Arriving in Spa-Francorchamps, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich had a target and that was for the Audi teams to fight for the victory. The key difference compared to the competition, he said were the drivers and teams that were behind the German manufacturer’s effort. (En Français)
The Head of Audi Motorsport was right, as the Audi R8 LMS ultra was not only competitive, but claimed a double-podium finish, including its third overall win in the last four years.
The success of the R8 LMS has been unabated since the late 2000s, with a car that shares many parts of the road-going model.
However, the current version will soon give way to a new model, with Audi Sport customer racing busy at work with the next-generation GT3 car, that’s set to debut by the end of next year.
While the R8 LMS will undergo a facelift, the question of a future Audi GTE version arises, but Dr. Ullrich has made his point very clear on the manufacturer’s direction in GT racing.
“Audi is not interested in GTE,” Ullrich told Endurance-Info. “Our policy is to build and sell GT3 cars to our customers. The cost of a GTE is much higher.
“How do we sell them? How many championships [are GTE cars eligible for]? GT3 has been well developed over the years.”
While GT convergence talks have dissolved, Audi is still participating in manufacturer meetings to shape the future GT regulations.
“We participate in the meetings,” Dr. Ullrich said. “We expect clarity in the new GT regulations. There are many GT3 brands available, with different cars and the BoP is very close. In GTE, there are only a small group of manufacturers.
“Audi is developing the new GT3 car based on the road model. The presentation will coincide with the new road car. It’s possible to see it at the end of 2015.”
With victories in the Nürburgring 24 and 24 Hours of Spa, the season has been rather busy.
“Nürburgring and Spa are two very different races,” Dr. Ullrich said. “The only similarity is that they are 24-hour races.
“At the Nürburgring, there are more cars but not as many GT3. The challenge for the drivers are very different. But all drivers enjoy running in these two great races.”
The Rolex 24 at Daytona is also another twice-around-the-clock enduro that is held in the same level of importance.
“Our teams represent the brand well in the United States,” Dr. Ullrich said. “It was a slow start, but the U.S. market is very important to us. There is a real desire to do well in time.”