AUDI pulls out of ALMS - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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AUDI pulls out of ALMS

AutoWeek eMail bulletin

Audi pulls out of ALMS

12/05/08, 9:24 am et

In what can best be described as a surprise, Audi said on Friday that it will not be represented by its factory team, Audi Sport North America, in the 2009 American Le Mans Series. The company said it has decided instead to concentrate its motorsports efforts on the new R15 TDI sport prototype for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Also, Audi has reworked the racing A4 to compete in the German Touring Car series (DTM), and the company will focus its efforts on the newly developed R8 LMS for customer use in the GT3 class.

Even though it is pulling out of the ALMS, Audi said it will compete in next year’s Sebring 12-hour event on March 21, where it will debut the all-new Audi R15 TDI sports prototype. The race, to be contested by Audi Sport Team Joest, is traditionally regarded as excellent preparation and a final test-race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in June.

"I cannot say enough about how great a partner, competitor and participant Audi has been since it first competed in the series in 1999," said Scott Atherton, ALMS president and CEO. "We understand that the economic climate is forcing many companies to make very difficult decisions. We will welcome Audi back to the American Le Mans Series at the appropriate time to compete against our world-class group of race teams and manufacturers."

Audi entered the American Le Mans Series in 2000 and since then has been instrumental in building the series. The ALMS is recognized internationally and is regarded as the world’s best sports-car championship.

“The decision to withdraw was a very difficult one for these reasons. Furthermore, with the Champion racing team, we 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,” said Wolfgang Ullrich, the head of Audi Motorsport, in relating the difficult decision by Audi AG to call off ALMS participation next year. “We achieved an unprecedented winning series together. Since the 2000 season, Audi has won the LMP1 title nine times in succession in this high-caliber sports-car championship. Our brand dominated the circuit last season by taking seven wins in 11 races.”

Ullrich also noted how technology developed for Audi’s racing efforts in ALMS and elsewhere is turning into benefits for U.S. consumers. “TDI Technology in racing supported the market launch of Audi TDI Technology in the U.S. perfectly,” he said.

Audi pulls out of the ALMS - AutoWeek Magazine


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 12-09-2008, 08:02 AM
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I guess more of this kind of news is to be expected in the near future! I'm glad they'll be at Sebring!
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