Audi repeats with a dominant one-two

The dominant Audi R8s crossed the line in perfect formation to take a second consecutive one-two finish at La Sarthe to clinch victory in the 69th Le Mans 24 hour race. Reigning champions Emanuele Pirro, Frank Biela and Tom Kristensen finished first, ahead of the sister car of Laurent Aiello, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori in second place

Audi repeats with a dominant one-two

The duo of Joest-prepared Audi machines slowed the entire field down to almost a stroll and completed the final lap through a sea of flag-waving marshals.

"It was a really tough race," said a grinning Kristensen. "Staying on the track was both mentally and physically tough. It's absolutely amazing to win here. I can't believe we got through it. Amazing."

According to Biela, the fact that the same trio of drivers won last year, does not detract from this year's achievement.

"I think whenever you have the opportunity to win a 24 hour race," said Biela, "especially Le Mans, then it's a very nice thing. The first one was very, very important for sure. To win it once is difficult, but to win it twice is even more difficult."

Team Bentley made it onto the podium on its return to La Sarthe after an absence of more than 70 years, with the number eight car of Andy Wallace, Eric van de Poele and Butch Leisinger finishing third.

"I have done two very wet races at Le Mans in '92 and '95, but this has bettered both of those," said Wallace. "I'm sure it was a very difficult race for everyone."

Team mate Leisinger added: "I didn't know the extent of the Bentley tradition at Le Mans. I guessed there would be a British contingent cheering us on, but I really hadn't expected the reception we got here and it was really great to be a part of that."

The ROC Competition Reynard-Lehmann of Jean-Denis Deleltraz, Jordi Gene and Pascal Fabre finished fifth overall to win the LMP 675 class, while the Ron Fellows, Johnny O'Connell, Scott Pruett Corvette came home eighth to wrap up the GTS class.

Victory in the GT category went to the Seikel Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3-RS of Gabrio Rosa, Fabio Babini and Luca Drudi.

More to follow.

shares
comments
Hour 23: Audis close up in final hour

Previous article

Hour 23: Audis close up in final hour

Next article

Audi Le Mans win dedicated to Alboreto

Audi Le Mans win dedicated to Alboreto
Load comments
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
How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car Plus

How 1971's benchmark Le Mans team lost with the best car

The JW Automotive Engineering team won twice at the Le Mans 24 Hours with ageing Fords and were considered heavy favourites to add more victories to its tally after partnering with Porsche. But despite being armed with the all-conquering 917, this formidable combination was never as successful in real life as on the big screen

Le Mans
Aug 14, 2021
Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio Plus

Why Argentina’s current great isn’t motivated by emulating Fangio

Having twice missed out on Formula 1 and reinvented himself as a touring car driver, Jose Maria Lopez has had a rocky ride to becoming a four-time world champion. One more would put him level with his nation's favourite son, but there's another prize he would value far more than the honour of matching Juan Manuel Fangio's tally

WEC
Aug 14, 2021