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Land: Audi Decision Caused Team to Skip N24

Land-Motorsport’s Christian Land says N24 entry did not materialize due to Audi Sport decision…

Photo: Jan Brucke/NLS

Audi Sport denied Land-Motorsport a factory-supported entry into the Nürburgring 24 because the team lacked a privateer car, according to team manager Christian Land.

Land was quoted in a social media post on Monday as saying that “a decision by Audi” caused the 2017 N24-winning squad to miss the event which takes place this weekend.

He cited the absence of a privateer, customer-led Audi entry from the team as the reason why Audi Sport did not grant extended support such as factory drivers.

Car Collection Motorsport and Phoenix Racing are carrying the ‘Audi Sport Team’ banners at this year’s edition of the Eifel enduro.

Both are also running private cars, while in recent years Land-Motorsport held one of the factory-assisted entries without fielding a separate independent Audi.

Sportscar365 has contacted Audi Sport for comment.

“It was a decision by Audi,” said Land.

“The requirements for teams were different this year than in the past.

“For example, the allocation of customer racing cars was linked to fielding additional private cars. However, a privately entered car did not come together this year.

“Since we could not fulfil this criterion, we did not get a chance for a customer racing entry.

“That’s a shame because we have great memories of our 24-hour races with Audi. Nevertheless, we have to accept the decision.

“I can already promise that we will be back on the grid next year to fight for victory! We wish the participants all the best and the fans lots of fun.”

Land-Motorsport dramatically won the 2017 edition of the N24 with Connor De Phillippi, Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies and Markus Winkelhock driving.

The German squad is currently focusing on an ADAC GT Masters campaign with the new Evo II specification Audi GT3 car which was introduced to customer teams this year.

It also contested the opening round of the NLS season at the Nürburgring, finishing second in the season-opener with Mies and Jusuf Owega, however it did not return for round two or the N24 Qualifiers.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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