WTCR | Audi Decide Against Replacing RS 3 LMS

With a new focus on electric racing for the Volkswagen group, Audi have also confirmed a replacement for the ageing RS 3 LMS TCR car won't be happening - with consequences for several top WTCR teams..

As recently as last month it was confirmed by the VW group that the German brand have cancelled their planned Golf TCR project, with resources from the brand to be redirected towards electric racing programmes, and now sister manufacturer Audi appear to have followed suit - with no planned replacement for the rapid but ageing RS 3 LMS.

"Sepang will be our last race at the highest level of TCR racing, after two years in the TCR International Series and two in the FIA WTCR" said WRT team boss, Vincent Vosse. "It has been an exciting and successful chapter in the story of our team, also through our involvement in the Europe and Benelux series. We will keep a lot of good memories and I hope we may have the opportunity to come back in the future".

News that the car isn't going to be updated or replaced has come as a blow for several teams, with crack touring car squads Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport and WTR Racing already confirming their plans to withdraw from both the FIA WTCR and TCR Europe competition at the end of this season. News of the teams late departure leaves big name drivers Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Sheddon looking for alternative employment next season, both winners in WTCR competition and Sheddon a multiple BTCC champion, it will be interesting to see what comes next for this accomplished racers.

“It’s the last race of the season, and also the closing of a very nice chapter in my career, four seasons in TCR and with the team, so I really would like to finish on a high. It hasn’t been an easy season, but we always managed to take the best possible out of every situation. added team #1 Vernay.​

Audi WRT Pull Out.jpg


With only the final round of the current WTCR season left to run this weekend in Malaysia, Audi are looking to end the season on a high after a difficult year for the car in what has been a highly competitive season of racing;

"As committed professionals, the whole team is determined to do well in this last round and finish the season and our tenure in TCR on a positive note". said Pierre Dieudonne, Sporting Director of WRT.​

"We had a challenging season and have been faced with an uneven playing field, but the team has never lost motivation and has always reacted with great professionalism. We’ll see what happens at Sepang, the good thing is that we will only have 10 kgs of compensation weight. The format weekend will be a challenge and no mistakes will be allowed on Sunday, with the three races almost on a sequence. It will be the round that will decide the titles, with a number of different contenders, so nobody will hide its cards and will give everything, and that will certainly have an impact on how the races will develop.”
Despite pulling out of TCR specification touring car racing, both DTM and GT programmes for the squad are expected to remain unaffected.


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Audi WRT Pull Out 2.jpg
 
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Atom1kk

25RPM
The people talk now about the golden Age of Motorsport. in 30 Years people will talk about current racing as golden age of motorsport, before vacuum claeners ruled the world.... I never was a big fan of VAG but this mug of crap becomes even more evil. My point is, that VAG didnt believe in EV since years, and whoop suddenly they have to show off after all the troubles with their diesel engines and become a green manufacturer... what a joke
 
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Michel Bélisle

250RPM
Premium
Does this mean that Seat is next? VAG had three different models of cars from three different subsidiaries in WTCR this year.
 

Atom1kk

25RPM
As i read skoda and seat shall become cheap brands of VW so it means also less electrified. Because as i understood vw as a brand whants to become 100% electric. So i thing it is possible that seat will stay under the cupra label.
 

FinFan

100RPM
I wonder what all those companies will think when they are running in front of empty stands. Just take a look at I-Pace etrophy. Basically no one there.
 
The people talk now about the golden Age of Motorsport. in 30 Years people will talk about current racing as golden age of motorsport, before vacuum claeners ruled the world.... I never was a big fan of VAG but this mug of crap becomes even more evil. My point is, that VAG didnt believe in EV since years, and whoop suddenly they have to show off after all the troubles with their diesel engines and become a green manufacturer... what a joke
That makes absolutely no sense.

You think any of these manufacturers just suddenly decide to switch to EV?
They've been doing EV R&D for decades. They need to switch at some point, and now is the transition point to EV, as if that wasn't obvious. It's not an instant switch either, it's been happening gradually for years already.

