40 JULY 2017
hanks to the continuing fallout from
the Volkswagen Group’s “Dieselgate”
scandal, this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans
will be the first without any Audis –
factory or pseudo-factory – since 1999.
Is that a blow to the twice-around-the-clock classic? You bet it is. With 13 wins in
an 18-year tenure, plus savvy marketing
that transformed the race from a mere
test of endurance to the ultimate battle
of technologies, Audi redefined Le Mans.
But here’s the good news: Audi’s
trailblazing and the Automobile Club de
l’Ouest’s embracing of hybrid technology
was enough to lure Toyota and Audi’s sister
marque, Porsche, into the headline LMP1
class. And it’s thanks to VW’s decision not
WORDS RACER staff MAIN IMAGE JohnRourke/ AdrenalMedia.com
With Audi out, the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans is set to be
a shootout between 18-time winner Porsche and five-
time runner-up Toyota. It should be fascinating.