Has Dieselgate Killed Audi's Highly Successful Le Mans Program?


Seems Audi's time in the top tier of endurance racing is coming to a close.

A lot has happened in the many months since the Dieselgate scandal first broke, with a myriad reports on customer compensation, independent investigations and culled production cars being among the more headline-grabbing moments. Though things started to die down a bit, we've now got another interesting revelation from Auto Motor und Sport which claims Dieselgate will end up killing off Audi's Le Mans program.

Yep, that's right: according to the German magazine, the Volkswagen emissions scandal appears to be scuppering Audi's continuing participation in LMP1 racing, with Auto Motor und Sport suggesting the highly successful squad will be officially pulling out of the sport by the end of the 2017 season. Admittedly, the diesel controversy isn't the only reason why Audi is being dropped from the top-tier of the World Endurance Championship multi-class series (the fact its sister company Porsche also participates in LMP1 racing probably hasn't helped the case to keep Audi in the sport). But the aforementioned article does cite diesel-based hindrances as some of the main reasons behind the decision.

Volkswagen Will Buyback Almost 500,000 Cars And Compensate Owners For Dieselgate
Volkswagen Will Buyback Almost 500,000 Cars And Compensate Owners For Dieselgate
Dieselgate Just Killed The Most Badass Volkswagen Hatchback
Dieselgate Just Killed The Most Badass Volkswagen Hatchback

That's not to say Audi will be dropping out of motorsport entirely, though. Just recently, for instance, Audi announced it will be fielding a works team in the 2017/2018 Formula E championship, and Audi still has its DTM and TT Cup tin-top series to keep it occupied as well. Alas, it will be a shame if the Auto Motor und Sport report is true, and Audi ends up leaving the LMP1 class. It's impossible to deny it's had a phenomenal crack at it (of the last 17 24 Hours of Le Mans races, only four have been won by a car that wasn't an Audi), and it'll be a shame to see such a capable and talented team be dropped as a result of events beyond its control.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

Students Create 600-HP Honda Civic Hybrid Rallycross Machine

Deep Orange 9 is our kind of school project.

Is The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Way More Powerful Than Advertised?

Jaguar claims the super sedan has 592 horsepower under the hood.

This Is The Road-Going Porsche 935 Targa Of Our Dreams

Let’s hope someone converts the Porsche 935 for the road in real life, too.

1,200-HP Electric Audi Sets A New World Record Driving Backwards

The Porsche GT2 RS Doesn't stand a chance (even going forward)

Self-Driving Range Rover Sport Navigates One Of UK’s Most Complex Public Roads

It’s another milestone in the quest for fully autonomous driving.

What's Hot