Le Mans: Audi endures for 2014 24-hour victory

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Audi has captured its 13th win in 15 years in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the trio of Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler winning their third Le Mans in four years (2011, 2012).

The 2014 edition wasn’t so much an edition of pace versus pace as much as it was pace versus reliability, as the new LMP1 regulations threw a number of curveballs at the field.

Audi ended 1-2 although both of its cars required turbo changes. Meanwhile a series of issues plagued Porsche, which was down on outright pace but used a tortoise strategy and a fewer pit stops to play the No. 20 car (Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley) into contention.

Webber’s car though, ground to a halt from an unidentified mechanical issue with just over two hours remaining, which stunted the charge and ended their race.

Behind the top two, Toyota’s No. 8 made it onto the podium despite losing eight laps and 50 minutes in the garage early in the race from accident damage.

The remaining class victories went to Jota Sport (LMP2) with the venerable Zytek Z11SN Nissan, AF Corse with its No. 51 Ferrari F458 Italia in GTE-Pro and the No. 95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage in GTE-Am.

More to follow later today on MotorSportsTalk.

Al Unser Jr. to race Pikes Peak Hill Climb for first time in 29 years

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Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is coming out of retirement to race again.

Unser Jr., who turns 56 on April 19, will compete in the 96th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24. It will be the first time Unser has raced at Pikes Peak in 29 years, since the 1989 event.

Unser won the Hill Climb and was named “King of the Mountain” in the 1983 event.

Unser said in 2007 that he was retiring from racing and had no plans to race in the future. However, he has taken part since then in some selected vintage racing events.

Speaking of vintage cars, Unser is slated to drive a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan in this year’s Hill Climb, according to race organizers.

He’ll compete with a number of luminaries including eight-time Hill Climb winner Paul Dallenbach; Layne Schranz, who will be competing in his 25th “Race to the Clouds”; 23-time champion Clint Vahsholtz; 25-time Hill Climb competitor David Schmidt II and three-time Climb winner Spencer Steele.

Unser recently returned to IndyCar racing as a consultant with Harding Racing, which is beginning its first full season in the series with Gabby Chaves behind the wheel.