Audi abandonne l'endurance et les 24h du Mans

Audi réorganise son implication en sport automobile. La marque Audi mettra fin à son engagement WEC FIA, y compris les 24 Heures du Mans, à la fin de la saison 2016 pour s’impliquer en Formule E, série de course électrique.
 
 
Devant 300 employés réunit ce mercredi 26 octobre 2016, le président du conseil d'administration Rupert Stadler annonce qu'il est important de se reconcentrer sur des secteurs concurrentiel pour les années à venir. Voilà pourquoi le conseil d'administration a décidé de mettre fin à l'engagement d'Audi en endurance.
 
À l'avenir, Audi utilisera le savoir-faire et les compétences des experts du sport automobile de Neuburg et Neckarsulm partiellement dans la branche sport automobile et en grande partie dans le développement.
 
"Nous allons nous concentrer à l’avenir sur les courses électrique», dit Stadler. "Comme nos voitures de production sont de plus en plus électrique, nos voitures de course qui constituent le fer de lance de notre technologie doit s’adapter".
 
L'engagement dans le DTM continuera en 2017 Aucune décision définitive n'a encore été prise concernant une participation dans le Championnat du Monde FIA WRX (Rallycross). En 2016, le pilote DTM Mattias Ekström avec son Quattro Audi S1 EKS RX a décroché le titre de champion du monde WRX.
 
Le départ du Championnat du Monde d'Endurance FIA (WEC) marque la fin d'une ère de succès. Depuis 18 ans, la marque a décroché 13 victoires aux 24 Heures du Mans. Audi a décroché la première victoire d'un moteur TFSI (2001), le premier succès d'une voiture diesel au Mans et la première victoire d’un groupe motopropulseur hybride (2012).
 
En 185 courses disputées, Audi a accumulé 106 victoires, 80 pole positions et 94 meilleurs tours en course. A deux reprises, Audi a remporté le Championnat du Monde d'Endurance FIA (WEC) avec l'Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro. En outre, de 2000 à 2008, Audi a remporté 9 fois de suite le titre en American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
 
"Après 18 ans de compétition en Endurance avec des succès exceptionnels pour Audi, il est évidemment très difficile d’arrêter», dit le directeur d'Audi Motorsport, le Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Audi Sport Team Joest a dominé le WEC au cours de cette période, comme aucune autre équipe. Je voudrais exprimer mes remerciements à notre équipe, à Reinhold Joest et son Team, les pilotes, les partenaires et les sponsors pour cette coopération extrêmement fructueuse. Ce fût un grand moment !"
 
Audi aux 24 heures du Mans 2014
 
Audi with new motorsport strategy: Formula E instead of WEC
 
Audi is realigning its motorsport strategy. The premium brand will terminate its FIA WEC commitment, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, at the end of the 2016 season. Instead Audi is taking up a factory-backed commitment in the all-electric Formula E racing series.

Speaking to 300 employees of the motorsport department on Wednesday morning, Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler put this strategic decision in the context of the current burdens on the brand, pointing out that it was important to focus on the things that would keep Audi competitive in the years ahead. That is why the Board of Management had decided to terminate Audi’s commitment in endurance racing. In the future, Audi will be using the know-how and skills of the motorsport experts from Neuburg and Neckarsulm partially in motorsport and partially in production development.

“We’re going to contest the race for the future on electric power,” says Stadler. “As our production cars are becoming increasingly electric, our motorsport cars, as Audi’s technological spearheads, have to even more so.” The first all-electric racing series perfectly matches the strategy of offering fully battery-electric models year by year starting in 2018, Audi currently being in the greatest transformation stage in the company’s history. The commitment in FIA Formula E will already commence in 2017. It is regarded as the racing series with the greatest potential for the future. That is why Audi has intensified the existing partnership with Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport in the current 2016/2017 season. On the road toward a full factory commitment, the manufacturer is now actively joining the technical development.
The commitment in the DTM, where Audi will be competing with the successor of the Audi RS 5 DTM in 2017, will remain untouched. In mid-October, the premium brand won the manufacturers’ and teams’ classifications. In 2013, Mike Rockenfeller most recently brought the title of DTM Champion home for the four rings.

No final decision has yet been made concerning a future involvement in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX). In the current 2016 season, DTM factory driver Mattias Ekström in his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro clinched the World Championship title early, competing against numerous factory teams. Up to now, Audi’s involvement has been limited to supporting the private EKS team. The brand is currently evaluating a possible extension of the commitment, the exciting topic of electrification being on the agenda in rallycross racing as well.

The departure from the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) marks the end of a successful era. For 18 years, the brand was active in Le Mans prototype racing. During this period, it scored 13 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and set numerous technical milestones. At Le Mans, Audi clinched the first victory of a TFSI engine (2001), the first success of a race car with a TDI engine (2006), plus the first triumph of a sports car with a hybrid powertrain (2012). In the brand’s 185 races contested to date, Audi’s Le Mans prototypes have achieved 106 victories, 80 pole positions and 94 fastest race laps. On two occasions, Audi won the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the Audi R18 e-tron quattro race car. In addition, from 2000 to 2008, Audi, nine times in succession, secured the title in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), the world’s most important racing series for Le Mans prototypes at the time.

“After 18 years in prototype racing that were exceptionally successful for Audi, it’s obviously extremely hard to leave,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “Audi Sport Team Joest shaped the WEC during this period like no other team. I would like to express my thanks to our squad, to Reinhold Joest and his team, to the drivers, partners and sponsors for this extremely successful cooperation. It’s been a great time!” Due to the LMP commitment, Audi has been demonstrating Vorsprung durch Technik and learning a lot for use in production.
 

Plan du circuit du Mans

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