The world’s most anticipated endurance race is the Le Mans 24 Hours and this year, it showed why. While much of the attention was on experimentals like the Nissan ZEOD RC and on old rivalries between manufacturers and racers, the race itself was a showcase of triumph through grueling adversity.
In the 82nd running of Le Mans in France, the racing was spectacular. 300,000 people attended the race personally while countless others watched it in full or in highlights online and on television.
Audi scored its thirteenth win, an impressive feat given that the company has only competed sixteen times in the history of the race itself. It was a dual win for the company with Audi Sport Team taking the win through Marcel Fassler, Andre’ Lotterer, and Benoit Treluyer in their e-tron quattro, but close behind was another quattro taking second, piloted by Lucas di Grassi, marc Gene, and Tom Kristensen. Audi beat out strong rivals from the Toyota and Porsche teams for the one-two win.
In the LM P2 class, Nissan took the win with the Jota Sport Zytek-Nissan. Nissan-powered vehicles took the top five spots, in fact, clearly dominating this class for 2014. The NISMO team of Jann Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy took the fifth spot after leading the first half of the race. Meanwhile, Nissan’s ZEOD RC Garage 56 entry managed to race for only 23 laps before bowing out due to a mechanical failure in the gearbox. It did manage to set world records in that short time, however, including the first all-electric lap on the Le Mans 24 Hours.
In the GT Am class, Aston Martin managed to carve a win with their AMR V8 Vantage GTE and its all-Danish crew crossing the line first, two laps ahead of the nearest rival, coming out on top of fifteen competitors in total. Aston’s GTE Pro car lost out, however, due to a power steering failure and lost time in the fix.