Audi send a ‘welcome back’ message to Porsche

By Miles Downard *

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The Le Mans 24 Hours was first run in 1923, making it the world’s oldest sports car endurance race. Apart from a 10 year break during World War II, the race has been held annually ever since the inaugural event and still takes place on the roads surrounding the town of Le Mans, France.

The race is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious in the world – commonly referred to as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency. Race teams are required to balance speed against the cars’ ability to run for a full 24 hours; similarly the drivers need to balance their speed against their ability to concentrate for long periods behind the wheel.

Porsche holds the current record for the most overall victories in Le Mans history, at 16, but hot on its heels is sister company Audi who’ve managed 12 wins since their first race in 2000. That’s a stunning win percentage to say the least.

In what appears to be a pre-emptive move, Porsche announced their return to the event for 2014, most likely to protect their record and show Audi exactly who is boss over there in Germany.

Not to be outdone, or show weakness for that matter, Audi decided to drive to Porsche’s HQ in Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart, and leave them a little welcome back message. Only it seems Audi’s sales department had moseyed off in all the company A4 rep-mobiles, so they took their new R18 e-tron Le Mans Prototype instead.

Fortunately for us, the stunt was filmed by the jovial bunch at Audi. And it’s definitely worth a watch; not only for the stunning panning shots of this hard-and-fast racer tearing across the German country-side at the hands of Le Mans champ ‘Dindo’ Capello, but also because there’s a nice lady jogging along the road side about 25 seconds in.

The short clip ends with Dindo painting the tarmac black outside Porsche HQ, spinning up a little message in lieu of June 14, when the sound of roaring engines will fill the French countryside for the 81st time.

Have a watch, pick a side and get excited, as the countdown has begun to one of the most anticipated battles in Le Mans 24 Hour history.

* Miles Downard is the editor of Biznews Motoring