Good news, internet motorsport fans. The 2021 Formula E season will be the last for the factory-supported Audi team. It ends the sport to focus on the Dakar Rally, which will start in 2022 with a Range Extender EV with “innovative prototype”.
And as if that weren’t exciting enough, Audi Sport Managing Director Julius Seebach also says that the company is “preparing intensively for it, with its highlight races, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in to enter the new category of sports prototypes LMDh « . .
There is a lot to unzip there. Let’s start with Dakar. Audi says that « in the future, cross-country rallies will be the spearhead of motorsport involvement at the plant » and that its entry will take place in 2022 in the form of a range extender EV that combines a high-voltage battery with a « highly efficient » one TFSI engine ”to maintain the charge.
As for Le Mans – vehicles built according to LMDh regulations can take part in both the WEC and IMSA sports car championships from 2023. The LMP2-based cars will have a special hybrid system, but manufacturers will have to supply their own bodies and engines. In the WEC the idea is for them to directly compete with the new Le Mans hypercars (like Toyota’s GR Super Sport) with a BoP (Balance of Performance) system to keep things fair.
With regard to Formula E, Audi will continue to support the customer teams with the drivetrain it has just developed for the latest FE07. Audi has been active in Formula E since 2014 – in that time it has won 12 races and made it onto the podium a whopping 43 times.
It will also continue its customer racing programs, for example with the R8 LMS in various GT series.
Sad to see Audi leaving Formula E? Excited to return to rally and Le Mans? Answers below.
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Audi, Formula E, Le Mans 24 Hours, Dakar Rally, endurance races, FIA World Endurance Championship
EbeneMagazine – GB – Audi is leaving Formula E to take part in the Dakar Rally AND to participate in Le Mans