Jean-Claude Plassart, the president of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, has officially presented Audi with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winners' trophy during the Volkswagen Group evening.

The prestigious trophy is a challenge cup that the Le Mans winner can only hold for a year before returning it to the ACO before the start of the next race. An automobile manufacturer can only keep the trophy for ever if it wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in succession with the same team.

Audi has now achieved this hat-trick for the second time after first taking the hat-trick in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Audi Sport Team Joest has now taken victory three times in succession in 2006, 2007 and 2008 with the R10 TDi - the first wins at La Sarthe for a diesel-powered car.

"Le Mans is, and will remain, one of the greatest challenges in motorsport," Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board at Audi AG said. "We are proud to have taken the hat-trick for a second time. The trophy will find pride of place in Ingolstadt."

Before that, the impressive trophy will be on display on the Audi AG stand during the Paris Motor Show.