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jueves, septiembre 28, 2023
HomeSports-CarsAudi Customer Racing’s Demise “Over Speculative” – Sportscar365

Audi Customer Racing’s Demise “Over Speculative” – Sportscar365

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Photo: Audi

Media reports of Audi Sport customer racing shuttering its operations at the end of this year are “over speculative” according to Audi Sport customer racing boss Chris Reinke, who insisted that existing customer support will continue for the foreseeable future.

The German manufacturer, which supports GT3, GT4, GT2 and TCR customers worldwide, has been cast in the spotlight in recent months due to the uncertain future of a successor to the Audi R8 for GT racing, with the road car having ceased production following the 2023 model year.

Reinke previously stated that the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, which debuted last year, is currently confirmed through the end of the 2024 seasons, something he feels has fueled speculation on the division’s rumored demise.

“Obviously what has been said there has been far beyond any expectation of ours,” Reinke told Sportscar365. “But it’s true that a [successor] of the R8, which is our main base model in customer racing, is not decided yet.

“And we always need, as customer racing, we don’t build our own car. We do something for a brand’s model.

“We need, therefore, the base car. And in that sense it’s not decided, and it’s not on us to communicate anything. The mothership does its strategy and then we suggest what we could do on top.

“As long as those decisions are not taken, we’re not part of speculating how it could be. We wait until we have possibilities to generate decisions.

“As soon as decisions are taken, we will communicate on them.”

While the future roadmap for GT racing is unclear at the moment, Reinke indicated that customer support would continue beyond 2024 in any scenario.

It’s understood that there is a German legal requirement for the car to remain eligible until 2029 for servicing and support, but the main question concerns where that support will come from in future years.

“In operative form, [whether] in direct competition or track days, we have over 600 cars in operation in customers’ hands,” Reinke said.

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“Therefore as an OEM, there’s no question of stopping customer racing in general.

“We have an obligation for service and we want to do it. It’s our business case and it’s the logic of why we do it.

“But the question is which new models can we field to the market? That is open for the moment and therefore I see where the rumor comes from.

“But as long as I cannot give a clear positive answer on what we’re going to do, we’re staying out of this field of speculation.

“This is important for our customers to know that [the reports] are a bit over speculative.”

New Audi CEO Could Result in Future “Refocus”

Reinke said that last week’s announcement that Gernot Dollner will take over from Markus Duesmann as chairman of the board of management of Audi AG could result in changes in the future, although nothing is expected to be made in the short term.

Duesmann, who will step down from his role on Aug. 31, was a proponent behind Audi’s commitment to Formula 1 beginning in 2026.

“As a head of board, you have a much wider responsibility range than putting your focus straight away on customer racing,” Reinke said.

“Obviously, it will create changes within the mothership and we have to see if that will have any effect on us.

“It is the role that gives direction to the company that’s exchanged now.

“It came as a surprise to us and therefore we have to see. In the short term it won’t have an effect. In a mid-term strategy, we might face, reuse or refocus some activities.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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