While it definitely wasn’t for my birthday (which is today, btw ;)), it was extremely nice of Audi to make me proud and bring home yet another win this year at Le Mans.
Audi’s Stunning Victory
First off, last weekend was the 79th running of the 24 Heures du Mans, or the 24 Hours of Le Mans for us English-speakers. It was an intense race through and through, and typical of Le Mans, only half of the cars that started the race finished.
Included in the retired cars were both of Aston Martin’s own cars, numbers 009 and 007, who were both retired in under five hours. (It turns out that the safety cars did more laps of the circuit than they did, sad!) Most notable, however, was probably the fact that Audi lost their number one and three cars, both to horrific crashes.
The best news is that both Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller are okay and actually both got out and walked away from the crashes. It was an amazing testament to the safety of the R18 that both of them were alright. Of course, here’s the videos for anyone who missed them:
There really isn’t any good video on Rockenfeller’s crash, but needless to say the R18 disintegrated upon impact of the wall, and it happened right after the Mulsanne straight. He did walk away from it and was sent to the hospital to be observed, but has been released and is at home recovering.
I do hope for a speedy recovery for both McNish and Rockenfeller, and it is truly amazing that they are both alright. Safety in racing has come a long way.
Despite losing two of their three cars, though, Audi’s number two R18 managed to pull off a victory!!! Three Peugeots could not catch one Audi, and it was definitely a good way to end an otherwise grueling twenty-four hours for the team. I’m very happy for Audi!!!
As for the GT classes, Corvette Racing did quite well, snagging the GTE Pro win, eeking out their Ferrari 458 competition. I’m very proud of Flying Lizard’s efforts, and while only one of their cars finished (6th) I still think they did fantastic! As I said before, literally half of the cars that started the race did not finish.
More Than a Race
More than any other year, this year I kept up with the race as much as I could. I had to work, but I had an audio feed of the race for as long as I could, keeping up with what was going on. I was also obsessively following the twitter feed of the action, both from the official Le Mans twitter and from a few of the teams.
What I ended up realizing is that this is the most I have ever followed the race and really been into it. While I’ve been cheering on Audi for years, it was really only left at that. I never really followed them on their journey to victory during the race.
It seems that I get more and more into it with each passing year. I feel like it’s indicative of my dedication to cars as a whole — Each year I’m more and more into it, no matter how much I thought I was into it before.
While I didn’t get to actually watch a ton of the race, I still followed along. It dominated my thoughts for an entire day. I was seriously on cloud nine after learning that Audi pulled off the win.
In a way, it’s become a way to track my progress as I learn more about cars and racing…
And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way. GO AUDI!!!