An evening with Le Mans winners



On Saturday October 8, Motor Sport hosted a successful readers’ evening in association with Audi UK at the stunning Audi quattro rooms in West London. Star guests included Le Mans winners Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Audi factory team engineers Howden ‘H’ Haynes and Leena Gade.

When Motor Sport’s editorial team watched the little-known Truth in 24 documentary, which follows Audi’s 2008 Le Mans-winning team, it was clear that this had to be shared with Motor Sport’s readers. And so following on from the success of An Evening of Senna, Motor Sport’s second readers’ event was spawned.

Four months later and five of Audi’s sports cars – the R8c, R8, R10, R15 and R18 – were all in one room along with eight-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, two-times winner Allan McNish and the brains behind the 2008 and 2011 victories, Howden ‘H’ Haynes and Leena Gade. Motor Sport readers now had their chance to mingle with the team and see the cars close at hand before sitting down to watch the film.

The documentary follows the factory Audi team as they fight through the gruelling race in the knowledge that their car is technically slower that its rival from Peugeot. In one of the most nail-biting Le Mans in recent history, the Audi team works together to overcome its rivals, and it is engineer H’s inspired tyre-change decision 23 and half hours into the race that helps the number two car to victory.

When the Q&A session began after the film, hero Haynes was the talking point of the night. Questions such as, ‘what was going through your mind as the race finished?’ and ‘how did you cope with the exhaustion while maintaining 100 per cent concentration?’ were just a couple of the topics covered. Meanwhile McNish spoke about his dramatic crash at La Sarthe this year, Gade told us how it felt to win her first race as number one engineer, and Kristensen explained his advantage over McNish when it comes to height…

At the end of the evening every attendee left with a bag of goodies. And for those of you who weren’t able to make it there is a special podcast of the evening which will be available for download shortly.

Motor Sport will be hosting more readers’ evenings in 2012, so watch this space.

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