The race finished with an Audi 1-2-3, a result that few would have predicted half way through the race. Leading 1-2-3 throughout most of the race were the Peugeot 908s but due to engine failures, the victory was handed to Audi, whose R15 TDIs lacked the speed of the Peugeots but were ultimately, more reliable.
The #9 Audi driven by Romain Dumas, Timo Bernhard and Mike Rockenfeller took victory, followed by the sister cars of #8 and #7 in third, driven by Allan McNish. The Scot took the accolade as the highest finishing Brit. Andy Meyrick drove the Oreca Matmut Peugeot to 4th place, a result that pleased the 24yr old Welshman.
5th overall and 1st in the LMP2 class was Strakka Racing with an excellent performance and will hope to continue their good form in the next round of the LMES at the Portimao Circuit in the Algarve. Strakka outpaced rivals Highcroft for most of the race, and experienced better reliability than the US based outfit. RML finished 8th overall and 3rd in the LMP2 class.
Beechdean Mansell and Drayson Racing had an eventful weekend. Nigel Mansell crashed his team’s Ginetta on lap 4 and the car retired from the race. The former F1 champion was taken to hospital as a precaution. The Lola of Drayson Racing suffered a number of faults but completed just enough laps to be classified as a race finisher, a result that pleased an emotional Lord Drayson. Aston Martin Racing had an indifferent weekend, the #007 car finished 6th overall but the #009 car failed to finish and retired on lap 368. Team Bruichladdich did well and put in a strong performance to finish in 10th.
WTCC driver Andy Priaulx experienced a disappointing Le Mans debut in his BMW M3 ‘art car’. The team encountered suspension and steering issues and retired on lap 53. A better experience was had by Richard Westbrook who finished 3rd in the GT2 class and 14th overall, after starting 44th.
Beechdean Mansell [LMP1], car #5 – Started 18th, retired on lap 4
Drayson Racing [LMP1], car #11 – Started 14th, finished 28th
Aston Martin Racing [LMP1], cars #007 Started 8th, finished 6th and #009 Started 9th, retired on lap 368
RML [LMP2], car #25 – Started 20th, finished 8th / 3rd in LMP2
Team Bruichladdich [LMP2], car #41 – Started 25th, finished 10th
Strakka Racing [LMP2], car #42 – Started 15th (best qualifier in the LMP2 class), finished 5th / LMP2 class winner
JMW Motorsport [GT2], car #92 – Started 51st, retired on lap 71
Nigel Mansell, Leo Mansell, Greg Mansell [Beechdean Mansell] – Started 18th, retired on lap 4
Anthony Davidson [Team Peugeot Total] – Started 2nd, retired on lap 360
Andy Meyrick [AIM Team Oreca Matmut] – Started 10th, finished 4th
Paul Drayson, Jonny Cocker [Drayson Racing] – Started 14th, finished 28th
Guy Smith [Rebellion Racing] – Started 19th, retired lap 143
Oliver Jarvis [Kolles] – Started 13th, retired lap 331
Darren Turner, Sam Hancock [Aston Martin Racing #009] – Started 9th, retired lap 368
Mike Newton, Andy Wallace [RML] – Started 20th, finished 8th / 3rd in LMP2
Jonathan Kennard [KSM] – Started 26th, finished 26th
Marino Franchitti [Highcroft Racing] – Started 17th, finished 25th
Warren Hughes [Quifel ASM] – Started 21st, finished 20th
Tim Greaves [Team Bruichladdich] – Started 25th, finished 10th
Nick Leventis, Danny Watts, Jonny Kane [Strakka Racing] – Started 15th, finished 5th / LMP2 class winner
Oliver Gavin [Corvette Racing] – Started 37th, retired lap 255
Andy Priaulx [BMW] – Started 48th, retired lap 53
Ryan Dalziel [Jaguar RSR] – Started 55th, retired lap 4
Peter Dumbreck [Spyker Squadron] – Started 50th, finished 27th
Rob Bell, Tim Sugden [JMW Motorsport] – Started 51st, retired lap 71
Richard Westbrook [BMS Scuderia] – Started 44th, finished 14th / 3rd in GT2
[Photo credit to ‘phunkshon’ – http://www.flickr.com/photos/phunkshon]