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It is the greatest motor race on earth, the toughest possible race for man and machine, a race steeped in history and watched by hundreds of thousands of devoted fans. The 90th running of the Le Mans 24Hours will go down in history books as one of the most arduous, with constantly changing weather conditions and a tragic reminder of the dangers of motorsport when Aston Martin driver Allan Simonsen died in an accident barely ten minutes into the race.
It was a race won by the #2 Audi e-tron quattro of Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval ahead of the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Anthony Davidson, Stephane Sarrazin and Sebastien Buemi. The #3 Audi of Marc Gene, Lucas Di Grassi and Tom Jarvis rounded off the podium. But it was no cakewalk for Audi, last minute changes to regulations giving the petrol hybrids a longer range on a tank of fuel forcing the Audis to run on the limit for the entire duration of the race. In fact at the end of the race Audi motorsport head Wolfgang Ullrich, holding back the tears, said, “That was the most difficult race I’ve experienced in my 15 Le Mans years. I can’t recall ever having experienced anything quite like this.”
It was a race none of the hundreds of thousands of spectators would forget in a hurry. For the select few guests enjoying VIP hospitality, especially in the Audi lounges dotted around Le Mans, it was a race that will forever be etched in memory. Here we give you a never before seen look at what goes on behind the scenes at the 24Hours of Le Mans