It's the - almost - forgotten Audi in the German manufacturer's line of LMP machinery straddling nearly 20 years, and the ugly duckling of the pack. Yet the R15-plus TDI didn't just add to the marque's tally of Le Mans 24 Hours victories in 2010, it did so at a record speed. Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller broke the long-standing distance record set by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep in 1971 and hold it to this day.
There was, however, a massive element of good fortune to the ninth of Audi's 13 wins at Le Mans in the battle of the turbodiesels 10 years ago. The final incarnation of the V12-powered Peugeot 908 HDi outgunned the revised version of the R15, which had endured a disastrous debut at the Circuit de la Sarthe 12 months before. But what looked like certain victory for the French manufacturer was lost with a major engine issue on Sunday morning.
- More Le Mans 24 Hours features
- What we'll miss about Le Mans this weekend
- When the Andrettis teamed up to take on Le Mans
- Giant-killers: The day an unlikely French hero won Le Mans
- Top 10 best-looking Le Mans 24 Hours cars ranked
- How Hill set Alonso a challenge for the future
The leading Peugeot shared by Franck Montagny, Nicolas Minassian and Stephane Sarrazin held an advantage of two laps when almost bang on 7am the first named pulled over with flames licking from the right-hand exhaust. The remaining two 908s, both striving to make up for earlier delays, would succumb to the same problem before the race was out.