Audi Sport customer racing’s presence in North America has been strengthened with the appointment of Bernd Goeres, who is set to take on a new leadership role in the restructured organization.
Goeres, the former director of Audi Sport customer racing Asia, will take his post in a similar position for the North America market beginning next month, replacing Senior Manager Erin Keating.
It’s understood both North America Motorsports Manager Tristan Herbert and Brad Kettler, its Director of Operations and Engineering, will continue in similar roles, as part of a ramping up of the German manufacturer’s support chain for one of its most important markets.
“For us, Europe has great numbers and in relation to the market volume, Australia is doing extraordinary,” Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke told Sportscar365. “If there are areas to grow, for us, it’s in the U.S. and Asia.
“We decided to restructure the U.S. and at the same time restructure Asia as well.
“We have our new products and the RS 3 LMS, which is already selling high in numbers. The GT4 cars are dedicated to gentlemen racers, which is all very strong in the States.
“We expect a lot of GT4 cars going towards the States and therefore the volume increases dramatically, and we have to strengthen the operation to handle it.”
Goeres, who held management positions at Audi AG in Ingolstadt prior to joining Audi China in 2013, was a driving force behind the success of the Audi R8 LMS Cup in Asia, which has grown into one of the premier single-make series in the world.
The U.S. market, however, offers its differences in not yet providing a foundation for Audi customers at the grassroots level.
“In America it’s a different approach because in Asia we have the Audi R8 LMS Cup as a backbone for all motorsport activities,” Goeres told Sportscar365. “We started this in 2012, so six years ago.
“In the U.S., we have entries in the different racing series so it’s a different setup. Lamborghini and Porsche have their own cups in the U.S. Audi has not done this.
“Motorsport was the little kid and now we want to grow the little kid some more and put some water and nutrition in it to grow bigger.”
Audi will have a significant presence in IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge competition next year, with the North American debut of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 and full integration of TCR class in both the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and PWC.
Five of the new Audi GT4 cars have already been delivered to customers in the U.S., with more than a dozen Audi RS 3 LMS TCR cars also set to be in action.
At least two Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars, meanwhile, are set for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Magnus Racing and Montaplast by Land Motorsport, respectively.