Audi set to leave Formula E and establish LMDh and Dakar programme
The famous Four Rings are returning to endurance racing with a new LMDh programme
Audi have revealed their intentions to make a return to Le Mans in 2023 with a LMDh programme.
The German marque announced today that they will be ending their Formula E entry after the 2021 season as they look to prepare an LMDh car for competition two years later.
After exiting the WEC in 2016, the Four Rings focused on the FE programme that has seen star driver Lucas Di Grassi win the 2016-17 title, before the team took their first and only constructors’ title a year later.
Julius Seeback, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH declared the most succesful brand in Le Mans history's intent to enter LMDh under the banner of decreased carbon-footprint racing.
“We have our customers’ wishes in mind as much as the company’s future strategy, which is clearly focused on electrification and carbon-neutral mobility. “This is why we are intensively preparing to enter the new sports prototype category LMDh with its highlight races, the Daytona 24 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours. The most important message for our fans is that motorsport will continue to play an important role at Audi.”
With sister company Porsche poised as another potential entry into the LMDh format, along with the upgrading of the current Acura/Honda/HPD DPi programme, it looks like the big brands are starting to come to the fore.
Additionally, Audi have placed emphasis on going racing at the infamous Dakar Rally, bringing an electric car to the world's most daunting off-road race.
The decision marks Audi's return to rally for the first time since the 1980s when the Four Rings found success in the Group B era.