Audi's drivers have admitted that they were surprised to take a clean sweep of the podium in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Mike Rockenfeller clinched their maiden victories after the No. 1 and No. 2 Peugeots ran into trouble while leading the race. Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer finished second, with Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello completing the podium in their recovery from an accident while lapping Andy Priaulx's broken BMW early on.
McNish says he was not expecting Audi to come out on top but praised the reliability record of the team, which had no technical issues across any of the three R15s during the race.
"Personally, I'm just quite amazed, I'm quite shocked, I'm bemused by it all," McNish told AUTOSPORT. "With the speed that Peugeot had – and it was speed on tap, it wasn't as if they were straining to do it. But we put them in a position where they had to do it.
"We had got ourselves to the point where we were fast enough to be the irritating Audi behind and they know our strengths. It meant they had to push. To be honest, I think they were as surprised as we were about the amount of reliability problems they had because I don't think they had them in the past."
Bernhard, who took the checkered flag in the No. 9 car, added: "If you had said at the beginning of the week that all nine of us would be here on the podium, I would not have believed it. The Peugeots were very strong."
Dindo Capello said the Peugeots were so far ahead that he was not even contemplating an Audi win during the race.
"A few hours into the race, we thought a podium was impossible," he said. "It seemed so far out of reach. The Peugeots had such a speed advantage that we just had to focus on our own strategy to make it to the finish.
"When the Peugeots ran into trouble, I had no idea at first. We were concentrating on running our own race. The first thing I knew was during the night, I got out of the car after a long stint and a journalist came up to me and asked me what happened to the Peugeot. Until then, I didn't even know that one of our cars was in the lead."