Motorsport boss defends diesel engines in LMP1 program
Despite rumors that Audi has decided to call it quits from Le Mans, motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich says the brand hasn’t made a decision about its future in LMP1.
Speaking with Motorsport.com, Ullrich said, “We have seen so many rumours in the press during the last years, and the good thing is in most cases the negative ones didn’t occur. So I’m optimistically looking forward to the future. We are organising our race programme in the standard way, which is always in the autumn of the year.”
“The meeting of the board where normally the motorsport programme is defined has not taken place yet, so nothing is decided,” he concluded.
Just last week, we heard rumors that Audi was pulling out of Le Mans after the 2017 season. Although Audi has enjoyed much success in Le Mans over the course of 16 years, there were a number of clues that supported the rumors. Volkswagen Group has been looking to cut costs amid the diesel cheating fallout, and a change in regulations for 2018 would require Audi to make some expensive changes to the R18 e-Tron Quattro. And VW is already pitting two of its brands—Audi and Porsche—against one another. Audi has secured many first place finishes, but Porsche still holds the title of the winningest manufacturer with 18 overall wins.
Ullrich also defended Audi’s commitment to diesel in LMP1 racing. “We think that the diesel engine is still one of the most efficient combustion engines you can get. They can be very clean, it’s just a question of working on it and developing it,” he said.