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PostSubject: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:45 am

I found this quite interesting:
Quote :
During the Petit Le Mans weekend I also talked with Audi's racing boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. Dr. Ullrich said Audi will probably race at Sebring and Road Atlanta again next year but is not likely to run any more ALMS races next season. He also warned that too much rule-changing and instability would push Audi out of Le Mans prototype racing.

"When we had to take the decision to pull out of the ALMS and the LMS last year it mainly came out of the economic situation and I don't see really a big change for next year," Dr. Ullrich said. "Once we had decided not to run in the ALMS and the LMS then the car development and the spare parts we produce over the season were not made and when you go again into the next year and you don't have anything as far as development and spares that makes the percentage big that we won't race the whole series next year.

"In addition," Dr. Ullrich went on, "the ACO intends to change the rules for next year and if they really change the rules for next year after just one year of the current rules then it will be a very difficult thing to convince my board to do another new car for one year because new rules are going to come in for 2011.

"I could convince my board to continue in recent years because of a quite acceptable continuance in the rules with predictable changes. But now this becomes inconsistent and more difficult in a time period when economics are bad. It makes the risk bad so that some of the board will say, 'Hey, what's going on?' The main issue now is to convince the guys from the ACO that in times like this stability is even more important than before. To go the other way is the most counter-productive thing they can do."

Dr. Ullrich said he appreciates the ALMS's reasoning in combining its P1 and P2 cars into a single category for next year. But he says the move has added to his problems in convincing his board of directors to keep its prototype sports car budget alive.

"We have understood from Scott (Atherton) that they are going to try to bring the performance of an LMP1 to a similar level of performance of the P2 cars," Dr. Ullrich commented. "I can understand this from the organizers perspective but if you are a manufacturer that has been racing an LMP1 car because you don't want to make an LMP2 and then you get restricted to being no faster than an LMP2 and someone asks you, 'Why did you spend this money on this P1 car?' This is the problem.

"I think the solution is that there should be a year where you run the existing cars and just try to make competition good for the fans. But if the ACO plays the game different than that, and changes the rules again two years in a row, I don't know how these things fit together.

Dr. Ullrich also said Audi is continuing to talk to the IRL about its new formula for 2012. He said Audi may be interested in competing if the IRL's new rules embrace the FIA's 'global engine'--a four-cylinder which can be turbocharged and raced in various forms across a broad range of categories from F1 to sports cars, Indy cars and rallying. It will be interesting to see if this dream is able to navigate the many agendas that drive worldwide motorsport's numerous categories and emerge in a uniformed form.

"We are talking," Dr. Ullrich said about the IRL's new formula. "It comes with the FIA's idea of the global engine concept which as you know is under development. It looks positive and if they end up in two or three years where there is an engine configuration available that you can race more or less in all the bigger series then it's going to be quite efficient for a group like ours to be able to do some different racing activities with the same basic engine. It would be very efficient."

http://www.gordonkirby.com/categories/columns/theway/2009/the_way_it_is_no203.html

Very interesting, I suppose on one hand Audi are very important for prototype racing, but on the other hand - should the ACO scrap its new rules just for one team? I mean I can see Porsche filling Audi's vacant spot quite nicely. I suppose their is not much for Audi to do in sportscar racing now, they have won everything and Peugeot is the only team that has been a close rival to them.

A move to IndyCar sounds quite realistic, Audi are trying to promote 4 cylinder engines in the USA and an IRL programme would match their plans for the US and match what the short term future of Audi engines are.

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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:53 am

Audi is massivly important to sports car the new decade 2000-2010 it will be named as the decade of Audi.

I understand where Audi are coming from. The rules need to be sort and not mess around.

Audi in IRL i can see that and Audi were talking about GT3 racing the challenge class with the R8 or a car like that in years to come....like 2011.
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:07 am

I would have thought that Audi were happy with the way that the R8 GT3 programme is run; the car is built by Audi Sport but then raced by private teams. I cannot see Audi going into ALMS full time with a GT3 car, considering Audi are keen to promote four cylinder engines in the USA - the IRL could be a better place to spend their money. Not only in publicity, but in R & D. It would be cheaper too, because Audi would only be supplying engines.

I would rather have Porsche at Le Mans than Audi though. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:34 am

Audi were not going to enter them selfs they were talking about GT3 selling a number of cars to teams, It would be good for Audi aswell the R8 is mega car. 3rd overall at spa24 Shocked it beating GT2 cars.

I don't think Audi will leave Sportscars I am not sure, the rules are not in the right way and keep getting messed about.

Porsche or Audi.....Both....but as an Audi fan Audi! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:14 am

they will race or they won't, if they don't like the new rules. they won't race i doubt very much the aco will move.
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:31 am

TBH Audi have never had like-for-like compeition apart from Peugeot at Le Mans, I suspect beating yourself gets boring - then suddenly getting beaten must be pretty Shocked Shocked . I don't like Audi anyway, the R15 and R8 look great but all their TDI bollocks (oh look, haven't you noticed how amazing diesel is???' Rolling Eyes ) annoys me.

I hope Porsche re-enter.

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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:52 am

WHAT you don't like AUDI!!! Grab the pitchforks!!!! Laughing

Audi have done some much in sportscars its like saying Ferrari are nobody in F1

I hope Audi stay in sports car but they are going have a chance to win because the ACO like the Pugs more no point of staying.
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:00 am

audi won't leave, there objecting new regs for just 2010, for 2011 there fine. as long as the 2010 rules are like the 2009 rules they stay.

storm in a teacup (since previous post i know what there moaning about.
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:05 am

Yeah but the difference is, is that Ferrari have been subject to constant compeition from the likes of Mclaren, Renault, Williams, Brabbham etc for decades. Where as Audi since the year 2000 are the car maker that have invested the most in Le Mans and nobody else wanted to play ball until Peugeot came.

I still respect Audi, but they should stop telling the world that TDI is something amazing and new. BMW won a diesel sportscar race long before Audi ever did at the Nurburgring 24 hours. Razz lol! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:37 pm

i'd much rather they raced a petrol car, but they don't want to.

i'd like to see a hydrogen fuel cell car at le mans within 5 years, and i think i could happen in that time frame.
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:45 am

cerca_trova wrote:
audi won't leave, there objecting new regs for just 2010, for 2011 there fine. as long as the 2010 rules are like the 2009 rules they stay.

storm in a teacup (since previous post i know what there moaning about.
It's just that the pug's protested the AUDI front end ! with the ok on that AUDI will race
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PostSubject: Re: Audi to pull out of sportscars?   Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:18 am

cerca_trova wrote:
i'd much rather they raced a petrol car, but they don't want to.

i'd like to see a hydrogen fuel cell car at le mans within 5 years, and i think i could happen in that time frame.

Hydrogen sounds good to me, it would be a non-renewable energy source and something that some car manufacturers are actually investing in. That is something that always grates me about Audi's TDI project, diesel's popularity rocketed in Europe long before Audi's TDI win in 2006 - and then to claim its some new concept is rather worrying too. Because BMW won a diesel sportscar race long before Audi ever did.

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