Peugeot are out

Stephan Heublein

Alexander Wurz put in a good show for the 21st and 22nd hours of the race, gradually reducing the gap, only to be forced to retire and leave the field to Audi.

The third Peugeot works team has also had to throw in the towel in the Le Mans 24-hour race. After staging a furious pursuit, the classic race terminated in a huge cloud of smoke for the car with the number 1 on its side. Until this retirement, Wurz had benefited from traffic and a driving error plus pit stop by Andre Lotterer to catch up with and overtake the No 8 Audi in the 21st hour. But the joy of clawing back second place did not last long, as the Peugeot had to refuel. After the fuel stop, it was 'as you were', with No 8 once again leading from No 1, though Wurz had a deficit of only a few seconds.

The Austrian continued with his attack and by the 22nd hour had reduced the gap to only eight seconds. But on Indianapolis Corner, the engine of his Peugeot gave out. Though he was still able to drive back to the pit under his own steam, the only remaining challenger to Audi was well and truly out of the running. And the tears wept by Peugeot principal Olivier Quesnel were not going to alter that fact.