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Audi Announce Pull Out of WEC

October 28, 2016

Audi WECAudi have announced they will no longer race in the World Endurance Championship including the iconic Le Mans 24 hour race. After dominating the Le Mans throughout the 21st century and having 13 outright wins. Audi have never even finished outside the podium since their start in the legendary race! For many supporters Audi leaving the WEC entirely has come as a huge shock.

Formula E started in 2014 and is the world’s first electric racing series. Currently 10 teams are competing including Renault, Audi and Jaguar. Audi have always been a part of Formula E since the launch, however it will soon become a key focus. Audi’s Formula E efforts will start with supporting the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport Team ahead of the full team in the 2017 season.

The change is sudden. It comes after Volkswagens (the parent company) diesel scandal. Audi’s current World Endurance car is a diesel electric powered hybrid, something that Volkswagen has been become increasingly wary of.  Audi’s chairman, Rupert Stadler has announced that it is a ‘race for the future of electric power’ and with Audi’s production cars becoming ever more electric, it is no surprise that they are technically spearheading and focusing on pushing the boundaries with Formula E.

The Audi built R8 LMA cars are run by privateer teams and therefore will not be affected, along with the DTM Program. However, there has been no final decision concerning the future involvement of Audi in the FIA World Rallycross Championships (World RX). Porsche also owned by Volkswagen will continue to race in the World Endurance Championships. They jumped back in the event for the 2014 season, and with their gasoline engine, it is nothing for Volkswagen to worry about!

Whilst Audi have been participating in Formula E since the launch, the permanent focus is part of a strategy to capture a wider electric vehicle market and showcase their electrical innovation. But what do you think? Will you switch from watching the World Endurance Championship to Formula E, just like Audi?

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.