Audi’s LMDh program is still “steaming ahead” according to the manufacturer’s customer racing boss, despite rumors of its cancelation before even hitting the track.
French magazine autojournal reported in late December that its LMDh effort had been canned in favor of a future Formula 1 program, although Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke has refuted those claims, stating that everything is still on track for its debut in 2023.
“I’ve read those rumors to my surprise. Internally, it moves on,” Reinke told Sportscar365.
“For the moment, it’s the status that has been communicated. Obviously, internally the project is steaming ahead. Final announcements and final decisions are due to come but there’s no news there for the moment.”
While Porsche is scheduled to begin on-track testing this month with its Multimatic-built prototype, Reinke wouldn’t confirm when Audi’s LMDh contender is due to roll out.
Sportscar365 understands that Team WRT is poised to be the designated factory squad with a program in the FIA World Endurance Championship, although customer teams have yet to be announced for either the WEC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Reinke said to expect further announcements in the first half of this year.
“The interest is high and I think the interest from all sides,” he said. “It’s a great story of different brands going back to Le Mans.
“It’s a great story on Audi taking on Le Mans again. It’s a great story of customers having a possibility to be a part of this new era. Therefore it’s been received very well.”