2014 Le Mans Debrief
It wasn’t easy for anyone at Le Mans this year. Hybrid power systems of the front-runners were especially problematic and the winning Audis both took 20 minutes in the pitlane to change turbochargers that were not up to the barrage of heat cycles.
In the end Audi was more reliable than Porsche and Toyota which both led the race for a considerable period. It was particularly heartbreaking for Mark Weber who lost the lead due to engine failure of his Porsche in the late stages of the race.
2014 was earmarked as a Grand Prix of Endurance that forced an energy economy via fuel flow metering. Each team had different setups, such as Porsche who were the only team to use turbocharger recovery.
In the end, Marcel Fassler, André Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer gave Audi their 13th overall victory in 15 years at Le Mans using the same team, drivers and race engineer that has won twice before.
The LM GTE category was less dramatic, but the faster Aston Martins did lose to Ferrari and Corvette due to brake and power steering failures. This let Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella & Tony Vilander take the GT class win for the third time in Le Mans history with AF Corse Ferrari.
As a footnote, the Nissan ZEOD RC ran only for 25 minutes at Le Mans, but it was the first car to run an all-electric lap at Le Mans. We hope to see a better performance next year with their new 2015 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.