With Audi streamlining its racing priorities into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, DTM
and GT3, there isn't any more space for other racing formulae. So Audi
has taken the decision not to have a factory team in the American Le
Mans Series in 2009.
A statement issued by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich
reads as thus: "The decision to withdraw was a very difficult one also
for these reasons. Furthermore, with the Champion racing team we also
had a partner that operates at the highest level. The extraordinary
dedication and precision of Team Champion was the key to Audi's
victories over the last few years in America. We achieved an
unprecedented winning series together. Since the 2000 season Audi has
won the LMP1 title nine-times in succession in this high-calibre
sportscar championship. Our brand dominated proceedings last season by
taking seven wins in eleven races. TDI in racing supported the market
launch of Audi TDI technology in the USA perfectly."
There goes the theory of Audi going into Formula One within the next
couple of years. Not all the news is bad however, for American fans,
for they will witness the debut of the brand spanking new R15 TDI at
the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida in March 2009. The race will put
the new car through enough paces to see how well it might fare during
24 Hour Le Mans 2009.
The Audi brand has been part of the American Le Mans Series since the year 2000.
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