Thanks to some prodding from my pro-Peugeot friend Gabe Hodges, I decided to do a quick analysis of the prototype battle. This will be short, because despite the wardrobe malfunction, the Audis never had a chance to beat the Lions barring some LeMans-like mechanical failure.
That being said, I am not ready to anoint the Pugs with the car of the “short golden period” as Gabe has termed it. The 908 has won one time at the pinnacle event of endurance racing. That was 2009 when they beat the R15 by 6 laps. I am also not willing to bestow that crown on the R15 (which has never had the aero package or speed to go toe to toe with the Pugs). So I will default my car of the golden period to the Audi R10 TDI. The R10 claimed three wins in a row at Sarthe (2006-2008). The R10 also ran in 2009 and 2010, earning top 10s in 09 in the hands of the non-factory (though well-funded) Kolles team.
So to recap, I would say that the car of the golden era would indeed be the R10 TDI.
Here is the hard data on all 3 cars.
6 Races – 3 wins (.500) – 24 Hour Win in 2010 (pugs go boom)
908 HDI FAP
23 Races – 15 wins (.652) – 24 Hour Win in 2009 – 2009 Petit LeMans (giant *- rain) 2010 Sebring 12 – 2010 Petit LeMans
Teams’ Championships 1 (Le Mans Series 2007)
Constructors’ Championships 1 (Le Mans Series 2007)
Drivers’ Championships 1 (Le Mans Series 2007)
28 Races – 14 Wins – 24 Hour Wins in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – Sebring 12 – 2006 and 2007 – Petit 2006, 2007 and 2008
Constructors’ Championships 4 (American Le Mans 2006, 2007, 2008, Le Mans Series 2008)
Drivers’ Championships 4 (American Le Mans 2006, 2007, 2008, Le Mans Series 2008)
As for GT, I had a disappointed brother, who roots consistently for the Flying Lizards. A crappy outing for them (they never really had the pace) prevented the team from taking the manufacturer and team titles. But Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long did walk away with the driver’s titles. BMW won the manufacturer and team titles in the GT class.
I also felt bad for Team Gunnar Green Earth…a ton of equipment failures cost them a shot at the LMPC title.
All in all, it was a great race…you can check out some of our pictures below…