A great transitional shot from light to darkness helps set the scene for the next incredibly dramatic, and much scarier moment – Rockenfeller's crash on the run down to Indianapolis after contact with another Ferrari F458.
Same dramatic effect – the moment of impact, fade to black, then the radio transmission. As no one was able to see where exactly all the hundreds of carbon fiber shards had gone once the No. 1 Audi had contacted the guardrail, given it was at night, the concern was much greater for the German's condition.
For Gade and Lotterer, who was now driving the sole remaining Audi (No. 2), a mere three-word exchange between them sends chills down your spine. As Lotterer drove through the wreckage, and had the bad feeling associated with wondering who it was, Gade responded to his question, “Andre, it's Rocky” over the radio.
“At that point, I'm thinking, 'Will I be the next one?'” Lotterer asks.
Again, though, despite the crash's severity, Rockenfeller was largely unharmed, and described his take shortly thereafter. He said he didn't know where he was, and only remembered having a headache.
We learn a bit later following the several-hour caution that the sole remaining Audi, the No. 2 car, had a nickname, and its young driver lineup had the necessary support from the entire team to focus on taking down a phalanx of Peugeots.
With the accidents behind them, the story now shifts to accurately explaining and describing the strategy. Audi's goal was to run flat out and do fewer full service pit stops (fuel, tires, driver changes) compared to Peugeot's fewer overall pit stops, but more full service stops, which would now decide the outcome.
Fassler, who's largely overlooked in the film, not for anything he did wrong as much as the way the race played out, admitted the overnight portion was difficult because it was a challenge for the Audi to get enough heat in the tires. From the morning stages, the Treluyer/Lotterer efforts were highlighted.
It's only with the benefit of a few months hindsight and the job the film does in chronicling Treluyer's morning stint that you see just what a job the Frenchman did. I didn't know when covering on site Treluyer had woken up a mere 10 minutes before being called to get in the car – for what eventually turned into a five-stint, four-hour run behind the wheel.
Audi was able to make its Michelins last five stints, this despite a couple hairy moments from Treluyer including a “pass of the race” contender, three-wide on the outside around a Peugeot and a French Corvette at the left-hand sweeper exiting Porsche Curves.
Treluyer's stint over, he handed back to Lotterer for the finish – and the film does a great job here of noting just how close Audi was to disaster on this car, as well. A slow puncture of the left rear could have eliminated them, but Lotterer drove steadily and smoothly for five laps before his ultimate final stop.
This is Gade's moment to shine. Much as Haynes' snap decision in tire choice helped win the 2008 Le Mans, Gade had the option here of going with changing merely the punctured tire or all four. After consulting with both Haynes and Kristensen, who'd stuck around still some 22 hours after his car's accident, the decision was made to change all four. Haynes had a rather colorful comment describing Gade's tension on the pit wall near that stage in the race.
Lotterer, who emerged 7.8 seconds clear of Simon Pagenaud in the chasing Peugeot after they had both pitted, had fresher tires for the final stint and pulled out another 6 seconds to win by 13.854 seconds over the talented Frenchman.
“Every second counts” accurately describes both the close finish and the degree of entertainment in this documentary.
• Truth in 24 II: Every Second Counts premieres Saturday, May 5, at 4 p.m. ET on SPEED. A trailer of the film is below.