Le Mans 2011

Audi R18 #1, 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans
Image by Audi USA via Flickr

Le Mans 2011

This year wasn’t the first time I’ve been into the Le Mans 24 Hours, but it’s the first time I’ve obsessively watched the entire race from start to finish. I just felt that because I love it so much, and because I want to experience the entirety of Le Mans to its fullest at least once in my life, I might as well do it now while the opportunity is there. Plus, it’s only one weekend a year of complete sleep deprivation after all. I’d also like to visit the race at some point in time but there’s plenty of time for that.

I thought it was a fantastic race. Although Audi lost two of their cars to very scary accidents, they still somehow managed to win with their third car, probably the car with the least amount of stars in when the average person looks at the line-up and doesn’t see a Kristensen or a McNish.

Peugeot had a great car and it was a close battle, but in the end, Audi just barely had the edge on pure pace despite Peugeot having better economy on fuel and tyres. Despite not having to pit as often, the raw speed of the Audi R18 was able to keep the lone German car out in front of the three Peugeots.

It would have been great to see a 6 way fight to the flag, but there’s always next year, and the most important thing is that everyone was safe after those two horrific crashes. I really hope Peugeot and Anthony Davidson can get the Le Mans win finally next year as he’s definitely got the talent to do so. He’s been unlucky this time around with Alex Wurz crashing their no. 7 car out of a podium place which must have been desperately disappointing for everyone in the team.

Overall I think it’s fair to say that as much as I would have liked to see Peugeot avenge 2010’s emotional defeat, Audi had the slightly better car on the day and especially after the two crashes, it seemed appropriate that they would win the race. As bad as I felt the following day, I would do it all again next year without question. There’s just something about Le Mans that makes it the most special event in racing to me.

The 6 hours of Imola round of the ILMC was this past weekend and it’s the main reason I finally wrote this post. A post about that event will be next after this.