Audi, with its R18 e-Tron Quattro car, has captured the overall victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year, courtesy of Audi Sport Team Joest\'s No. 2 car driven by Loic Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish. The same car had started the race in pole position.
The three Audi R18 e-Tron Quattro cars, which were equipped with an electrically driven front axle, were not only the fastest vehicles in the field throughout the entire race but were also the most efficient ones as the other two cars finished in third and fifth places.
\"This was the craziest Le Mans we\'ve ever experienced in terms of the weather and the safety car periods,\" said Audi Sport Team Joest technical director Ralf Juttner. \"You never knew what the deal was. But it was an incredible thrilling race all the way to the end. We had an absolutely flawless car, and that was enough to beat Toyota. We knew before the race that to beat such an opponent, everything had to fit. With our No. 2 car, this was the case.\"
After Toyota\'s return to the endurance race last year saw its two TS030 Hybrid cars fail to cross the finish line, the Japanese carmaker redeemed itself this year as the cars ended the race in second and fourth places.
\"I am very proud of our team today; we truly performed like a team and we earned this result,\" said Toyota Racing team president Yoshiaki Kinoshita. \"We never gave up or lost focus, even in difficult circumstances. To get both cars to the finish and to stand on the podium was a very satisfying result. I am happy with this result but my dream is to win Le Mans, so I am determined to come back even stronger next year.\"
Toyota\'s strong finish in only its second race since its return to the famed endurance race is significant since the TS030 Hybrid has already matched the results of its previous entries like the TS010 in 1992, the 94C-V in 1994, and the TS020 in 1999.
The 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, however, was overshadowed by a fatal accident that cost the life of Aston Martin Racing\'s Allan Simonsen in the GT class just a few minutes into the race.
\"Le Mans 2013 will be remembered by the team for the tragic circumstances that surrounded its participation, but everyone performed their tasks with the dignity that the circumstances demanded,\" said Aston Martin Racing team principal John Gaw.