Le Mans 24 Hours final hour: #1 Audi crew wraps up victory

Andre Lotterer delivered home the #1 Audi R18 e-tron hybrid to a famous and historic victory in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours as the German manufacturer became the first in history to win the French race using energy-harvesting technology and four-wheel drive

Le Mans 24 Hours final hour: #1 Audi crew wraps up victory

It was the second successive victory for the #1 crew of Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler, and in the last hour it was a case of cruise and collect for the German as he kept the R18 on the black stuff.

The #1 car led for much of the race, interrupted only twice when Nicolas Lapierre cheekily put the Toyota briefly in front in the early stages, and more recently in the morning when Allan McNish put on a burst before crashing behind a Ferrari at the Porsche Curves.

The #2 hybrid driver kept on pushing post repairs, but in the last hour handed over to co-driver Tom Kristensen who it seemed was intent on securing second for his squad on Dindo Capello's last appearance at Le Mans. There are, after all, World Endurance Championship points at stake.

Former winner Mike Rockenfeller brought home the #4 R18 ultra, three laps off the lead, to make it an Audi 1-2-3.

Neel Jani meanwhile completed a monster quadruple stint to deliver Rebellion Lola its best finish at Le Mans in fourth.

The other Audi ultra - #3 - in the hands of Loic Duval kept the afterburners lit right to the flag, but in all honesty the car was never going to recover fourth after all its problems.

Peter Dumbreck brought home the JRM HPD in sixth ahead of LMP2 winner and Daytona 24 Hours runner-up Ryan Dalziel, who brought the Starworks HPD home a creditable seventh.

Giancarlo Fisichella took the flag in GTE Pro with a brilliant win for AF Corse after racing through from the back, following the Italian's massive Porsche Curves shunt on Wednesday.

Adrian Fernandez never did quite catch Frederic Makowiecki in the end, so second place in class went to Luxury Racing, but Aston Martin has certainly signalled its intent.

The battle for GTE Am honours raged right to the end, and it was only after the last stops when Pedro Lamy's Larbre Corvette passed Anthony Pons's IMSA Porsche 911 RSR with 17 minutes to go that the matter was settled even before a puncture for Imsa.

So, in the end, Lamy proved to be the only Peugeot refugee to stand on the top step of the podium in 2012.

NOTES

- #2 and #3 Audis both crash in the 22nd hour requiring substantial front end repairs, ending McNish's challenge for the lead and further delaying Dumas's recovery.

- #1 Audi gets rear bodywork damage in incident with #74 Corvette, then goes wheel to wheel with #2 after repairs in next pitstop

- Mucke damages the #97 Aston Martin in a crash at Indianapolis, dropping it away from GTE Pro leaders

- The #48 ORECA-Nissan driven by Brendon Hartley has retired after contact with the Status

Lola

- Faisal spins the #75 Porsche at Porsche Curves, hitting the wall to bring the safety car out

- Marcel Fassler spins the #1 Audi e-tron at the Porsche curves, handing the lead to McNish

- Dumas tipped into a spin while passing traffic at Ford chicane

- Davidson confirms he sustained a broken back as a result of huge earlier crash

- Westbrook loses a wheel, and with it the lead of the GTE Pro class

- Peter Dumbreck suffers blow-out in the #22 JRM HPD

- Spin at Ford chicane for #21 Strakka HPD

- Problems for the #7 Toyota following collision with DeltaWing at the restart

- #29 Gulf Racing Lola B12 the first official retirement

- #40 hit with a two-minute stop and go penalty for second pitlane speeding offence

- 30s pit stop penalties for #40 and #49 LMP2s for speeding in pitlane

- Audi hits early niggles, with Tom Kristensen the third unexpected delay for the marque across its four cars

