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Old 12-05-2008, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Audi Pulls The Plug On American Lemans Series

Audi concentrates its motorsport programmes for the 2009 season on the new R15 TDI sport prototype for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the re-worked racing touring car A4 DTM and the newly developed R8 LMS for customer use in the GT3 class. Audi will not be represented by its factory team Audi Sport North America in the American Le Mans Series in 2009.

As a result of its newly aligned motorsport programme Audi offers its motorsport customers a bespoke vehicle concept for the first time: Audi Sport developed the new R8 LMS specifically to suit the user-friendly and cost-effective requirements in the production-based GT3 class in international motorsport. The powerful 500 hp plus race car based on the Audi R8 is due to be delivered in order to prove itself on track throughout the 2009 season.

The American Le Mans Series involvement will not be continued. Audi entered the American Le Mans Series in the year 2000 and has been instrumental in building up this championship ever since. The championship developed to become one of the most fascinating motorsport series within a few years, which offered and still offers the ever increasing fan community exciting motorsport.

The ALMS is also recognised internationally and is regarded as the world’s best sportscar championship. "The decision to withdraw was a very difficult one also for these reasons. Furthermore, with the Champion racing team we also had a partner that operates at the highest level. The extraordinary dedication and precision of Team Champion was the key to Audi’s victories over the last few years in America.

We achieved an unprecedented winning series together. Since the 2000 season Audi has won the LMP1 title nine-times in succession in this high-calibre sportscar championship. Our brand dominated proceedings last season by taking seven wins in eleven races. TDI in racing supported the market launch of Audi TDI technology in the USA perfectly," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich positively of the AUDI AG involvement in the ALMS.

Even though AUDI AG concentrates its factory involvement at European venues throughout the 2009 season in these economically tough times, the American motorsport friends will be treated to a premiere: The completely newly developed Audi R15 TDI sports prototype should make its debut on

21 March 2009 during the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida (USA). This international sportscar classic, which should be contested by Audi Sport Team Joest, is traditionally regarded as excellent preparation and final test-race for the 24 Hours of Le Mans (France). At the same time, the race at Sebring with its special demands made of man and machine guarantees excellent motorsport.

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Old 12-08-2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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very sad news, but in this economy, understood.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
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They've gotten too good for ALMS anyway, its become a no brainer they always win.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:32 PM   #4
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they were the only reason i started watching it again. we'll see if i can still watch it. i think i will. always some great battles for 3rd place back
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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This effectively kills the LMP1 class in the ALMS. I always liked the LMP2 and the GT2 classes the best anyway and that is all that is left anyhow. Since Corvette left GT1 for GT2.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:37 PM   #6
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Clears the way for Porsche to come in, I guess, but its sad. I was excited about the R15, but two races is not enough for it to strut its stuff.

Hoping Audi don't lower themselves to running in the irl.
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Old 12-09-2008, 08:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by edkwon View Post
They've gotten too good for ALMS anyway, its become a no brainer they always win.
The Porsche RS Spyders beat the Audi's many times over the past couple of years. With Acura entering LMP1, along with all of the other shake-ups for 2009, there's still plenty of reasons to watch ALMS in my opinion. I can't wait. It is sad, however, that Audi is leaving ALMS officially, but I don't think it's that big of a deal, for either the series or the fans.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:36 PM   #8
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I was really disappointed hearing that the other day, but I understand concerning the economic times. The P1 class has new players this year, which should be exciting, but I really enjoyed the diesels. They were like none other.

I wonder if Team Champion will be going back to 911's and GT2, something else, or be taking a hiatus along with Audi for the majority of the season less the two big races. Hopefully Audi Sport North America will return for 2010 if the economics start turning around by then. The 3.4L V-8 diesel should be debuting then. I look forward to what comes next.

BMW took 2 years off in the process developing the new M3 race car, which will be in the hands of the Rahal-Letterman Racing team. I loved the old one, the new one will be great to see in action in a crowd again.

One legend takes a bow, others step up. Audi will truly be missed.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:42 AM   #9
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P1 will be fine with Acura running a car, sure its sad to see Audi leave but I think it will be a more competitive class this year
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