Audi will not be seen racing a factory car at the 2009 American Le Mans Series, due to cost-cutting measures relating to tough financial times. Only three series factory cars for Audi in 2009; 24 Hour Le Mans, DTM, and GT3
With Audi streamlining its racing priorities into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, DTM and GT3, there isn't any more space for other racing formulae. So Audi has taken the decision not to have a factory team in the American Le Mans Series in 2009.
A statement issued by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich reads as thus: "The decision to withdraw was a very difficult one also for these reasons. Furthermore, with the Champion racing team we also had a partner that operates at the highest level. The extraordinary dedication and precision of Team Champion was the key to Audi's victories over the last few years in America. We achieved an unprecedented winning series together. Since the 2000 season Audi has won the LMP1 title nine-times in succession in this high-calibre sportscar championship. Our brand dominated proceedings last season by taking seven wins in eleven races. TDI in racing supported the market launch of Audi TDI technology in the USA perfectly."
There goes the theory of Audi going into Formula One within the next couple of years. Not all the news is bad however, for American fans, for they will witness the debut of the brand spanking new R15 TDI at the 12-hour race at Sebring, Florida in March 2009. The race will put the new car through enough paces to see how well it might fare during 24 Hour Le Mans 2009.
The Audi brand has been part of the American Le Mans Series since the year 2000.