It attracted 262,000 spectators, making 2014’s Le Mans 24-hour the best-attended since 1989, and it’s not hard to figure out what brought so many to La Sarthe this year.
For the whole millennium, Audi has dominated the race. Only Bentley’s win in 2003 and Peugeot’s in 2009 have broken Audi’s string of victories.
For 2014, it didn’t look as though Audi would have things its own way. Porsche – the most successful team in Le Mans history with 16 wins to its name – was back, while Toyota set the pace in qualifying. With the promise of a race that could see any one of three major teams win, 2014 became the most exciting 24-hour for years.
As it turned out, Audi did win. But even old cynics like yours truly had to concede it was an honourable victory. Toyota led for 13 hours, and Porsche looked very strong too. There’s no doubting Audi deserved its hard-fought 1-2 formation finish.
We’re thrilled to relate the next time the three factory teams will be in the same place at the same time is at the Festival of Speed in a little under two weeks.
Mark Webber will be reunited with a Porsche 919 on the hillclimb, while Anthony Davidson will be back his office… the Toyota TS040. And, it has just been confirmed, Audi will bring one of its two R18 e-trons – and it might even enlist one of the three winning drivers to pilot it up the hill.
If you weren’t at Le Mans, here’s your chance to see three competitive cars, probably still caked in 24 hours worth of grime, in action. And if you were there, it’s a chance to see them again – and probably much closer than you did at La Sarthe!
We absolutely can’t wait!