Audi Sport’s head of customer racing, Chris Reinke, has dismissed rumors that the German manufacturer’s GT racing division may wind up, although he admits that its activities may be reorganized as Audi’s automotive arm increasingly focuses on electric mobility.
The German manufacturer is aggressively targeting electricity as a brand strategy.
It has stated that it will launch new models with only electric drive systems on the global market by 2026.
Under this plan, the current R8 will likely not get a successor with an internal combustion engine, which led to this Speculation that the days of Audi Sport could be numbered.
Rinke, however, dismisses the idea of the motorsport division’s short-term demise, pointing to the fact that he recently introduced two new cars.
The Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II as well as the updated RS 3 LMS TCR has been introduced to customers globally, with the GT3 set for a three-year homologation cycle.
It also produces GT4 and GT2 machines based on the R8, the former having received the latest update for the 2020 season and the latter arriving in the same year.
“We has just launched its second generation RS 3, which given the size is definitely our biggest seller,” Rink told Sportscar365.
“We just launched the new Evo II R8 GT3. We usually run it for at least three years with the homologation period and we intend and make sure we at least do that.
“Obviously we see these discussions being thrown around.
“For us, we feel internally well-supported and very stable [footing] That these days we have two major three-year insured and confirmed programs.
“To be honest with you, up and down the pit lane, who lives this franchise, that for the next three years, two best-selling products have been confirmed?
“For me, there is nothing to worry about but certainly we have to answer the question at the end. How are we going after those three years?
“But for now, we are pleased with how customers are accepting the new products and we hope to have successful days this weekend as well.”
Rinke believes the Audi Sport has a place in the future of electric mobility, although he admits it may require a move away from combustion engines once the current homogenization cycle is over.
“Sure, I think we all have to convert eventually,” he said. The question is to what extent and in what kind of areas should this be explored.
“Just because the mother ship of our product line’s goal is electricity doesn’t mean the customer race is over.
“Either we shift at a similar rate, [maybe] We are turning in advance to promote it, maybe we can meet the needs of the followers.
“This is a strategic decision to make; what do we do after those three years that we just discussed.
“Certainly, with the infrastructure we have all over the world, it would be foolish not to take advantage of it.”
Audi expects to ‘finally’ join the Electric GT
With Audi increasingly focused on electric mobility, this could potentially open the door for Audi Sport to compete in the planned FIA Electric GT Championship.
The new series was announced last year ahead of its highly anticipated 2023 debut, but no manufacturer has officially committed yet, as some are understood to be concerned about development costs.
While Audi hasn’t explicitly confirmed the championship programme, Reinke said it’s something the company could consider.
“In the end, for sure,” Reinke said when asked if Audi could enter the series.
The question is the pace [of electrification]. In the end we’ll all have to think about that, but we’ll have to see the pace.
“We looked at hybrid systems in the races. They had strong days.
“Some series have permanently embraced it, but here if you’re right there [was] Not a single hybrid car [at the N24]. It was also an early testing ground here, decades ago.
“You have to be in line with market demand with the possibility to position a product while at the same time matching your OEM strategy.
“That is exactly what we are going to do. Certainly, when we sit here after 20 years, our customer racing product line will not be driven solely by combustion.”
NON-SLIP phone pad for 4-in-1
#Audi #Sports #future #guaranteed #Sportscar365