Volkswagen’s diesel scandal might have claimed its latest victim.
Rumor has it that the Volkswagen Group is set to shut down Audi’s endurance racing program, putting an end to one of the most successful runs in the brand’s motorsports history. Insiders close to chairman Rupert Stadler suggest that Audi has made the decision to end its LMP1 motorsport program from the end of 2017, meaning Audi will no longer be competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. If this is true, that means Audi has one more chance at grabbing another victory at Le Mans, adding to its current total of 13 wins.
The decision comes as the Volkswagen Group continues to cut costs in the wake of its massive diesel scandal, with bosses questioning whether it is advantageous to have both Audi and Porsche brands competing against one another in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Autocar reports that Volkswagen Motorsport boss Wolfgang Durheimer has been tasked to streamline the group’s motorsport activities, mainly to free up development budgets so the group can focus on electrification. The decision is also likely influenced by Volkswagen not wanting to showcase its diesel engine technology in motorsports as a result of the worldwide scandal.