All that talk about putting an end to Audi’s recent dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is now all for naught as the boys from Ingolstadt scored a 1-2-3 finish at the most prestigious endurance race in the world, the fourth time they’ve done so since 2000.
Audi’s win at the 2010 24 Hour of Le Mans is also the ninth time in 11 years the manufacturer has bagged the championship. Since 2000, to say that Audi has dominated Le Mans is as gross an understatement as saying that Michael Schumacher’s record seven F1 driver’s championships are ’impressive’. In the past 11 years, Audi has been unseated at the top step of Le Mans only twice - once in 2003 when Bentley won it and last year when the Peugeot Sport Total pulled it off - proving once again that the road to Le Mans glory passes through Ingolstadt, Germany.
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This year, the No. 9 Audi Sport North America-Audi R15 TDI, which was driven by the trio of Mike Rockenfeller, Romain Dumas, and Timo Bernhard scored the decisive win after completing a record 396 laps - four laps more than the previous record of 392 laps that was set way back in 1971.
Audi’s win is also its ninth overall, pulling it into a tie with Ferrari, but still seven short of Porsche’s overall record of 16 wins. Nevertheless, Audi’s Motorsport chief, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, was visibly delighted by Audi re-gaining the championship from Peugeot, but stated that the win didn’t come without any challenges. "Peugeot looked like they had beaten Audi for the second straight year, but the 908’s all suffered failures," he said.
"It’s a great reward for all the work that everyone has done. I think this has to be the hardest Le Mans we’ve ever done."