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Audi makes clean sweep of Le Mans


Audi took the top three places at the Le Mans endurance race

Audi won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the ninth time on the weekend, taking first, second and third places.

The Audi No 9 car was first at the 13.6-kilometre Circuit de la Sarthe, setting a record number of 397 laps. The No 8 and No 7 cars took second and third places.

All Peugeot cars retired.

Audi now ties with Ferrari for second place in the list of the most successful manufacturers at Le Mans. Porsche has the best record with 16 wins.

Winning driver Timo Bernhard, teaming up with fellow German driver Mike Rockenfeller and Romain Dumas of France, was a lap ahead of the Audi No 8, driven by Benoit Treluyer of France with Swiss Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer of Germany.

"It's unbelievable, I didn't expect it," Rockenfeller said. "We did a good, clean job and we were lucky that our main competitor had so many problems."

Italy's Dindo Capello - in the No 7 Audi with Tom Kristensen of Denmark and Britain's Allan McNish - was third, three laps back.

Defending champion Peugeot monopolised the top four spots on the starting grid, and clearly had the fastest cars, but ran into problems during the race.

One car retired because of suspension damage after less than three hours, another retired with engine failure, and the third's engine blew up.

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