Audi vows to fight back next year
|By Stuart Codling||Sunday, June 14th 2009, 15:17 GMT|
Audi has vowed to fight back after its five-year winning streak at Le Mans was ended by Peugeot's victory in this year's race.
The German manufacturer had won every race at Le Mans since 2004 - and since 2000 if the 2003 Bentley project is included, but that streak was ended today as Peugeot dominated the 77th running of the event.
Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich shrugged off the lack of pre-race running for the new R15 car and insisted that Audi will come back stronger.
"We agreed to the cancellation of the test day, it was the same for everybody," he said. "If we didn't make the best of what's available, it's in our hands.
"I'm a fan of this race and I'd like to come back. And I think our board meeting will have the same idea, because after eight years winning, and one year losing, it's time to try to win again."
The R15 suffered a number of technical problems and could finish no higher than third in the experienced hands of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Rinaldo Capello.
"We won at Sebring against Peugeot, first time out, and that's something we're very proud of," said Kristensen. "Le Mans is something different. We've come here with a new car before but we missed the pre-test this year. And Peugeot have raised their game, there's no doubt about that.
"We had some issues. We weren't happy with the balance of the car, especially in hot conditions. Through the night it was okay but we also had other challenges - too high temperatures, so we had to turn it down on-track, but that didn't help so we had to take it into the garage quite a lot.
"This takes nothing away from Peugeot. We acknowledge that we have been beaten, and we will sit down together and find out what we have done wrong."