- Early GTE Pro scrap between Corvette, Aston Martin and Ferrari

- #99 Aston Martin Vantage suffers early misfire and then retires with damage

POSITIONS AFTER 24 HOURS Pos Car Drivers Class Laps Gap 1. #1 Audi Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer LMP1 378 2. #2 Audi McNish/Capello/Kristensen LMP1 377 + 1 Lap 3. #4 Audi Jarvis/Bonanomi/Rockenfeller LMP1 375 + 3 Laps 4. #12 Lola Prost/Heidfeld/Jani LMP1 367 + 11 Laps 5. #3 Audi Gene/Dumas/Duval LMP1 366 + 12 Laps 6. #22 HPD Brabham/Dumbreck/Chandhok LMP1 357 + 21 Laps 7. #44 HPD Potolicchio/Dalziel/K-Smith LMP2 354 + 24 Laps 8. #46 Oreca Thiriet/Beche/Tinseau LMP2 353 + 25 Laps 9. #49 Oreca Perez Companc/Kaffer/Ayari LMP2 352 + 26 Laps 10. #26 Oreca Ragues/Panciatici/Rusinov LMP2 351 + 27 Laps 11. #13 Lola Belicchi/Bleekemolen/Primat LMP1 350 + 28 Laps 12. #41 Zytek Zugel/Julian/Gonzalez LMP2 348 + 30 Laps 13. #25 Oreca Martin/Charouz/Graves LMP2 346 + 32 Laps 14. #35 Morgan H Hansson/Leinders/Martin LMP2 341 + 37 Laps 15. #42 Zytek Brundle/Brundle/Ordonez LMP2 340 + 38 Laps 16. #23 Oreca Tresson/Mailleux/Lombard LMP2 340 + 2m47.469s 17. #51 Ferrari Fisichella/Bruni/Vilander GTEP 336 + 42 Laps 18. #59 Ferrari Makowiecki/Melo/Farnbacher GTEP 333 + 45 Laps 19. #97 Aston Mucke/Fernandez/Turner GTEP 332 + 46 Laps 20. #50 Corvette Bornhauser/Canal/Lamy GTEA 329 + 49 Laps 21. #67 Porsche Pons/Armindo/Narac GTEA 328 + 50 Laps 22. #71 Ferrari Bertolini/Beretta/Cioci GTEP 326 + 52 Laps 23. #73 Corvette Garcia/Magnussen/Taylor GTEP 326 + 3m10.910s 24. #45 Oreca Briere/Nakano/Petersen LMP2 325 + 53 Laps 25. #57 Ferrari Krohn/Jonsson/Rugolo GTEA 323 + 55 Laps 26. #40 Oreca Frey/Hirschi/Meichtry LMP2 320 + 58 Laps 27. #79 Porsche Neiman/Pumpelly/Pilet GTEA 313 + 65 Laps 28. #70 Corvette Bourret/Gibon/Belloc GTEA 309 + 69 Laps 29. #43 Norma Rosier/Haezebrouck/Thirion LMP2 308 + 70 Laps 30. #21 HPD Leventis/Kane/Watts LMP1 303 + 75 Laps 31. #61 Ferrari Kauffman/Aguas/Vickers GTEA 294 + 84 Laps 32. #83 Ferrari Rodrigues/Illiano/Ferte GTEA 292 + 86 Laps 33. #55 Porsche Daniels/Palttala/Camathias GTEA 290 + 88 Laps 34. #74 Corvette Gavin/Westbrook/Milner GTEP 215 + 163 Laps 35. #17 Dome Minassian/Bourdais/Ara LMP1 202 + 176 Laps 36. #38 Zytek Hancock/Dolan/Kurosawa LMP2 271 Retired 37. #33 HPD Tucker/Bouchut/Diaz LMP2 240 Retired 38. #30 Lola Sims/Buurman/Iannetta LMP2 239 Retired 39. #88 Porsche Ried/Roda/Ruberti GTEA 222 Retired 40. #15 OAK Montagny/Kraihamer/Baguette LMP1 219 Retired 41. #66 Ferrari Walker/Cocker/Wills GTEP 204 Retired 42. #48 Oreca Firth/Hartley/Hughes LMP2 196 Retired 43. #77 Porsche Lietz/Lieb/Henzler GTEP 184 Retired 44. #75 Porsche al Faisal/Curtis/Edwards GTEA 180 Retired 45. #31 Lola Holzer/Schultis/Moro LMP2 155 Retired 46. #58 Ferrari Ehret/Jeannette/Montecalvo GTEA 146 Retired 47. #24 Morgan Nicolet/Lahaye/Pla LMP2 139 Retired 48. #7 Toyota Wurz/Lapierre/Nakajima LMP1 134 Retired 49. #80 Porsche Bergmeister/Long/Holzer GTEP 114 Retired 50. #28 Lola Giroix/Badey/Johansson LMP2 92 Retired 51. #8 Toyota Davidson/Buemi/Sarrazin LMP1 82 Retired 52. #0 DeltaWing Franchitti/Krumm/Motoyama CDNT 75 Retired 53. #81 Ferrari Perazzini/Cadei/Griffin GTEA 70 Retired 54. #99 Aston Nygaard/Poulsen/Simonsen GTEA 31 Retired 55. #16 Pescarolo Collard/Bouillon/Hall LMP1 20 Retired 56. #29 Lola Ihara/Deletraz/Rostan LMP2 17 Retired 
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