For many it has come a bang: Audi finished his sports car commitment in the WEC (World Endurance Challenge) race series at the turn of the year 2016/2017 and enters a completely new field of activity: in the formula E.
The strategic decision to abandon long-haul motor sport long with great success-driven Audi Chief Rupert Stadler explained as follows: "we wear out electrically the race to the future. If our series cars are more and more electric, our motor sports car as a technological spearhead Audi must be let alone." The formula of E as the first purely electric racing series fit ideal to the Audi-electric strategy, which envisages to bring 2018 year every new electric cars on the market.
Because the factory entry in the formula E "only" end of 2017 will be next season, Audi supports the team in the current Championship "Abbot Schaeffler Audi Sport", to gain experience. As a pilot, Audi factory driver Luca di Grassi goes there at the start. Audi also already now fully enters on the technical development of the formula E cars.
Audi's long-haul commitment began in 1998. 18 years the last enter with the Le Mans prototypes 13 WINS at the prestigious Sarthe classic twice around the clock in the year 2014. The balance of the racing cars can be seen: in 185 races, Audi's Le Mans prototype reached 106 victories, 80 poles and 94 fastest laps. Audi won the FIA's endurance World Cup R18 with the hybrid race car Audi e-tron quattro. Audi picked up also the first Le Mans win a TDI engine in 2006. A great era is now ending.
The remaining Audi Motorsport activities are not affected by the Le Mans exit. The DTM, as well as the customer sports programs will continue as before. Tested is at the moment a potential factory entry in the RallyCross Championship, which should also be electrified in the near future. (mf)