Less fuel consumption combined with higher speed – that’s how Audi won the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hours with the R18 e-tron quattro and its drivers Loïc Duval (F), Tom Kristensen (DK) and Allan McNish (GB). Key facts after the 81st running of the race.
Faster and more efficient: The victorious Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) designated as car number ‘2’ made 34 pit stops at Le Mans and required 47 minutes and 14.799 seconds for them. A permitted fuel tank capacity of 58 liters theoretically made a maximum of 1,972 liters of diesel fuel available at the stops. The number ‘8’ Toyota in second place of the race required 43 minutes and 20.111 seconds for 30 stops but, due to a fuel tank capacity of 76 liters, was able to refuel up to 2,280 liters of gasoline. Audi was not only faster but the entire race car including its TDI powertrain was more efficient as well.
Best efficiency: Audi not only decided the race classification in its favor at Le Mans but the efficiency index as well. Marc Gené/Lucas di Grassi/Oliver Jarvis (E/BR/GB) in car number ‘3’ won the Michelin Green X Challenge ahead of Duval/Kristensen/McNish and the number ‘7’ Toyota.
A full dozen: Audi’s Le Mans debut was in 1999, the squad celebrated its first victory in 2000 and its twelfth in the 2013 season.
Concentrated strength: No other brand had ever before been as successful as Audi in such a short period of time. To date, the brand has won twelve of its 15 runs. This corresponds to a win rate of 80 percent. Audi’s sister brand Porsche has a tally of 16 overall victories. These wins are spread over a period of 28 years between 1970 and 1998. In absolute numbers, Porsche has clinched 16 overall victories at 63 starts.
Powerful performance: Audi engine technology even boasts a win rate of 86.7 percent at Le Mans because a V8 biturbo engine developed by Audi Sport powered the winning race car of Audi’s sister brand Bentley in 2003.
Strong team: Audi has achieved ten of its twelve victories together with Reinhold Joest’s squad. The team based in the Odenwald region had been successful prior to Audi’s entry and has now clinched its 14th triumph at La Sarthe. Furthermore, in terms of personnel, Joest Racing played an instrumental role in Dauer Racing’s victory in 1994 and Bentley’s success in 2003.
Advantage extended: In 2005, Tom Kristensen, on clinching his seventh victory, overtook the six-time winner Jacky Ickx from Belgium on the all-time winners’ list. Now, the Dane has achieved his ninth success. From the circle of the Le Mans drivers who are still active it’s his team-mate Allan McNish that trails him in this classification with a tally of three victories. Statistically, Kristensen’s record can thus be beaten in 2020 at the earliest – but for this to happen, McNish would have to remain active until his 50th year of age, win in all the years between now and then, and no longer run with Tom Kristensen ...
13 trophies: With a track record of 9 victories in 17 runs Tom Kristensen’s success rate at Le Mans amounts to 53 percent. In total, the Dane has been on the podium 13 times to date. At four starts, his car did not finish. Thus, ‘Mister Le Mans’ never finished a race in less than third place.
Large crowd: The 90th anniversary of the Le Mans 24 Hours was watched by 245,000 spectators on location – 5,000 more than the year before.
20 from 9: The nine Audi factory drivers in the current Le Mans line-up after the most recent success combine 20 victories in the epic endurance race.
Four times 30: For the 30th time a German manufacturer has won the endurance race at La Sarthe. Loïc Duval is the 30th Frenchman who has decided his home race in his favor. Race cars with a closed cockpit and turbocharged engines recorded their 30th victory as well.
29 trophies: Since 1999, Audi has clinched twelve first, six second and eleven third places – equating to 29 podium positions.
Premiere: Loïc Duval made his debut in the podium ranks. The Frenchman was on the Le Mans grid for the fifth time but, until 2013, had never finished in the top three. On achieving his first podium he immediately took victory.
2 turns into 1: Car number ‘2’ won the Le Mans 24 Hours this year. The competition’s history had previously seen a subsequent winner in car number ‘2’ six times, among them an Audi in 2008 and 2011.
Second victory: The Audi R18 e-tron quattro with chassis number ‘302’ previously decided the Silverstone 6 Hours in its favor and has now won the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Third victory: Audi has remained unbeaten in the first three WEC races of the 2013 season at Silverstone, Spa and Le Mans.
Fourth victory: Including the success at the Sebring 12 Hours the Audi R18 has clinched its fourth sports car victory this year.
Eighth victory: For the eighth time since 2006 a race car with diesel power has won the Le Mans 24 Hours. Audi recorded seven of these wins (R10 TDI: 3; R15 TDI: 1; R18 TDI: 1; R18 e-tron quattro: 2).
22nd victory: Michelin, Audi’s tire partner, has achieved the 22nd success on home ground.
64 tires: The victorious number 2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro covered the distance on 16 sets of tires. Individual sets of tires were used for up to four stints.
Clear dominance: Whereas there were 19 race leaders last year, there were only six this year. On 344 laps of the 348 ones completed, Audi was running in front. From 21:47 – in other words just before the beginning of the eighth hour of the race – number ‘2’ with Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish defended its position at the front of the field.
Another ‘grand slam’ of motorsport: As in 2011 and 2012, Audi recorded the best time in qualifying, the fastest race lap plus overall victory at Le Mans.
New technologies: The digital inside mirror with an AMOLED display and the LED headlights with matrix-beam technology and integrated cornering light are two forward-thinking technologies in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro with the potential of future use in production automobiles.
Successive effect: Since 2010, Audi has won at La Sarthe four times in succession. Only between 2004 and 2008, the brand was even more successful with a string of five wins.
Long neutralizations: Twelve times the safety car took command of the track. This amounted to a total race interruption of five hours and 27 minutes. The year before, the race had only been interrupted for 2:22 hours.
Short distance: These interruptions, combined with the unsteady weather, were the decisive reasons why the winners only covered 348 laps this year. They equate to a distance of 4,742.892 kilometers and an average speed of 197.446 km/h. Ever since Audi has been competing at Le Mans, these numbers were lower only once. Due to heavy rain the race distance in 2001 was only 4,367.2 kilometers for the winners Frank Biela/Tom Kristensen/Emanuele Pirro in the Audi R8.
Eight times on pole: Audi started from the top spot on the grid at Le Mans for the eighth time. Loïc Duval achieved the best time. In the race, André Lotterer drove the fastest lap.
High arrival rate: 42 of the 56 participants that had started the race at Le Mans saw the finish line – in other words exactly three quarters of the field. Last year, the retirement rate of 41 percent was higher by 16 percentage points. At Audi, the retirement rate was 0 percent, the same as last year. All three hybrid sports cars saw the finish.
The right choice: The most hopeful French talents are rewarded with the Prix Jean Rondeau at Le Mans. In 2002, the award went to Benoît Tréluyer and in 2008 to Loïc Duval. Both subsequently became overall winners at Le Mans with Audi.