Around 200,000 spectators witnessed a fascinating race with the drama and incidents that are typical for Le Mans plus an impressive demonstration of "Vorsprung durch Technik." The four Audi R18 cars from Audi Sport Team Joest were the quickest and most reliable vehicles and after 24 hours occupied positions one, two, three and five.
"With the e-tron quattro in combination with ultra lightweight design, we put a completely new technology on the grid and immediately won with it – this cannot be taken for granted by any means, particularly here at Le Mans", commented Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
All four Audi R18 cars had the chance to clinch what amounted to the brand's eleventh Le Mans victory in total. After 378 laps, last year's winners Marcel Fässler (CH), André Lotterer (D) and Benoît Tréluyer (F) were the front-runners in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The runners-up were in a vehicle that uses a conventional drive system in combination with an electrically driven axle. Audi is already testing this technology in which the drive shaft is replaced by electric cables for use in production vehicles.
The two Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars were the protagonists at the 80th edition of the endurance classic right from the beginning. They only had to relinquish the leading position to one of the two Toyota hybrid vehicles once for a few laps on Saturday night. After the early retirements of their fiercest rivals the two R18 e-tron quattro cars fought a thrilling duel for victory throughout the night until noon on Sunday during which the lead changed several times and the two diesel hybrid sports cars were often separated by just a few seconds.