Despite Peugeot dominance for the first half of the race, the #2 Audi R10 TDI of Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland) managed to win the 76th running of the 24 hours of Le Mans 2008.
Never falling behind the pace-setting #7 Peugeot of Gene-Minassian-Villeneuve for more than one lap, the turning point occurred with the arrival of the rain in early morning with Capello, Kristensen and McNish taking the lead at 05:17 and holding it until the finish at 15:00 hours.
Strategy played the deciding factor as Audi Sport Team Joest chose a set-up for their #2 Audi R10 TDI that was the best compromise for both dry and wet track surfaces. Meanwhile Peugeot took a different fateful approach by having to change their cars during the race to a rain set-up, Audi only needed to change tires. The result was Audi ahead of the Peugeot by one lap with Peugeot not rejoining the leading lap again until the very end.
Tom Kristensen, extended his existing record to eight Le Mans victories now. Dindo Capello won for the third time after 2003 and 2004. Allan McNish scored his second Le Mans victory with his first in 1998 and now 2008. For Audi Sport Team Joest, it was their third successive victory with the Audi R10 TDI, making it a hat-trick for the second time after 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Elsewhere, LMP2 was won by the Porsche Spyders who came first and second on their first visit to the Le Mans 24 hours. Aston Martin’s DBR 9 successfully defended its LM GT1 title, Ferrari taking revenge by scoring a massive 1-2-3-4 in LM GT2 class.
On top of the thrilling action, the energy of the 24 hours of Le Mans 2008 was heightened with a record crowd of 258,500 enthusiastic spectators in attendance.