By now everyone with a brain knows that Audi was unable to continue their amazing winning streak at Le Mans, but that's ok. It was pretty clear from the get-go that the R15 was out-gunned and out-paced by the monstrously fast and (now) reliable Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. The fact the cars were not able to keep up with the Pug's was one thing, but the other hiccups in the program, from fueling problems to overheating, and handling problems to some off-course excursions, well,the R15 just wasn't going to win.
That's pretty much the view that the Audi's had of the Pugs all race.
I suppose I should be bummed about this, but I'm not. Whenever any team / car / brand / whatever is too dominant (I'm looking at you, LA Lakers) it gets boring. The other reason I'm not bumming about the loss is that the R15 shouldn't have won. It was only the second race for the R15, and it was clear that the race condition development that Audi would have done if they had been smart enough to compete in the ALMS series this year hurt them. My suggestion? Aim for a 2010 win and commit to the ALMS. Everyone wins I think. The series, the fans, the manufacturers and the next 24 heures du mans.
The thing I AM a bit bummed about end the results in GT2. Porsche, as my good friend said, stepped on their dicks again and ended up without a single car on the podium, and in fact only one car finished the race in GT, and that was LAST PLACE out of the cars still running at the end. I think this picture of the lone, running at the finish 911 is an accurate portrayal of how the race went for the Porsche GT2 guys...
Really? Really Porsche? The best you can do is last? That has to be some sort of a record at Le Mans, that the only remaining Porsche (not counting the RS Spyder in LMP2) was officially not classified. So not one 911 classified...the car that was running did only 176 laps, the Endurance Asia Team. I quite liked the looks of this car, and I wished they had done better, but that's the way it goes.
Granted, I did say that I was routing for the Risi 430 to win, and in fact it did win GT2, but the main reason I was hitching to the Ferrari bandwagon was because I didn't really have any Porsche teams to get behind. I did like the IMSA performance / Matmut car quite a lot, and was disappointed when the car with Patrick Long went out.
A lot of the 911 RSR's had fuel pump problems, which seems odd to me, as it's a pretty basic system, and for more than one car to have problems to that end it was rather unusual.
Anyways, the race was still a good one in my book. There were some exciting moments out on the track and in the pits, and ultimately we got a pretty good show. I spent the vast majority of the time listening to Radio Le Mans and watching feeds from Eurosport or Speed TV. The internet came through and for the first time in many years I was tuned in for the majority of the race. I think I probably bugged Melody a bit much with my constant, unprompted updates on just what was going on every five seconds, but she did offer her iPhone to check standings when we were out Saturday night, so it can't have been too bad. Just wait until I actually attend the event...I won't stop talking about ever. One day, one day...
Check out plenty more awesome shots from Marshall Pruett at Speed TV's gallery.