We'll see the four rings again in 2023.
When most of us think about fast Audis, we think of the Audi R8, or the RS6, but the German manufacturer has a rich motorsports history and has built some truly iconic racers over the years. Audi has been particularly prolific in the 24 Hours Of Le Mans endurance race, where up until recently, its R18 TDI Ultra race cars dominated the scene until Dieselgate ruined everything.
Audi fans now have something to celebrate, however: the brand is returning to Le Mans. The company recently announced that the concept stage for a new electrified Audi sports prototype was largely completed and that the brand would return to the endurance racing scene in January 2023 for the world-famous Daytona 24 Hours.
Audi is in the advanced stages of building a successor to the famous R18 which dominated Le Mans in the 2010s, and is working closely with its sister company Porsche and the rest of the Volkswagen group to hone the new electric racer. Julius Seebach, Managing Director Audi Sport GmbH does however note that this will be a genuine Audi , just as the Audi RS e-tron GT that was launched recently. The car is being prepared for the new electric LMDh category alongside the innovative SUV for the Dakar Rally.
"The new LMDh category fits perfectly with our new setup in motorsport," says Seebach. "The regulations allow us to field fascinating race cars in prestigious races worldwide. In addition, we are making use of synergies inside the Volkswagen Group with our partner strategy."
Andreas Roos, who is responsible for all factory motorsport commitments at Audi Sport, says that the new car will be offered to private teams: "With the LMDh project, we are continuing the philosophy of our early years in sports prototypes. The Audi R8 was not only the most successful prototype of its time from 2000 to 2006, with 63 victories in 80 races, but it was also very successful in the hands of our customers and easy for the teams to handle. This is also the premise with the electrification of our new sports prototype."
"Our goal is to also put the car in the hands of professional customer teams right from the start, in parallel to factory entries." he concludes. Audi is one of the most successful Le Mans competitors in the history of the race, and we welcome their return to the race.