Vorsprung durch human touch

Audi's Le Mans clean-sweep on Sunday had teutonic efficiency stamped all over it, to the extent that it was easy to forget the human side

Vorsprung durch human touch

Winning the French endurance classic, along with co-drivers Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, meant notched up his second victory, the first coming in 1997 in a TWR Porsche also run by Reinhold Joest, team boss of Audi's Le Mans squad. With two conquests of the great La Sarthe race to his name, what next for the Dane?

"Personally I would love to race with Joest Audi again," smiled Kristensen, "but you will have to ask Mr Joest as I have had my success with him. If he wants me to drive then great. As far as my immediate future goes, the main thing is to have a big party."

Despite its clinical-like performance, the German team could not escape all controversy. Perhaps the most discussed subject of the race was Audi team orders - and whether they existed. shed some light on the subject.

"The best thing about working with Dr Ullrich," said the Italian, "is that he trusts the drivers very much and relied upon our judgement not to do anything stupid, but he told us not to forget that we work for Audi. Between us drivers we had to rely on the common sense of each other, but there was of course no way it was a race right to the end."

Much attention has - not surnprisingly - been lavished upon the sleek, silver R8 LMPs, but did they drive as good as they looked? German seemed to think so.

"The new car is better than the old one for sure," enthused Biela. "Everything we learnt from last year came onto the new car and as a result we were very optimistic before coming here. The car worked perfectly."

Perfect it most certainly was and Le Mans 2000 will be remembered as Audi's race. The interesting bit comes when and if they return next year, and where the all-conquering drivers go from here.

For full results of Le Mans 2000 click here.

shares
comments
Audi to quit Le Mans on a high?

Previous article

Audi to quit Le Mans on a high?

Next article

Vorsprung durch human touch

Vorsprung durch human touch
Load comments
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021
Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers Plus

Why GTE's future is a conundrum with no easy answers

The convergence between the World Endurance Championship and IMSA over LMDh regulations offers a bright future for sportscar racing, but the imminent demise of IMSA's GT Le Mans class creates wider issues to which no catch-all solution exists

GT
Feb 3, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Plus

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it

GT
Jan 23, 2021
Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65 Plus

Why a lost F1 hope is still in demand aged 65

There's a saying among retired folk that life begins at 60, but endurance specialist Alain Ferte has never used the 'R' word. Some 40 years since his crowning glory in F3, he's still a driver in demand and gunning for more 24-hour racing success this weekend

GT
Jan 15, 2021