Audi’s departure marks end of an era in endurance racing
Audi has a mind-boggling 107 overall race victories, winning Le Mans 24 hours 13 times, with 9 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) titles and back to back titles in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
In 1999 the Audi R8R and the R8C competed in Le Mans with the R8R snatching a podium spot in the process. The following year saw the team win the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans, winning it all until 2003. Meanwhile in the ALMS or American Le Mans Series, AUDI, on its first year, went on to win every race on the calendar in 2000.
2012 saw the German marque enter the newly sanctioned World Endurance Championship, winning the first race in Sebring in the United States and following it up with wins in 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, 24 hour of Le Mans, and 6 Hours of Silverstone. A second place finish in Sao Paulo broke the winning streak, but the team came back to take top honors in the 6 Hours of Bahrain. The Fuji and Shanghai races had Audi finish in 2nd place, but their consistency over the course of the year, gave the team the champion’s trophy at season’s end. Audi then went on to defend the crown the following year in similar fashion, by dominating right from the very start. Audi won all but two races in 2013, scoring an impressive 207 points in the process.
Audi’s final WEC race at the Bahrain International Circuit saw an emotional paddock congratulate Dr. Wolfgang Ulrich – Head of AUDI Motorsport, and his team for a fantastic 18 year run. Fittingly, the race saw a 1-2 finish for AUDI, with the No. 8 car of Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval and Oliver Jarvis leading the No. 7 AUDI R18 of Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer across the finish line. Di Grassi took the checkered flag in 6:00’12.387.