Audi's last Le Mans win : the 2014 Audi R18 - Lego Le Mans car of the week

51w ago


Talking about the Audi R18 can mean a whole host of different things. The nameplate carried over from 2011 to 2016, along some radical changes. The main one is the arrival of hybrid power units, in 2012.

The 2012 R18 e-tron Quattro, to give it its full name, was the first hybrid car to ever win the Le Mans 24 Hours. For 2013 and 2014, the hybrid system was much improved. And it needed to be, as Audi now faced ferocious competition from not only Toyota, but also sister company Porsche, for their return to the top class of endurance racing.

In fact, the 2014 R18 was arguably slower than both its competitors. In qualifying, in ran 5th, 6th and 7th, the three last spots occupied by the hybrid LMP1 cars. The first Audi was 1.5s off from pole. Things didn't look too good.

Then it rained. That took the #8 Toyota by surprised, and it crashed heavily in a gaggle of slow cars. It had to be repaired in the pits, but that took one hour, effectively taking it out of the race. Later, the #7 Toyota retired too, on engine issues. Both Porsche cars had issues too, although their pace was able to clearly worry Audi, and was actually leading the race with only 2 hours to go. Not bad for a first try! But they too encountered issues, gifting the lead to Audi.

Well, it wasn't really a gift. Audi was the only one to bring 3 cars to the race, ensuring that despite the numerous issues that the team suffered too, they would come out on top. They had to change two turbos, but still won. That's peak Audi for you!

All in all, a crazy Le Mans 24 Hours, and a deserved victory to Audi. No-one thought, at that time, that it would stay Audi's last Le Mans win, though. Audi stayed in Le Mans for 2015 and 2016, but failed to beat Porsche. Audi then pulled the plug on the program, saddening every endurance fan.

As always, I'll try to get the instructions and parts list on this tribe by Sunday! If you have any suggestions for the next car, you can post them below! I'd be very happy to give it a shot.