Audi have confirmed a return to the endurance discipline following the announcement on concluding their Formula E programme at the end of 2021.
Audi Sport will be concluding their pursuits in the FIA Formula E Championship, to look towards the Dakar and high-level prototype endurance racing.
The German manufacturer was the first of its kind in the electric single-seater series, with the likes of BMW, Porsche and Mercedes joining later on.
They were also the most successful manufacturer with 43 podiums, 12 victories, and two championships (Lucas Di Grassi’s Drivers’ Championship in 2017 and the Constructors’ in 2018).
Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH Julius Seebach, who will also take over the management of Audi Motorsport, said: “In addition, we are evaluating other possible fields of activity for us in international motorsport.”
They will commitment to an electrically-driven Dakar rally entry in 2022 as well as a return to Le Mans through the Le Mans Daytona Hypercar project.
The LMDh project will feature endurance prototypes eligible for both the WEC and IMSA events from its introduction in 2022, as Audi may look to enter LMDh in 2023.
He continued: “In doing so, 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,” holding a wealth of success and experience in the discipline dating back two decades.
“The most important message for our fans is that motorsport will continue to play an important role at Audi.”
The Dakar Rally commitments will replace any further factory involvement in the FIA Formula E World Championship at the end of 2021, and they say “the use of the newly developed Audi powertrain by customer (FE) teams will remain possible beyond next year”.
Their conclusion of the FE programme sights a future debut at the Dakar and a return to endurance racing, thus not entering the Gen-3 era of Formula E in 2022/2023.
Further information on their endurance pursuits, such as the date of their return, will be announced soon.