Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass has revealed that Audi is evaluating a DPi program, although has ruled out any short-term participation in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
The German manufacturer, which withdrew from LMP1 competition last year, had been linked by multiple sources to a possible DPi announcement for as soon as next week’s New York International Auto Show.
However, the new Audi motorsport boss, who has replaced the soon-to-be-retired Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, denied that anything is immediately in the works.
“Currently, in the short term, it’s not really possible,” Gass told Sportscar365’s Rene de Boer during Thursday’s DTM media day in Hockenheim.
“We are looking at DPi. I think it’s an interesting category. We have seen very nice races so far for the start. When it’s the time to consider, we’ll make a decision.”
Multiple industry sources have indicated that Audi is already in advanced DPi talks, with longtime LMP1 chassis partner Dallara understood to the constructor of choice for the project, should it get the green light.
Ullrich along with other top Audi brass attended January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, which saw the platform’s competition debut.
“I think it’s an interesting approach for sure,” Gass said. “What we’ve seen so far, it’s working well. It’s something to be watched closely.”
Gass has cited the manufacturer’s consolidated motorsports programs, following its withdrawal from the WEC, as being its primary focus for the time being.
“I think for us at the moment it’s important for us to consolidate our situation after having pulled out of WEC,” he said.
“We really need to focus on the remaining programs we have, with two new programs, Formula E, and WRX, which are part of our racing activities thus years.
“I think in the very near future, it’s a definite no. But for sure, in a couple of years we will be looking into different opportunities. We will be checking what is possible and what is interesting. There, you never know.”
Rene de Boer contributed to this report