Former Le Mans winner Allan McNish has paid tribute to the "new generation" of drivers in his Audi team after Mike Rockenfeller, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard led the Audi 1-2-3 sweep in this year's race.
With Audi's senior No. 7 car - driven by ace trio McNish, Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello - delayed in an incident with Andy Priaulx's GT2 BMW early in the race, the younger drivers in the No. 9 came through to take the glory. Fellow relatively recent Audi recruits Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treloyer and Marcel Fassler were second.
All three winning Audi drivers established their sports car reputations with Porsche, with Bernhard and Dumas winning LMP2 titles in the American Le Mans Series for Porsche before joining Audi.
"We always knew these guys were capable of winning," said McNish. "They've been going really quickly in the ALMS with Audi for years now so you shouldn't be surprised to see this new generation of guys coming up and challenging to win this race."
Dumas said it meant a huge amount to him to win sportscar racing's premier event at his home track.
"For me it's a big point to win this race," he said. "I went to school here in Le Mans, I learned to race here."
He added that he had always been confident his car could win even when Peugeot was dominating the first half of the event.
"There was no pressure all weekend, we were confident all the way through," said Dumas. "I know that sounds strange. OK, the car was a little bit slow compared with the Peugeots but it was good to drive. We had no trouble with it."