Dieselgate defeats Audi's Le Mans racing dynasty

For Audi, it's Formula E from now on.

Referring to what the automotive press has dubbed "Dieselgate", Audi's Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler announced that Audi is pulling out of the FIA World Endurance Championship by the end of the 2016 season. This means Audi will no longer compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

However, that doesn't mean Audi is through with competing on the world stage. Instead of fossil-fuel-powered prototype racing, Audi will now "focus on the things that will keep (it) competitive in the years ahead", namely Formula E. Having worked together previously with Audi tuner ABT and component manufacturer Schaeffler in Formula E, the company is now turning Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport into a fully factory-backed outfit. Audi's DTM efforts with the RS 5 DTM will remain untouched for the time being, and the company hasn't made a decision yet as to whether its World Rallycross Championship with the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro will continue.

Audi has competed in Le Mans prototype racing for 18 years, during which it secured 13 Le Mans wins. Out of 185 races contested by Audi's LMP cars, they racked up an impressive 106 wins. Audi's victory in 2006 was the first with a TDI engine, and the first hybrid-engine win was claimed in 2012. From 2000 to 2008, Audi won nine consecutive American Le Mans Series titles.

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