Audi Le Mans win dedicated to Alboreto

The Le Mans-winning Audi trio of Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro dedicated their second consecutive victory in the French endurance classic to their late team mate Michele Alboreto

Audi Le Mans win dedicated to Alboreto

The Italian was set to drive at Le Mans this year, but was killed while testing this weekend's race-winning Audi R8 sportscar model at the Lausitzring in April.

Pirro spoke candidly after winning what has been described as one of the toughest Le Mans ever after the race was beset by intermittent heavy rainfall throughout. The Italian says losing Alboreto made it very hard for the him to come back to La Sarthe this year, but also made Sunday's victory all the more special.

"The more difficult things are, the more satisfying they are when you achieve them," said Pirro. "It's like climbing Mount Everest - it's bloody tough. It was very hard after what happened with Michele... It was in-house and it was difficult to come here. But it makes this achievement really incredible."

The number one Audi dominated the race and was followed home by the sister car of Laurent Aiello, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori. This year's whitewash from the Ingolstadt marque comes after works Audis finished one-two-three at Le Mans last year.

The R8 machines were expected to dominate again this year, but Pirro insists that this only makes winning harder and although the cars led for 23 of the 24 hours, the 39-year-old says there was a lot of luck involved.

"We have a huge responsibility, because those bloody cars, they never break," said Pirro. "Everybody expected us to win, that's for sure. But those with a bit of motor racing knowledge know that there is no such thing as a sure win. You have to go through lots of question marks, problems and dangers before it happens. And I really mean it - to have an achievement like this you really need a lot of luck as well."

shares
comments
Audi repeats with a dominant one-two

Previous article

Audi repeats with a dominant one-two

Next article

Johnny Herbert Q&A

Johnny Herbert Q&A
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Plus

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
The standout memories of Le Mans 2021 Plus

The standout memories of Le Mans 2021

OPINION: With four of the five Hypercar entries unproven in a 24-hour race, it would not have been unexpected for at least one of them to suffer serious reliability trouble. That they all managed to make it through the race relatively unscathed, says GARY WATKINS, was something of a surprise.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Plus

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks Plus

How overlooked Mazda produced one of Le Mans' greatest shocks

The screaming rotary-engined Mazda 787 is regarded as one of the most popular Le Mans 24 Hours-winning cars, but until its surprise success on this day 30 years ago it was never regarded as a likely victor. But that reckoned without a new technical partner, some canny political manoeuvring and a rival's bizarre self-inflicted weakness

WEC
Aug 22, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Plus

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Plus

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021
The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans Plus

The Asian underdog taking on the mighty GT factories at Le Mans

The rising HubAuto team steps up to GTE Pro at Le Mans this year for an ambitious bid to take on the three works giants – and has every reason to be optimistic of achieving its goal in becoming the first privateer on the podium since 2016

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021