Le Mans 24 hours 2011

This edition of Le Mans 24 Hours was really a great one. Although we are not reporting on modern racing cars here -and especially on...

This edition of Le Mans 24 Hours was really a great one. Although we are not reporting on modern racing cars here -and especially on diesel cars – we feel like that one will stay in the records of this race. Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoit Tréluyer not only won this edition with the Audi R18 TDI #2, but they also did it from the pole position. This only happened six times in 45 editions!

Second was the 908 Peugeot driven by Minassian/Montagny/Sarrazin. Peugeot tried many things to catch back with their 3 cars, but the reality is that Audi with one car could just higher the speed to be consistently 2 seconds faster per lap. Peugeot finally understood the lesson and kept its position. Not glad to say it as a frenchman, but to be fair Audi was clearly stronger and must be congratulated.

Now let’s come back on the major race events that were the two accidents of the Audi’s driven by McNish and Rockenfeller. It may be a paradox, but I think that they were good for Audi’s reputation: First, both crashes were due to other drivers, the first of them surprised by their speed. Second, both crashes were pretty impressive since the cars external parts were fully destroyed in a black dust of carbon, but thanks God drivers were OK. This explosion-looking schock allowed energy dissipation in order to preserve human beings in the central structure that remained undamaged. This is the result of crash simulations and testing offered by modern simulation tools: cars are fully destroyed but pilots are not injured, in contrast with big american cars of the fifties that were undamaged in an accident but with all occupants dead :-(

Apart from this technological insight, the victorious Audi R18 TDI has a really good profile in terms of long-term collectible value for the connoisseur: it’s a Le Mans winner and the other 2 were destroyed. Hopefully Audi may keep it for its collection!

Enjoy this well done souvenir movie:

Have you been there? How was it?

Photo credits : Arnaud CORNILLEAU – ACO/NIKON

Tags: ,