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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 June 2007, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Audi win to retain Le Mans crown
The Audi R10 driven by Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro at daybreak.
Audi's diesel-powered R10s led for virtually the entire race
The Audi driven by Frank Biela, Marco Werner and Emanuele Pirro came home first in the Le Mans 24-Hour race.

The team's No 1 R10 inherited the lead with seven hours to go after the No 2 car of Rinaldo Capello, Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen crashed out.

They had led the famous endurance event since the first corner, but Capello lost a wheel and hit a tyre barrier.

Second place went to the Peugeot 908 driven by Sebastien Bourdais, Stephane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy.

With just 77 minutes left, the second Peugeot, with F1 champion Jacques Villenueve among its drivers, pulled out with engine problems.

It had been in second with a little more than two hours left when it dropped to fourth following a lengthy pit stop. Soon afterwards, it stopped for good.

We had nine stressful hours with the Peugeot right behind us, but the more you suffer, the greater the pleasure

Audi's Emanuele Pirro

Canadian Villeneuve was bidding to join the late Graham Hill as the only other man to have achieved a motorsport 'triple crown' of the F1 title, Indianapolis 500 and Le Mans.

It was a second straight win both for the victorious trio of Biela, Pirro and Werner - who took the chequered flag - and Audi diesel power.

Werner won for the third time, while fellow German Biela and Italian Pirro each have five victories to their name. Audi have now won seven of the last eight Le Mans 24-Hour races.

Audi's winning car was the only one of their three to complete the contest, which ended in a torrential downpour.

The third R10 lasted just 90 minutes on Saturday before Mike Rockenfeller went off in wet conditions and backwards into a barrier.

The second Audi, piloted by Capello Scot McNish and seven-time winner Kristensen, led for over 16 hours, with McNish setting a new lap record of three minutes, 27.204 seconds on the 8.45-mile circuit along the way.

But Italian Capello had a 43rd birthday to forget when his left rear wheel came off at 160mph, sending him into a tyre wall.

In the GT1 category, Aston Martin returned to the winner's podium, courtesy of David Brabham - son of legendary Aussie racer Sir Jack - Briton, Darren Turner, and Swede Rickard Rydell. The trio were fifth overall.

A total of 54 cars started the 75th edition of Le Mans, but 25 failed to finish.

Le Man 24-Hour race results:

1. Frank Biela, Marco Werner (Ger), Emanuele Pirro (Ita) Audi No. 1, 369 laps.

2. Pedro Lamy (Por) Stephane Sarrazin, Stephane Bourdais (Fra) Peugeot No. 8, 359 laps.

3. Emmanuel Collard, Jean-Christophe Boullion, Romain Dumas (Fra) Pescarolo Judd No. 16, 357 laps.

4. Joao Barbosa (Por), Stuart Hall, Martin Short (GB) Pescarolo Judd No. 18, 347 laps.

5. David Brabham (Aus); Rickard Rydell (Swe), Darren Turner (GB) Aston Martin No. 009, 342 laps.

6. Johnny O'Connell (US), Jan Magnussen (Den), Ron Fellows (Can) Corvette No. 63, 342 laps.

7. Christophe Bouchut (Fra), Fabrizio Gollin (Ita), Casper Elgaard (Den) Aston Martin No. 008, 340 laps.

8. Alex Yoong (Mal), Stefan Muck (Ger) Jan Charouz (Cze) Lola Judd No. 15, 337 laps.

9. Tomas Enge (Cze), Johnny Herbert (GB), Peter Kox (Ned) Aston Martin No. 007, 337 laps.

10. Laurent Groppi, Nicolas Prost, Jean-Philippe Belloc (Fra) Saleen No. 54, 336 laps.

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