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Leena Gade to Leave Audi, Set for New Bentley Role

Leena Gade to join Bentley in customer management role…

Photo: Audi

Photo: Audi

Longtime Audi LMP1 race engineer Leena Gade is set for a new chapter in her motorsports career, as she will move to sister brand Bentley in a new customer sport management role.

Gade, the first female race engineer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will remain as the engineer of the No. 7 Audi R18 for the first three FIA World Endurance Championship races of the season before leaving for Bentley following Le Mans in June.

An Audi spokesperson confirmed to Sportscar365 that her successor will be Erik Schuivens, who is being broken in by Gade this weekend at Silverstone in race operations, as well as in testing.

Gade’s new role with Bentley will not be with the factory M-Sport team, but rather a newly appointed position to look over its customer teams competing worldwide.

The shakeup comes in the wake of other new staff in Audi’s LMP1 program this year.

Longtime Audi engineer Brad Kettler is on hand this weekend and will also be at Spa and Le Mans in an advisor role.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. Tom

    April 14, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Such a powerwoman. Sad to see her leave the Audi LMP1 program.

    • DEJ

      April 14, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Probably didn`t feel she was being appreciated,she iis a woman.

  2. Curious

    April 14, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Interesting. The speculator in me wonders if this is an interim position w/ Bentley before taking the head of a yet to be announced or confirmed DPi customer and/or work program?

    • Colquhoun_4

      April 14, 2016 at 9:23 am

      I dont think she’s in line for a demotion.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      April 14, 2016 at 11:44 am

      I was wondering/hoping the same thing about a DPi program.

    • PhilH

      April 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      She’s not involved in any racing program, it will be customer operations.

  3. quattro

    April 14, 2016 at 8:20 am

    how sad that such one of the greatest woman in motorsports today will leave the trio of fassler, lotterer and tréluyer after le mans. the question here is, who will be the next race engineer for them? any idea Mr. John Dagys?

    • Reading Comphrehension

      April 14, 2016 at 8:36 am

      Was literally in the article. I won’t spoil it for you.

      • PoL

        April 14, 2016 at 11:40 am


  4. rennsport4.4tV8

    April 14, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    The end of an era. I hope she does well at Bentley even though she won’t be directly in the racing.

  5. southcove

    April 14, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    You have to wonder with Audi’s struggles in P1, it’s clearly more engineering from design, rather than engineering at the race (and when or if do the two groups ever get on the same page. Like deciding on the change in hybrid technology…who makes the key decisions there? Or blame shortcoming in each other’s approaches. In the end, it’s wins and losses the BOD looks at.

  6. Tatiana Noel

    April 14, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Holy crap. I’m devastated. As if the Audi team were my own, haha!

  7. David Chaste

    April 14, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Brad Kettler used to run the Audi diesel p1 program in the ALMS and also the Audi North america entry at lemans. When they started the R8 program is was tasked to run the R8 customer program in the U.S so this seems somewhat similar. She will have more decision making power.

  8. David Chaste

    April 15, 2016 at 12:03 am

    It’s rumored that Audi will leave the WEC for F1 in 2018 and take over Red Bull F1. If it’s true, perhaps they are reassigning their top people to keep them from getting scooped up by other makes.

  9. Leslie

    June 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    @David Chaste- interesting perspective.
    I am of two minds- I would love to see her continue with racing, in some strong, influential role. And while I love F1, I think WEC is a much more interesting series, and not beholden to Uncle Bernie. Good luck to her! I hope she keeps running up the ladder!

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