Don’t start digging the grave for Audi’s endurance race program just yet.
After reports that the Volkswagen Group has decided to kill off Audi’s endurance race program as part of cost-cutting measures, Audi’s head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich, has gone on the record saying that no decision has been made. “The meeting of the board where normally the motorsport programme is defined has not taken place yet, so nothing is decided.”
In the interview, Ulrich said he’s “optimistically looking forward to the future,” and the team is continuing to organize its race program in a standard fashion.
He also confirmed that development is already ongoing on Audi’s concept for the next rules cycle, working with series organizers to try and ensure parity between its diesel-powered R18 and its gasoline-powered rivals.
And despite the massive diesel scandal surrounding the Volkswagen Group, Ulrich defends Audi’s decision to invest into diesel for its endurance race cars, explaining that its efficiency compared to gasoline engines still makes it an attractive option. “We think that the diesel engine is still one of the most efficient combustion engines you can get. They can be very clean, it’s just a question of working on it and developing it. As long as efficiency is a key factor, we think the diesel in racing is still a good solution.”