ALPHA MALES; ALPHA RESULTS
debut win for the R10 turbodiesel at
the 2006 Sebring 12 Hours, a race
the trio would win twice more. They
could have won Le Mans together more
than once as well. They were four laps
ahead when their Audi shed a wheel on
Sunday morning in 2007.
And they were still going strong when
Capello called time on his career as a
prototype driver after Le Mans 2012.
Fittingly, they were leading the points in the
reborn World Endurance Championship.
(MAIN) 2008 was the Capello/Kristensen/
McNish (in car) trio’s third Le Mans together,
but the first and only one ending on top of the
podium. A year earlier, they’d dominated,
before losing a wheel from their Audi R10 TDI.
The partnership between Andre
Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel
Fassler is comparable with that of
Kristensen, McNish and Capello, but
not just in terms of the success they’ve
enjoyed together. Before it broke up
with Audi’s withdrawal from the
prototype arena at the end of 2016,
the trio that won the 24 Hours of
Le Mans three times was the same
kind of compact unit. The difference
was, says Joest Racing’s Ralf Juttner,
that it came more naturally.
“They really grew up together
in sports car racing,” he says, “and
Andre and Ben, especially, were friends
together before they joined Audi. But
the result is not so much different.
They always worked for each other.”
Those three Le Mans victories, an
FIA World Endurance Championship
title and a total of 10 WEC victories
are testament to their way of working.
A similar ethic was there in a trio
that claims the second-highest tally of
WEC victories behind Lotterer and Co.,
namely Porsche’s Mark Webber, Timo
Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.
Together they formed a strong
group within which the experienced
Bernhard played a key role in helping
Webber make the transition from
Formula 1, as well as nurturing the raw
talent of Hartley. Eight wins and the
WEC title in 2015 followed.
Mention also needs to be made of
the combination of Kristensen,
Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela. Their
“three-peat” of Le Mans wins with a
100 percent record in 2000-’02 for
Audi is unique for any trio. All three of
them would win the 24 Hours again, but
they would never share a car again.
(ABOVE, left to right) Mark Webber, Brendon
Hartley and Timo Bernhard proved a potent
combo for Porsche’s entry into LMP1.
(in car) and McNish
would have been
ones in any other
lineup, but worked as
equals, along with
Dindo Capello. Audi
made the matchup in
2006, and the trio
was still winning
together into 2012.
“I wasn’t sure it was right to put two
such big stars together. There was a
worry they might clash”