Audi may build coupe for Le Mans

Audi, which has dominated the past three Le Mans 24 Hours, looks set to build a coupe rather than another open-top prototype if it decides to return to the event in 2004, according to reports in AUTOSPORT this week

Audi may build coupe for Le Mans

The German marque is expected to announce before the end of November that it will not send a factory team of its all-conquering open-top R8 cars to the French enduro in 2003. The team has always maintained that it could return to Le Mans when the new prototype formula is introduced the following year.

Details have now emerged that Audi is likely to build an LM-GTP coupe rather than another open-top prototype. Sources have revealed that the manufacturer is looking closely at running a coupe now that the discrepancies between closed and open cars have been removed.

Speculation was intensified following last weeks Sportscar Commission meeting, at which the 2004 rules were thrashed out. A source said: "Audi must be planning a closed car. Their guys were concentrating on that area of the rules with a fine tooth comb."

Audi ran a coupe alongside an open-top car on its first visit to Le Mans in 1999. The following season, the marque scrapped the closed car and concentrated on development of the fabled R8.

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