Monday, June 13, 2011

24 Hours of Le Mans: Audi between victory and accidents

Competitive spirit of the past, the presence of large manufacturers, the "usual" rain that accompanied the most famous marathon in the world. And all the duel between Audi and Peugeot, which for several years ignites the struggle for victory in the 24 hours of the Sarthe. All this is, in a nutshell, the menu of Le Mans 2011, which ended yesterday afternoon with the victory of the Audi R18 of Marcel Faessler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer front of the Peugeot 908 twin Bourdais - Lamy - Pagenaud and Montagny - Sarrazin - Minassian.

The R18's Faessler - Lotterer - Treluyer has covered 352 laps, showing the struggle that has accompanied the entire race, the very slight lead over Peugeot finished second: just 15 "586: A little 'more detached (but two revolutions: it is not the nearly 4800 km long covered by the R18 winning) the second of the Peugeot has demonstrated the competitive spirit between the two major brands involved in 24 Hours.

For the House of the Four Rings, the spoils in Le Mans rises to 10 victories in 13 years of equity Official: After the Ferrari ("strong" at 9 wins). The colors Germans, however, stand out of the marathon gold affixed on the Sarthe: Audi in front, in fact, resist the Porsche, with 16 victories to 'active.

Notwithstanding the second, third and fourth place (the latter grabbed from 908 to Anthoy Davidson - Marc Gene and Alexander Wurz), Peugeot for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans has the taste of bitterness. The 908, in fact, failed to win, despite the great rivals Audi had stayed with one car in the race (and for two thirds of the race) and, as we shall see a great opportunity came last hour of the match.

The debacle suffered by Peugeot in 2010 (none of the 908 HDi FAP had reached the finish line) was not compensated by Mr finishing position. The Zytek LMP2 was won by Nissan Motor Greaves Motorsports team, led by Karim Ojjeh, Thomas Kimber - Smith and Olivier Lombard, now in eighth overall at the finish.

Result in dramatic LM GTE Pro: the Corvette, in fact, interrupted the streak of Ferrari and Porsche, which occurred four times in the past 24 hours. To win the category was the Corvette ZR1 Garcia - Milner - Beretta. Unlucky for the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italy's Fisichella - Bruni - Vilander, who in 17.

now they had grabbed the lead, then abandoned due to a technical problem. "Triumph" also in LM GTE Am Corvette, with Canal - Gardel - Bornhauser in front of the Porsche 997 Bourret - Gibon - Belloc. Surprising third in the category Doran - Ford of Robertson Racing. And here is a double witness of that animated the 24 Hours 2011.

A competition that has resulted in two "victims" showing: the number 1 Audi R18 of Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller (with the latter driving when the accident) and the R18 number 3 for the colors of the Audio Sport North America's Tom Kristensen, "Dindo" Capello and Allan McNish, disappeared from the lot of pretenders to victory even when the first hour of the match was not finished yet.

The incident has raised fears that more has seen the protagonist, despite himself, the second of three Audi R18 "official" (we speak of "number 1" Bernhard - Dumas - Rockenfeller) during the eighth hour of the match. Just past the curve Mulsanne (the "dry right" that the pilots met after the long straight of Hunaudières) sull'allungo to Arnage, German Mike Rockenfeller has been forced to "widen" the grass during the dubbing of Ferrari 458 Italy # 71, entered into by the Italian AF Corse LM GTE Pro Robert Kauffmann, Michael Waltrip and Rui Aguas, with Kauffmann at that time to round driving.

Finding himself close in trajectory, the slower Ferrari, Kauffmann was forced to blunder on the grass at that moment, he lost control of the Audio R18 and hit the guard - rail. Particularly delicate in that stretch, the speed of the prototypes can easily exceed 300 km / h. Despite this, fortunately Rockenfeller - as reported by a number of Audi Sport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich - has left the interior alone, even though as a precaution was taken to the emergency room where he will remain under observation only.

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