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Featured WEC: Audi to Leave Championship at end of 2016 Season

Discussion in 'World Endurance Championship' started by Jack Hunsley, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Jack Hunsley

    Jack Hunsley
    Premium Member

    After weeks of rampant speculation Audi have finally confirmed that they will be withdrawing from the WEC at the end of the 2016 season to instead focus fully on Formula E.

    Audi's CEO, Rupert Stadler, made the announcement to 300 employees of Audi's motorsport department on Wednesday morning, pinpointing the reasoning behind their withdrawal on the 'current burdens on the brand', as well as emphasizing the importance of focusing 'on the things that would keep Audi competitive in the years ahead.'

    Audi's greater commitment in Formula E has already begun this season as their cooperation with Team ABT intensified over the summer break, however Racedepartment understands that from 2017 onward Audi will begin to actively join in the technical development of the team.

    Audi's departure from the WEC certainly marks the end of one of the most successful eras in endurance racing history. Having returned to Le Mans 18 years ago Audi have won an remarkable thirteen 24 Heures du Le Mans in that time, as well as setting several records along the way, for example becoming the first hybrid powered entry to win Le Mans amongst others. Meanwhile, across the pond Audi won nine consecutive ALMS championships from 2000 to 2008 before the introduction of the WEC in 2012.

    Whilst the WEC has bitten the dust Audi's commitment to DTM remains unchanged, however their rather limited commitment to the World Rallycross Championship under the guise of EKS is still up in the air seemingly dependent on whether Rallycross also follows Formula E down the all electrical route.

    As of yet their is no word of where any of Audi's current LMP1 driver lineup will be heading next season, but with drivers such as Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, and Loic Duval now seemingly surplus to requirements it will be fascinating to see if any of Audi's now former WEC rivals will take the plunge.

    Read more about the WEC and join the discussion in our World Endurance Championship sub forum here at RaceDepartment.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2016
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  2. Andreas Knöpke

    Andreas Knöpke
    Let's drive side by side! Premium Member

    • Agree Agree x 27
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  3. Shawn Jacobs

    Shawn Jacobs
    SpeedyMite Racing Premium Member

    That seriously sucks!!! After the epic race at Fuji with all 3 manufacturers battling it out next year was looking better then ever for WEC, really disappointed by this news.

    Even Rebellion is dropping down to lmp2 and with Webber retiring WEC is unfortunately coping blow after blow. :(
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  4. PaulH

    Premium Member

    Sad news :(
    I've only watched Formula E once and the sounds the cars make put me off ever watching it again :O_o:
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  5. It's really sad for racing, but personally I won't miss Dr. Push Himout and Co.
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  6. Nox

    Staff Member Premium Member

    Very sad news. I hope it is the wake up call the ACO needs to make LMP1 more appealing for manufacturers and sort out the atrocious LMP1-H class.
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  7. k_badam

    Yer Nan Premium Member

    rip gg :( :( :( :(

    Audi was always my second favourite team behind Toyota, sad to see them go, now we are left with Porsche, Toyota and Bykolles, not that good....
  8. i was at a formula e race in london, was so dead
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  9. Terra21

    Premium Member

    BMW returning and Audi leaving:laugh:. Too bad BMW is only coming back with GT
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2016
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  10. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Member Premium Member

    rofl seal.jpg
    Focus on Formula E.

    Let me guess? Audi Quattro Formula E-Tron?
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  11. Emerson Meyer

    Emerson Meyer
    Keep Fighting Premium Member

    Bad news, indeed. Don't know how long Toyota will stay, in considering the constant bad results.
  12. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    Really sad news. For quite a while now WEC looked to be on the up and up, now with this announcement and various other little things it seems like that momentum is grinding to a stop.

    WEC is / could / should be an epic class of racing, and an ideal proving ground for the car manufacturers to showcase new, road relevant tech. The format is great, the racing is great, they have Le Mans, great tracks (mostly), epic drivers and everything they need. Sadly it looks like money is killing it, as it always does in sport, and that makes my soul hurt.

    I hope the series can pick itself up from this, but one has to wonder. If Audi, who are an endurance mainstay since forever, feel the series isn’t a viable option anymore, what of Porsche and others?? Not encouraging news.

    I'm sad now. Let's hope one of the sims can get a cheap LMP1 licence from Audi :D
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  13. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Member Premium Member

    Well with Audi gone, it's podiums all the way for Toyota now :D
  14. budlix

    Wheel Rotator Premium Member

    definitely. they should implement some "roarish" MP3 sampler.. :D
    but onboards aren't so bad
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  15. That might kill LMP1, races will be boring and the other teams might end up leaving too, just awful.

    To think that just a while ago, we had Audi, Porsche, Toyota and the perspective of a Nissan entry.
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  16. Emerson Meyer

    Emerson Meyer
    Keep Fighting Premium Member

    Good point :roflmao:
  17. Slyfrequency

    Premium Member

    And thus my heart is broken :(

    Instead of prototypes they wanna focus on development of something that sounds like a hairdryer?
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  18. For fifteen years the lmp1 class had 2 teams most of the time, so WEC will not die if 1 out of 3 teams leaves.
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  19. samcar304

    Sam Carmichael Staff Member

    Seen a few news articles with concepts of "What 2030 LMP1 cars might look like". At this rate were not gonna have LMP1 past 2020 i dont think :(.
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