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Audi to end factory involvement in GT3 racing in 2024

Audi will have no factory involvement in its GT3 and other customer racing programmes from 2024 following a board decision on Monday.

Audi Sport customer racing group photo

As reported by Autosport's sister website Motorsport-Total.com back in May, Audi will not provide factory support to any of its customer teams across GT3 racing from next year.

This would primarily affect those squads that compete in the DTM as well as major endurance races such as the Spa 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours.

Further, its pool of 14 works drivers, which includes Ricardo Feller, Markus Winkelhock, Patric Niederhauser and Christopher Mies, will be dissolved at the end of the current racing season.

The German manufacturer will also stop production of all its customer racing cars, including the GT3 and GT4 variants of the Audi R8 LMS and the RS3 LMS TCR car, after the first quarter of 2024. All orders placed until that point will be fulfilled by Audi.

However, as speculated previously, Audi has decided against completely shutting down its customer racing division. Instead, the R8 LMS GT3 and other customer cars will continue to remain homologated, with the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer offering a basic supply of spare parts until 2032.

The initial plan was indeed to discontinue Audi Sport Customer Racing entirely, with the board issuing instructions towards the end of last year to close the division after 2023.

But according to sources, after efforts from both Audi Sport boss Rolf Michl and customer racing head Chris Reinke, a decision was made around the Nurburgring 24 Hours to continue its involvement in customer racing in a reduced capacity. This was approved by the board of directors on Monday.

Rolf Michl, Managing Director Audi Sport GmbH

Rolf Michl, Managing Director Audi Sport GmbH

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

The idea was to ensure that cars that have already been purchased by customer teams will remain operational for the foreseeable future. At present, over 1000 vehicles from Audi are in circulation across GT3, GT4 and TCR categories.

Following the decision, Audi will not only guarantee spare parts but also offer technical support with engineers and any necessary developments required to be made to their cars.

"We're sad that we can't continue our strategic commitment," Michl told Motorsport-Total.com. "But it's more important that we don't close down. A new era is beginning now, which will continue with the same reliability and passion."

As reported previously, the decision to cut down its involvement in customer racing is fuelled by the need to direct resources to its upcoming Formula 1 programme in 2026 in collaboration with Sauber.

Until the F1 programme begins, Audi’s only factory motorsport involvement will be in the Dakar Rally - a project that is currently approved until 2024.

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