John Bolster Award for technical excellence: Audi

The four ringed marque has been at the forefront of motorsport engineering for over fifty years and has broken new ground in varying fields of the motor racing including Grand Prix racing, rallying, touring cars and this year sportscars

John Bolster Award for technical excellence: Audi

The Ingolstadt company were the first to decide to put the engine behind the drivers in the pre-war Auto Union Grand Prix cars, which were the most powerful GP machines ever until the turbocharged era of the 1980s, developing over 1000bhp.

Audi also introduced four-wheel-drive to rallying and revolutionised the World Rally Championship with it's Quattro in 1981. The car went on to take the drivers' title in 1983 and '84 in the hands of Hannu Mikkola and Stig Blomqvist.

In 1996 Frank Biela led the way by taking the British Touring Car Championship in an A4 quattro. The car took seven touring car titles around the world that year from Australia to South Africa.

And this year, Audi dominated the Le Mans 24 hour race by occupying the top three slots with the revolutionary R8.

Rosemary Bolster, wife of the late John, Autosport's legendary technical editor, presented Head of Audi Sport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich with the award.

Ullrich said: "The principle achievement is whatever the category we enter, we get there very quick, especially with technical innovations.

"I'd like to dedicate this trophy to everyone back at Ingolstadt. They deserve it."

Responding to Steve Rider's question: 'Will Audi go into F1?', Ulrich said: "We don't think we'll enter F1 because we are concentrating on sportscars."

Audi join the ranks of previous winners which include Renault Sport, Patrick Head and Harvey Postlethwaite.

For a full list of sponsors for the 2000 Autosport Awards, please click here.

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