For the 2009 season, Audi will concentrate its motorsport programs on the new R15 TDI sport prototype for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the A4 in the DTM series and the newly developed R8 LMS for customer use in the GT3 class. Furthermore, Audi will not be represented by its factory team Audi Sport North America in the American Le Mans Series in 2009.
As a result of its newly aligned motorsport program Audi will offer its motorsport customers a bespoke vehicle concept for the first time: the new R8 LMS specifically designed to suit the user-friendly and cost-effective requirements in the production-based GT3 class in international motorsport (see the full story on our News and Blog pages at www.eurotuner.com). The powerful 500hp racecar is based on the Audi R8 and is due to be delivered soon.
The American Le Mans Series involvement will not be continued. Audi entered the American Le Mans Series in 2000 and claims to have been instrumental in building up the championship ever since. "The decision to withdraw was a very difficult one. 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-caliber sportscar championship. Our brand dominated proceedings last season by taking seven wins from eleven races. TDI in racing supported the market launch of Audi TDI technology in the USA perfectly," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
Even though Audi will concentrate its factory involvement at European venues throughout the 2009 season during economically tough times, the American motorsport friends will be treated to a premiere: The completely newly developed Audi R15 TDI sports prototype should make its debut on 21 March 2009 during the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida (USA). This international sportscar classic, which should 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 Fran