• Jun 12, 2010
BMW Art Car and lead Audi R15 TDI altercation – Click above for image gallery

Just four hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eight-time-winner Tom Kristensen's race almost ended after contact with the BMW M3 GT2 Art Car. Audi R15 driver Kristensen was the lead Audi at the time, running a lap down in fourth overall when he went off into the gravel at Porsche curves after overtaking the Jeff Koons-liveried BMW.

The Art Car was limping back to the pits with a punctured left front tire and drifted wide in the right-hand sweeper when Kristensen arrived on the scene. TK had to make a quick choice at speed and opted for the outside, assuming the BMW would stay inside. Unfortunately, the BMW was unable to turn in, and the Audi ended up going across the gravel and backing into the wall.

Fortunately for Audi, Kristensen kept the engine running and got a push of out the gravel. Back in the pits, the car was taken into the garage, where the crew descended upon it with huge shop vacs to get the gravel out. After two and a half minutes, fresh rear bodywork and a new wing were attached and the R15 was on its way again, another lap down. The #7 Audi is now running seventh overall.



[Source: SPEED TV]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Typical BMW driver cutting everyone off and nearly causing accidents...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The race is back on Speed! The camper world truck race is rained out and so Le Mans is back on the regular channel, in HD.

      w00t.

      And I was listening to radiolemans while I was out at lunch and they pointed out that although Oliver Gavin is leading in GT2 over the Risi Ferrari, the Ferrari has more laps of fuel left in the tank. This happened because it's extremely disadvantageous to pit under yellow this year due to rules that require cars that pit under yellow to wait for the next pace car to come by before they can exit. This incurs an up to 3 minute delay!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Darn gasser BMW tried to take out the mighty diesel Audi.
      There is still time for Audi to once again achieve diesel victory.
      • 4 Years Ago
      truck race is back on, and the corvette vs Ferrari battle is still going.

      Ferrari team is afraid that the corvette c6r team is just cruising which i pushing them so their afraid at this point which intern makes me happy :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      How is this the BMWs fault? He had a front flat tire. Try turning the car on a racetrack with front flat. The Audi drive passed him before and noticing a race car PUSH like that and understeer tells you there is something wrong with the BMW. The Audi driver should have taken the inside.

      The BMW driver really couldn't have gotten out of the way, because of the flat, so don't blame him for just trying to keep it on the track.
        • 4 Years Ago
        And the BMW pilot was Andy Priaulx, 3 time world-champion WTCC driver. I really don't think there was anything he could do, the car just went wide because of that flat. He's too much of a pro to just do something stupid like run wide off his line for no reason.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Audi should have just backed off and let the BMW go through the turn first. Did no one tell him the BMW had a tire down?
        • 4 Years Ago
        If anythig, this is the BMW's fault. Whenever you have something wrong with your car, you pull out of the racing line. Goes the same way if you're driving in a slower class than the Prototypes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, it looked kinda risky, but I suppose we have to remember that these guys don't have the benefit of hindsight like we do. We can watch replays & say in retrospect "oh, he shouldn't have done that" but these guys are having to make split second decisions at high speed. They don't always get it right, but experienced racers have to be very decisive: pick a line, go for it & hope the guys in front stay put.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Audi should have backed off? Are you remotely familiar with lemans? Everyone below lmp1 is tasked with looking out for and yeilding to lmp1. As others have said, thefaults with the BMW.

        Man I can't beleve how quickly all these gt cars are falling
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not disagreeing with you, but no matter how educated or highly paid they are, they're still capable of effing up... sometimes due to a minor lapse in concentration. & who's to say they didn't warn him? Maybe he just assumed that the BMW would stay out of the way, or drive slow enough so he wouldn't drift across the track. That's what you'd expect anyone with a flat tire to do.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @everyone - Guys, this isn't NASCAR where you have a spotter telling you your position in relation to other cars. Even if Audi's engineer knew the BMW had a cut tire, he would not have known where Kristensen was going to overtake the BMW. As for Kristensen backing off, your visibility in a race car is limited. He probably didn't see the BMW or realize how slow the BMW was moving until he was right on top of him. At the speeds he's driving, it's more than just a question of backing off. As for the BMW being at fault, he had a cut left front and was turning right. Think about it, when you turn right your left front is taking the majority of the weight of the car in relation to the other three corners and needs the most traction. With the tire flat, the car pushed wide. The driver was certainly not trying to stay on the racing line in front of the Audi. This is what we call a racing incident, nobody's fault. And on that bombshell, I climb into my firesuit to get ready for my race here with the SCCA at Laguna Seca.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somehow the fact that the #3 Peugeot, the pole-sitter was out of the race 4 hours in has not showed up in either AB article?

      Hometown boy Sebastien Bourdais didn't even get to drive the car during the race, after he drove it to the pole! Real bummer for him.

      I just switched from being behind on the PVR to caught up watching the live stream so I missed a lot of action. When I quit the PVR, the BMW art car had only been in trouble once or twice so far, now it seems to be a lot more! And the all-female Swiss Ford GT was in trouble but not out of the race yet. I missed that car stopping be a few minutes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. Huge disappointment for that entire team too. You could see it on SB's face...or at least his back since he was always facing away from the camera.
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