sebastien Bourdais, Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin by 22 seconds, but there had been almost nothing to choose between the two Audis and the two Peugeots on pace for most of the distance.
"I think that's got to be one of the best Sebring 12 Hours ever, because of the competition and the intensity," said McNish.
"Right from the word go, it was a sprint race. The last two hours particularly just typified what Audi Sport is all about, the grit and the determination. We had a fantastic car from start to finish."
With relatively few yellows to interrupt its flow, the 2009 Sebring race was both the longest in distance and the fastest ever held.
Audi Motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich was delighted that the brand new R15 TDI was able to withstand such a punishing event and the incredibly quick pace.
"This is a great result for a brand new car which came to Sebring with less mileage under its wheels than we had planned," he said.
"We've seen not only the fastest 12-hour race in Sebring history, but also one of the most exciting with so many lead changes and a very tight battle between Audi and Peugeot. I can't remember that four cars have been setting almost identical lap times at Sebring for such a long time."
The result also gave Le Mans legend Kristensen another accolade, as he became the first driver to win Sebring five times.
"It's an absolutely fantastic feeling," he said. "Wow, what a race - the fastest ever race at Sebring covering a record distance. Winning with such a young car which had completed low testing miles in dry weather before we got here is amazing."