System 1 prices some huge cash, even with the latest price cap factored in. That’s why when an automaker enters F1, they have a tendency to scale back their investments in each type of motorsport that isn’t F1. It’s no coincidence that Aston Martin nixed its Le Mans Hypercar plan across the time chairman Lawrence Stroll redoubled all of the marque’s efforts across the group his son races for. F1 was in fact why Audi canned its IMSA and World Endurance Championship participation with an LMDh prototype, and now F1 has reportedly led to the demise of Audi’s GT program, too.
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On Wednesday, Motorsport.com revealed an article citing a number of nameless sources that Ingolstadt’s lengthy tenure on the earth of buyer GT racing will come to a detailed after 2023. With that, Audi will presumably stop improvement of its R8 LMS GT3 and RS 3 TCR chassis, disband its manufacturing facility driver squad and, in fact, cease providing assist to consumer groups. These groups could press on with the automobiles of their possession for so long as they select to, however that gained’t final without end. From the story:
In line with a number of sources, Audi’s board of administrators led by [CEO Markus] Duesmann determined to place all its weight behind the F1 undertaking already in 2021, lengthy earlier than even its grand prix entry was finalised.
It’s understood that the board lastly issued directions in direction of the tip of final 12 months to shut its buyer racing division following the conclusion of the 2023 season. Audi Sport Buyer Racing contains the GT2, GT3 and GT4 variants of the R8 LMS in addition to the TCR programme with the RS 3 LMS.
The lone exception to the cancellation of all of Audi Sport’s non-F1 efforts seems to be the model’s Dakar and World Rally Raid packages. However even these appear unsafe attributable to middling outcomes to date. To not point out this hardly encouraging assertion from Audi supplied to Motorsport.com, when the location reached out to query the legitimacy of what it’d realized:
When requested for a remark about the way forward for Audi Sport Buyer Racing, a spokesman mentioned in an announcement: “The motorsport program in buyer racing for 2023 has been determined and also will be carried out as follows: 24 Hours of Nürburgring, 24 Hours of Spa, GT World Problem, TCR World Tour, DTM.
“We’re at the moment discussing the additional improvement of buyer racing and the Dakar undertaking. As quickly as selections have been made, we’ll inform our groups and companions.”
Though this information isn’t in any respect stunning, it’s however disappointing. The writing on the wall was seen as quickly as Audi introduced its intentions final 12 months. And although you may assume that F1’s rising inventory would elevate the marketability and basic notion of motorsport as an entire, that’s not likely the best way it really works when firms have restricted budgets, and racing isn’t low cost.
The lone exception to that is Ferrari, which has outlined F1 for many years and lately expanded its racing exercise with a factory-backed Le Mans Hypercar program. Although unconfirmed, the one purpose that in all probability occurred is due to the price cap F1 instituted. The Scuderia hinted as a lot to The Guardian by the use of The Race, means again in 2020. The World Endurance Championship bid allowed Ferrari to retain motorsport personnel and sources it was required to take away from its F1 operation.
Le Mans hasn’t actually felt like Le Mans since we misplaced Audi prototypes within the wake of Dieselgate six years in the past, and now that absence will prolong to the remainder of the endurance-racing calendar and any GT3-class competitions the place the R8 street automotive used to play. Happily, there’s sufficient engagement and new faces to the game that the omission gained’t sting fairly as a lot because it in any other case would’ve.