Le Mans legend Rinaldo Capello officially retires from prototype racing

Audi legend Rinaldo Capello has officially called time on his top flight endurance prototype career, having hinted as much after finishing second in June's Le Mans 24 Hours

Le Mans legend Rinaldo Capello officially retires from prototype racing

Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen will now share the #2 hybrid diesel-powered Audi R18 e-tron between them for the rest of the FIA World Endurance Championship, starting at the British round at Silverstone in the last weekend of August.

Capello, 48, ends his LMP1 career with a tally of three Le Mans victories, five Sebring 12 Hours wins (including 2012), 23 American Le Mans Series and three ELMS triumphs. The Italian was also ALMS champion twice.

Capello told AUTOSPORT at Le Mans that he felt it was time to pass over the mantle: "At the moment these cars are so fast, and with so much traffic we have to be really precise in every manoeuvre we do, and I felt that in the night.... you know...

"Sometimes age is age - you cannot change it. When you fight for tenths of a second, everything should be perfect, and if this is my last Le Mans, one of the reasons is age. It would be nice to be perfect until you are 70 or so - unfortunately it doesn't work like that."

Speaking of his retirement in a statement from Audi on Monday, Capello said: "I would like to address a really, really big thank you to Audi on my part.

"Audi has become my brand - professionally and based on my personal conviction. Together, we have achieved so much and demonstrated pioneering achievements again and again. Naturally, there is a feeling of sadness too, as this departure from the factory team is not easy.

"I am saying goodbye with a clear conscience because I have no unfinished business with my sport. In all disciplines and categories, Audi and I together have achieved the maximum with victories and titles. As late as in March, we won at Sebring and I'm currently ranking in first place of the WEC standings. I wanted to quit at a time when I was still able to show top performances."

Audi motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ullrich paid tribute to Capello, who has been racing Volkswagen and Audi machinery for more than two decades.

"This is an extremely unusual string of successes and a very emotional moment," said Ullrich. "On behalf of Audi I would like to express a huge thank you to Dindo.

"Dindo was at the top of the sport for 19 years and all employees at Audi Sport were pleased to make this possible for him. I am proud of both. In terms of the sport as well as in a personal and professional sense - it has always been a pleasure to work with Dindo and to know that he was part of our team.

Capello intends to keep on racing with Audi's R8 LMS in GT3 events.

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