• Apr 24th 2009 at 4:00PM
  • 7

Click above for a high-res gallery of the Audi R15 TDI

It was a sad day for the American Le Mans Series when Audi announced they were abandoning their U.S. racing program back in December. The German automaker had been a staple of the series since its inception, but with the exception of the 12 Hours of Sebring, which Audi won, and possibly a couple of races at the end of the season, the R15 TDI has and will be absent from the starting grid in 2009.

Things are looking up for next year, however, with Johan de Nysschen, President of Audi America, telling AutoWeek that his company "would like to" return to the ALMS in 2010. Audi has apparently retained the core members of the race team and intends to come back to the series if economic conditions allow. de Nysschen also claims that the 24 Hours of Le Mans remains a top priority, and it would take a lot for Audi to quit the world's most prestigious endurance race. "We've got a proud record to protect at Le Mans," he told AW.

So while Audi's LMP1 program is not in doubt, we can only hope that their competitive spirit leads to another full season of racing in the ALMS next year.

[Source: AutoWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Long Beach was kinda boring without the Audis and the Peugeots. I'm hoping Porsche will bring back the RS Spyders, and at least come back to P2.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That R15 is one good looking race car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "A race car that wins is a race car that looks good."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Casual followers of ALMS I see...

      Audi shouted back in 2005 "We want come competition!"

      Porsche showed up with a LMP2 car.... Acura then showed up with an LMP2

      Audi complained about an "advantage". ACO didn't like "lesser" cars beating the big boys" ALMS liked it that way, that's why it was "For The Fans".

      At the front of the field, 2007 and 2008 were clearly the best racing the ALMS had to offer, you had NO IDEA who was going to win any given event, even the ones you knew Audi had a straight line speed advantage.

      Audi actually had to WORK for victories and as much as Dr Ulrich bitched about the LMP2 cars competitiveness, the TEAM relished the HIGH level of competition, thus the "bitchin" was kept at min.

      Acura will be much better prepared for Audi next season, it would be a much better season in 2010 than in 2009.

      For the earlier post, GT1 as you currently know it is DEAD.

      Ratel and FIA GT have proposed a new GT1 formula that is the basis for his FIA World GT Championship slated to begin next season. ACO liked the outline of these new GT1 cars as they reduce cost. One of them has been featured in the blog the new V8 powered Nissan GTR race car.

      While we have a problem fielding competitive LMP1 and 2 cars this season, the LMS has no such problems with deep field for their 1000k races and for the 24 hours.

      Too bad the TV coverage STINKS OUT LOUD.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Personally I would like to see ALMS merge the GT1 and 2 catagories as well as the LMP1 and 2. It would make for a more interesting race that way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Totally cool. Looking forward to their return.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's good news. I think Audi's racing success has definitely contributed to brand's surge in popularity and it's significant leap in quality, design and engineering over the last few years.