Veloqx quits motorsport

Veloqx Motorsport, which dominated the Le Mans Endurance Series by winning all four rounds with its Audi UK R8 prototypes, has officially withdrawn from competitive motorsport, as exclusively predicted in Autosport magazine last week (November 4)

Veloqx quits motorsport

The link-up between Audi UK and the Brackley-based Veloqx squad was dissolved at the end of October and the team immediately served redundancy notices to the majority of its 20 strong staff.

Veloqx team principal Sam Li, whose squad very nearly won the Le Mans 24 Hours race in its first year in the top prototype class in June, had hoped to forge stronger links with the factory. But the German manufacturer's British subsidiary was looking to reduce its commitment, rather than increase it. Li has however vowed to return to Le Mans in the future.

"The Veloqx Group takes pride in its business success," said Li in a statement last week. "Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we stay true to our original plan to build the team over time and secure a long-term and significant 'works' project. Through a combination of external commercial factors, it has proven impossible for Veloqx to follow its motorsport business objectives in 2005.

"In the absence of a programme next year, it will be very hard to retain the services of some of the world's most talented people. Therefore, it is with much sadness that we take the decision to close our motorsport activities for the time being.

"There is 25 years or more ahead for Veloqx to mount another challenge to secure the overall Le Mans title, the only victory that eluded us in 2004. The most sensible approach is to conserve our resources and maximise our profitability in other areas of the group and return at the most appropriate time."

Veloqx's departure means that at present there is no Audi presence in the LMES and only Champion's two US-based R8s are confirmed for the 2005 Le Mans 24 Hours race. It also means that four of the world's top sportscar drivers Johnny Herbert, Allan McNish, Jamie Davies and Audi-contracted Pierre Kaffer are currently out of work.

Veloqx confirmed in its statement however that it intends to continue its association with former McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner Davies, although it was unclear in what capacity the support would be.

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