Audi Triumphs Again With Diesel Car

By: Mike Bartley

This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans is expected to be a contest between the diesel-powered race cars fielded by Audi and Peugeot. As expected, the popular endurance race was decided between the two European car manufacturers. After 24 hours and 369 laps, Team Audi Sport North America took the win from Team Peugeot Total.

Driving the Audi R10 TDI # 1 for the team are Marco Werner, Emanuele Pirro, and Frank Biela. These three drivers took turns behind the steering wheel of the diesel powered car to beat the Peugeot contingent of Stephane Sarrazin, Pedro Lamy, and Sebastian Bourdais.

The win posted by Audi represents the fourth straight victory that they have achieved in the grueling endurance race. This is also the second year that Audi's diesel powered race car dominated the endurance race. So complete was the dominance of Audi's diesel powered race car that Peugeot decided to field a diesel powered race car of their won. In the end though, it was Audi who proved to be the better of the two teams.

Werner took the chequered flag to mark his third straight victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. "Of course it is a great feeling to win but tomorrow for sure I will feel even better because there was gigantic pressure on our shoulders until the very end of the race," said Werner after the race. "In the closing stages this Le Mans 24 Hours was more like a boat race. It was incredible that the race went green again under these conditions. I was more than relieved when I had crossed the finish line."

While not even using performance parts, the Audi R10 took the win, with an eight-lap lead over the closest Peugeot. The win was the fifth for Pirro. He won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, and this year. "Le Mans was simply incredible this year," he said.

While the Audi R10 #1 took the win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, two other Audi cars failed to finish after suffering accidents and malfunctions. "The two other Audis had really bad luck," says Pirro. "They could not finish the race. After that we had enormous pressure. Behind us were the Peugeots and we had to fight hard. The last nine hours have been especially difficult."

Frank Biela also posted his fifth career win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. While he won the race for the fifth time, he was quick to pint out that the exhilaration of winning it does not sink in immediately. "You realize a Le Mans victory only a couple of days later because you have so much stress and pressure during this race," says Biela. "Of course you wish that everything goes well but you can't plan it. Something can happen anytime."

He expressed his sentiments after winning the fifth career race by saying: "To have the luck of being on the top of the podium for the fifth time is simply great. The key to success has been to attack at the right time and to be on the safe side at the right time. The pit crew has done a great job. We always had the right tires on our car. This victory was achieved by the entire team."

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