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by Tim Beissmann

Audi Sport factory team lead race engineer, Leena Gade, became the first female to win the Le Mans 24-Hour race last weekend.

The 35-year-old from Britain was the mastermind behind the technical and tactical decisions for the Audi R18 TDI race car, which led from start to finish with Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer rotating through the driver’s seat.

The win was the 10th endurance title for Audi in what was just the car’s second outing.

“I still can’t believe what happened and I don’t think it will sink in for a few weeks,” Ms Gade said.

“Our Audi R18 TDI started from pole position, set the fastest race lap and did not have any major problems in what was only this car’s second race.

“We’d prepared properly, which is what Audi and the Joest team do. We had to race hard throughout the entire 24 hours. It was quite amazing.”

The winning car was one of three entered by Audi in this year’s Le Mans race. Over 24 hours it covered more than 4800km (an average speed of more than 200km/h) and Ms Gade said it pitted only for tyres, fuel and driver changes in what was a clean race up front.




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