Audi diesel makes history at Le Mans
18 June 2006

Audi's R10 sportscar has made history by becoming the first diesel racer to win the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The number 8 R10, driven by Marco Werner, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro, finished the French endurance classic four laps clear of the local Pescarolo machine shared by Eric Helary, Franck Montagny and World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.

There was bad luck, though, for Briton Allan McNish, who was sharing the pole-sitting number 7 R10 with Dindo Capello and seven-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen. McNish led the pack away and built up a small but useful advantage in his first stint. But the car was plagued with problems thereafter and it took determined efforts from all three drivers to secure third at the finish.

Elsewhere, Aston Martin looked likely to beat arch-rival Corvette for much of the race. But with less than three hours remaining, its lead DBR9 suffered clutch problems, handing class victory to the C6-R of Jan Magnussen, Olivier Beretta and British driver Oliver Gavin.This year was the R10's first attempt at Le Mans. Its success will be particularly galling for Peugeot, which has already announced plans to enter its own diesel sportscar in the race next year.

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