Yesterday the internet was awash with news of #1 Audi R18 e-tron getting smashed to bits during a free practice session ahead of the Le Mans 24 Hours. It seemed that Audi had no choice but to come to the race limping. But they accomplished an astonishing feat by rebuilding the car almost from scratch overnight.
The mechanics of Audi Sport Team Joest managed to rebuild the damaged R18 e-tron Quattro in record time using a spare monocoque, even though they ran into other issues during the process. But in time for the second qualifying session on Thursday night the car was ready and everyone at Le Mans marveled at the sight of three Audi R18s on the track.
The repaired car suffered from a defective sensor and guard rail contact by Lucas di Grassi, but despite all the setbacks it didn’t give in and managed to continue till the close of the third qualifying session 2:30 in the morning. The fastest time of car #1 was achieved by di Grassi in 3m 25.814s.
Things turned in Audi’s favour again, especially as Loic Duval, the man who binned the R18, was released from the hospital where he had spent the night under observation as a precaution. Duval’s name will continue to be present on the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Le Mans, but he is repacked by Spaniard Marc Gené, who will start the race with Lucas di Grassi and Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen.