Home > International > Le Mans 24 Hours 2002
Event info
Date : June 14-16, 2002
Present : Lauri Ouvinen, Matti Ouvinen and Ville Tikkaoja
Photos : 62

Running 24 hours and competing against others Le Mans surely is one of the toughest races for both the cars and drivers. Come the 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon some still have their cars running, others don't. This year saw the 70th anniversary of this one of the most famous motor racing events in the world. It also produced a historic result.

For the previous two years Le Mans had been all about Audi, whose LMP900 class R8 prototype had been absolutely dominant against the opposition. In 2000 they took a clean sweep of podium and last year a one-two after only running two cars. This year Audi was back with three cars and was again the clear favourite for the race. Should something happen for one of its cars the others would surely still be up there to keep the marque on top of the results. Winning drivers from the past two years - Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emmanuele Pirro - were again united in the number one Audi and were out to pursuit a record result.

As predicted, Audi did not disappoint with its performance this year either and produced a 1-2-3 finish. #1 car of Biela/Kristensen/Pirro took the historic record for winning the event three times in a row with the same manufacturer for the first time, which really has to be admired. Even though they had the best car it's not easy thing to be at the top after 24 hours. Compared to other Audis they didn't encounter any big problems. However, so was the performance advantage that the sister cars also managed to keep ahead of everyone else.

The sole LMPGTP class Bentley finished fourth after the Audis. Owned by the parent Volkswagen company one has to wonder if they are going to concentrate more on Bentley now that Audi is likely to pull off and Bentley is to run more cars next year. The LMP675 class was predicted to be clear case for the MGs. However, after they had their problems and retired the Noel del Bello Racing Reynard-Lehmann 2KQ got the victory. In GTS the Prodrive-ran Ferrari 550 Maranello was the fastest until it caught into flames on the Mulsanne in the early Sunday morning and handed the win for Corvettes. The Racer's Club Porsche took the GT honours.

Compared to last year's heavy rain the event was this year ran in brilliant weather with temperatures rising over 30 degrees celcius. This more or less affected on number of spectators to gather to the area. The festival feeling at Le Mans is something else compared to other motor racing events. A lot of motor racing and car enthusiasts, especially Brits, come to the event with their sports cars. A lot of people are camping besides the circuit. The place also has plenty of other facilities such as number of bars and an amusement park.

The photos below have been again taken from various places around the circuit and hopefully give you some view of the event. But let's cut it short and let you see them...

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