Audi WEC withdrawal not 'catastrophic' according to series boss

Audi's departure from the World Endurance Championship at the end of this season is not a catastrophe, according to series boss Gerard Neveu

Audi WEC withdrawal not 'catastrophic' according to series boss

Neveu insisted that the future of the WEC and the LMP1 class remained buoyant despite the announcement late last month that Audi will pull out of the series.

"This was not the best day regarding news for the championship, but it is nothing catastrophic," he said.

"There are good prospects in front of us and in the coming months we will have good news about new LMP2 teams, maybe privateer LMP1 teams, and we already have had an announcement about a new manufacturer in GTE [BMW's decision to join in 2018]."

Don't be fooled by VW's scandal smokescreen

Neveu stressed that only two manufacturers are required for a full world championship to be awarded in LMP1, meaning "all the conditions" are met.

Speculation that the Automobile Club de l'Ouest's contract with the FIA to promote the WEC has required three manufacturers since its renewal ahead of 2015 was "absolutely wrong", he said.

The WEC and the ACO remain, according to Neveu, in discussion with "many manufacturers" about joining the LMP1 division, but he would not reveal a potential timeline for the arrival of any newcomers.

Neither Neveu nor ACO president Pierre Fillon would be drawn on the likelihood of changes to the technological road map for LMP1 to reduce the cost of entering the class.

Neveu said: "The main target is to reduce costs and create conditions that welcome manufacturers, but this is not something new.

"There is a commission working on that and today is not the time to comment on any delay or adjustment to the technical regulations."

FULL WORLD STATUS FOR GTE

The plans to upgrade the overall GT drivers' and manufacturers' titles from 'trophies' to full world championships first discussed last year are due to go before the next World Motor Sport Council in December.

Lindsay Owen-Jones, president of the FIA endurance commission, explained he would be discussing the matter with FIA boss Jean Todt this week.

"The GT manufacturers have a very strong case that the championship deserves better recognition and I will be supporting that, but the decision is ultimately in the hands to the WMSC," he said.

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Don't be fooled by VW's scandal smokescreen

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