I imagine the buggy whip people sounded like you when Ford came along, as did Ford people when the next generation came along, as did [insert here]

The history of cars and racing is one of constant evolution, and talk of "golden ages" is just nostalgia. Every age is golden age to someone.
 

Ruy Horta

250RPM
That makes absolutely no sense.

You think any of these manufacturers just suddenly decide to switch to EV?
They've been doing EV R&D for decades. They need to switch at some point, and now is the transition point to EV, as if that wasn't obvious. It's not an instant switch either, it's been happening gradually for years already.

I imagine the buggy whip people sounded like you when Ford came along, as did Ford people when the next generation came along, as did [insert here]

The history of cars and racing is one of constant evolution, and talk of "golden ages" is just nostalgia. Every age is golden age to someone.
There is something as a golden age of air racing and the piston engine was never really replaced by jets.

Not saying that technology should not change nor that sports cannot follow technology. However the sudden move of such a big brand to pull its cars is drastic.
It is also an industry driven move, not based on demand.

Of course VAG may be working hard to redress diesel scandal and the damage it did to its reputation - motorsports fans might take offense, the bulk of car potential VAG buyers will not.

VAG is not in a vacuum, Volvo is also planning to go 100% electric.

If there enough electric cars on the street there will be more interest in E racing, especially once the race cars start looking like real race cars and not sci-fi props or flimsy eco cars. People will follow technology.

...will it be the same, no.

Some will lament the “end” of the petrol engine.
IMHO end of a gold age is a fitting epitaph.
...but it will be the end of the Gold Age of Petrol Engine Racing, not motorsports in general.

To be honest (Big) Motorsports is suffering more from Big business practices than anything else. Too much money and everything that comes with it - same with most (Big) Sports. Once corporations dominate you’ll move away from sports. It is all about marketing and commercial interest.
 

MoerasGrizzly

1000RPM
Premium
They've been doing EV R&D for decades. They need to switch at some point, and now is the transition point to EV, as if that wasn't obvious. It's not an instant switch either, it's been happening gradually for years already.
The EU has been lagging behind EV though: It's the asian and US manufacturers that have gotten into EVs hard, whilst the Europeans are playing catchup, instead having focused a lot on "clean disel".
 

Atom1kk

25RPM
If EV is so great, than why does one of the biggest car manufacturer from asia does not believe in 100% electric cars? To remember, they started to produce hybrid since very long time but they say there is no future for EVs.
 
There is something as a golden age of air racing and the piston engine was never really replaced by jets.
...
If you haven't noticed, we're also on the cusp of electric aircraft as well.
There's still a long way to go of course, especially with battery storage, but usage drives innovation faster than sitting in the lab.
 

FinFan

100RPM
....

If there enough electric cars on the street there will be more interest in E racing, especially once the race cars start looking like real race cars and not sci-fi props or flimsy eco cars. People will follow technology.

...will it be the same, no.
......
I am the ignorant, soon to be extinct, minority but ever since they came up with electonic racing cars I tried to get something out of it. I just can't. I looked into every series but never saw one whole race. Your statement is certainly valid to a point and I do like the look of the electronic cars. But during a race pretty much all you hear is tire screaching and I found this to be very nerv wracking. It`s like watching an NBA game sound wise.

Yes, the transition comes over time and at some point it won't matter because either people don't know anything else but e-racing or motorpsorts will be gone for good. There are still some years of noisy motorsports left and I will enjoy those.
 

Fucitol

50RPM
Premium
I'm glad that endurance racing is gaining popularity (or might be just my opinion) and that EV's have no use yet in endurance racing. Maybe they will and 'refuel' by just replacing battery packs, but endurance might be the saviour of good old-fashioned motorsports. I'm perfectly OK with hybrid though, 'cause that still uses a sound-producing engine.

I do hope though that they'll finally stop racing cars that are just not race cars. Trucks, SUV's and all that crap as it's just one big marketing show (Lamborghini Urus Racing League, wtf!).
 
Seems clear that German manufacturers - thanks to their own Dieselgate - all are madly in love with anything that is electric, cause than the pollution doesn't happen here but somewhere else.

Brilliant!
Genius!
Sarcasm.
 
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