Audi win Le Mans as UAE’s Khaled Al Qubaisi makes strong class showing

Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Sunday while Khaled Al Qubaisi finished second in the GT Endurance AM class with his Proton Competition team.

Khaled Al Qubaisi of United Arab Emirates drives his Porsche 911 RSR number 88 during the 24 Hours of Le Mans sportscar race in Le Mans, central France on Friday. Stephane Mahe / Reuters / June 14, 2014
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LE MANS, France // Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 13th time on Sunday in a one-two finish, while the UAE's Khaled Al Qubaisi finished second in the GT Endurance AM class with his Proton Competition team.
"This is the first time in my life where I am speechless," said Al Qubaisi. "We came to Le Mans with Proton Competition Team with the aim of ending the race suddenly we found ourselves on the podium in second place."
Al Qubaisi made his debut in the race last year with JMW Motorsport and finished 35th overall, 10th in the GTE Pro class.
This time around, he had aimed for a top-five finish in his GT Endurance Amateur class. Al Qubaisi's team completed 332 laps, two behind class winners Aston Martin Racing Vantage and 20th overall.
Meanwhile, Audi won their 10th race in the last 11 after a battle through the night with the factory Porsche and Toyota teams.
Switzerland's Marcel Fassler, Frenchman Benoit Treluyer and Germany's Andre Lotterer took the victory in the No 2 car ahead of the No 1 driven by Denmark's Tom Kristensen, Spaniard Marc Gene and Brazilian Lucas Di Grassi.
Toyota took third place with Britain's Anthony Davidson, Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre and Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi.
Kristensen had been chasing a record 10th Le Mans victory after his triumph last year.
In what was a dramatic race, all seven factory LMP1 cars experienced problems.
In the second hour, a violent downpour caused two drivers to crash, which resulted in the safety car coming out for 40 minutes.
Many of the main contenders jostled for position in the first half of the race, but the second half was dominated by Audi and Porsche.
Pole-sitter Kazuki Nakajima's Toyota No 7 retired in the 15th hour while leading because of an electrical problem.
"It is heartbreaking," Nakajima told the Toyota Racing website. "Somehow I thought maybe we could make it this time and then this happens. That's Le Mans, and that's why we come here to take on the challenge. We will try again."
The No 1 Audi inherited top spot 16 hours into the race when its sister car was called into the garage with turbocharger issues.
With less than three hours remaining in the race, the leading Audi pitted with similar turbocharger problems.
The 17 minutes lost in the process gifted the lead to the Porsche driven by Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and former Formula One driver Mark Webber, who had completed a quadruple stint.
The Porsche, returning to Le Mans for the first time in 16 years, struggled to cope with the pace of Lotterer in the Audi as the trio regained the lead with two hours remaining and held on to claim their third victory in the world's most famous endurance race.
Porsche remains the most successful manufacturer with 16 Le Mans titles.
"We did like in 2011," Treluyer told Eurosport. "We stayed calm and attacked when we needed to. Andre [Lotterer] really put the pressure on Porsche at the right time."
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