The 2011 24h of Le Mans

24h of Le Mans World Sportscar Championship

Accident force Safety Car Take Over The Race at 24h of Le Mans

The 2011 24h of Le Mans (24 Heures du Mans 2011) was the 79th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 11–12 June 2011 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France, and organised by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO). It was the third round of the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and was part of a World Championship or International Cup for the first time since 1992, when it was part of the World Sportscar Championship.

24h of Le Mans

Audi Sport Team Joest's Benoît Tréluyer earned Audi their first pole position in five years while the team's sister car locked out the front row. Early accidents eliminated two of Audi's three entries, but the sole remaining Audi R18 TDI of Tréluyer, Marcel Fässler, and André Lotterer held off the trio of Peugeot 908s to claim victory by a margin of 13.8 seconds. Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan won the LMP2 category, Corvette Racing secured the GTE Pro class victory, and Larbre Compétition claimed a one-two finish in the GTE Am category with Corvette and Porsche.

Within the first hour of the race the Audi No.3 car driven by Allan McNish hit the barrier and rolled over near the Dunlop Bridge after a collision with the Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Anthony Beltoise as it rejoined the track form the pit lane. The Audi was destroyed but McNish walked away from the accident, while Beltoise rejoined the track with his car having bodywork damage.

8 hours into the race, a second Audi crashed on the run down to Indianapolis, this time being barged off the road by the the #71 Ferrari, but driver Mike Rockenfeller walked away. After the accident, the safety car came out for nearly 2 hours. This was the first time ever at Le Mans that the safety car had to stop for fuel and be replaced.

The safety car were told to drive as fast as possible to keep pressure within the race car tyres. However, doing so does consume more fuel. After a close battle in the last 2 hours of the race, Audi car #2 crossed the finish line first. It was the first fast last Le Mans lap ever since the 1969 victory, there were no marshals waving flags except for the checkered flag at the start/finish line. The #74 Corvette was leading class by about 1 lap over the #51 AF Corse Ferrari until 8am.

Coming out of the Porsche Curves, Magnussen found himself the #63 Felbermayr Porsche. Magnussen had to go up the inside, he bounced over the kerbs, corrected it but ran into the #63 and the wall. After this the #51 Ferrari led by a lap over the #73. Corvette was able to make up ground and use rain to its advantage.


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