Although Toyota kept the pressure on for most of the race, Audi continued its long run of dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, winning the overall title at the endurance classic for the 12th time this millennium: After capturing the race in 2000 with an Audi R8, the automaker won again with the same car in 2001 and 2002. Audi then began a streak of five victories in a row in 2004, with two private R8 teams winning in 2004 and 2005, and the factory-supported Audi R10 TDI doing the honors diesel-style from 2006-2008. Now, following two more TDI titles in 2010 and 2011, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro has relied on a combination of hybrid power and the brand’s innovative all-wheel-drive technology to claim the checkered flag in 2012 and 2013.
“We owe the 12th victory of our brand at Le Mans to the consistent, innovative spirit of our engineers, the unconditional commitment of the entire team and the skills and strong nerves of our drivers. On behalf of Audi, I extend my sincere congratulations on this success to all of them,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “This marks another great success for Audi in which our hybrid system again prevailed and new technologies, which our customers will also benefit from in the future, were tested.”
Driving the winning car this year were Loic Duval, Tom Kristiansen, and Allan McNish, who enjoyed their first, ninth and third Le Mans victories, respectively.
Audi also joined with the rest of the motorsports world in recognizing Alan Simonsen, a former Audi driver who died while competing for Aston Martin in this year’s event.
“Obviously, this horrible incident dampens the joy about another great Le Mans victory for Audi,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport. Our sympathy primarily goes to his family and friends but to the team of Aston Martin as well.”