Audi’s planned LMDh effort has been paused in the wake of the German manufacturer’s rumored entry into Formula 1.
An Audi spokesperson has confirmed to Sportscar365 that it has “stopped the program for the next 2-3 months” although has failed to acknowledge the reasons behind the halting of development.
It comes after an initial chassis allocation by Multimatic, which was set to partner with Audi alongside Porsche’s LMDh car that has already begun on-track testing.
Multiple industry sources have indicated to Sportscar365 that Audi’s LMDh program, which was set to feature a factory supported effort with Team WRT in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the allocation of customer cars in both WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, has been called off entirely.
However, the Audi spokesperson would not acknowledge such details but said in a further statement on Thursday that it has “nothing to do with Formula 1.”
Higher-than-expected costs surrounding the manufacturer’s Dakar Rally program is also believed to be a contributing factor.
Audi’s decision on its LMDh program is understood to have been internally made earlier this week, despite repeated claims from senior-level staff in recent months that the program was still on schedule.
Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke told Sportscar365 in January that the program was still “steaming ahead” at the time.
The latest development will likely result in only Porsche being on track with a Multimatic-built LMDh chassis next year, with reports suggesting that a final decision from sister brand Lamborghini is likely to be made in the coming weeks.
However, Sportscar365 understands that a Lamborghini LMDh car, which would debut in 2024, may not necessarily be built on Multimatic’s LMDh platform.
Should Audi formally announce the cancelation of its program, it would leave five officially confirmed LMDh manufacturers in Acura, Alpine, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche.
This article was updated on March 10 to reflect an additional statement from Audi.