Audi Wins For Fifth Consecutive Year The 24 Hours Of Le Mans!
|   Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Reliability was once again the central element of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race to the detriment of pure speed of the prototypes thrown into the game by Audi, Toyota and Porsche at the LMP1 class. 
The 82nd edition of the famous endurance race was won again by Audi, the German manufacturer that went with the third chance at victory after modest qualifying performances when it was defeated by all of the four rival prototypes.

Toyota crew number seven, consisting of Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima, started from pole position, and took first place in the overall standings for almost the entire duration of the first 12 hours.


During the night, the number 2 Audi crew, consisting of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer, maintained at about one minute behind, with the Japanese approaching first victory in the competition until Nakajimas stopped on the circuit due to a malfunction in the electrical system.

The abandonment practically collapsed Toyota's the hopes of victory, in the context that the second crew, carrying the number 8, lost valuable time in the stands following a serious accident suffered at the beginning of the race on the torrential rain after which the third Audi prototype was also forced to withdraw.

The drama suffered by Toyota did not mean that Audi had an easy task to achieve victory. Even if in the beginning of the race the two prototypes of lost positions constantly in front of Audi, Porsche returned spectacularly and the crew with the number 20, consisting of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard became leader with only three hours before the final.

The performance was made possible due to similar motor defects suffered by the two Audi prototypes remaining in the race; the latter lost valuable time in the garage. However, the number 2 Audi crew was consistently faster than the Porsche number 20 and returned to the top spot, resulting in a balanced duel for victory in the last two hours.

This fight, however, never took place because Webber was forced to slow down due to power loss, and spent nearly an hour and a half in the garage and returned to the circuit just to cross the finish line. Audi has won another victory at Le Mans, through the prototype number two, followed three laps away by the number 1 crew, composed of Tom Kristensen, Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene, who replaced Loic Duval after an accident in training.

It is the fifth consecutive victory for Audi at Le Mans, and the 14th in history, in the context that the record is held by Porsche, with 16 victories from 1970 to 1998.
The last place on the podium went to Toyota, through the number eight crew, consisting of Anthony Davidson, Nicolas Lapierre and Sebastien Buemi.

The experimental prototype, Nissan ZEOD RC, made only five laps in the beginning of the race, before abandoning due to a gearbox failure. However, in the warming-up session which precedes the race, the Japanese have achieved the target to perform a lap in all-electric mode without any input from the conventional engine.
PHOTO GALLERY
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