It's mid-June and that means it's time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans again. If the past decade is anything to go by, the number one contenders will again be the factory Audis, which have won eight of the last nine races (all nine if you count the 2003 as the Audi it truly was). For the past two years, the big battle for overall glory has been between the diesel-powered Audi R10 and Peugeot 908, and this year looks to be no different aside from Audi having an all new car, the R15, still with TDI power.
While the Peugeots have shown superior speed the last two years, the Audis have had better reliability and pit work. This year, the R15s appear to have made up the speed deficit, and the Germans look set for victory again if the crew can keep them running. Unfortunately for Audi, the race won't start with one of its cars in the lead, as Stephane Sarrazin has once again captured the poll in his Peugeot 908 for a record third straight year. Alan McNish managed to qualify one of Audi's three R15s right behind Sarrazin, but the other two cars managed to qualify only sixth and seventh on the starting grid. Three other Peugeot 908s will start from third, fourth and fifth, respectively, which means diesel power penetrates all the way back to the fourth row on this year's starting grid.
For those interested in following Audi's progress this weekend, the automaker is following up up its Sebring Facebook coverage with even more social media stuff this weekend. You can find photos, videos and news at AudiR15TDI.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Our own Damon Lavrinc will also be reporting live from Le Mans this year, so keep an eye on Autoblog and make sure to follow our Twitter feed all weekend long.
[Sources: Yahoo Eurosport, Audi, AutoCar | Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images]