NEW ERA

With the entry of Le Mans prototypes in 1999 and into the DTM in 2004, Audi began an exceptionally successful era with the most superior racing cars of their time. The regulations for open sports cars resulted in a technological boom, which also flowed into the brand’s series production. The DTM had evolved from a category for production-based race cars in the 1980s and 1990s to prototypes that only resemble road vehicles in their silhouettes. Pure racing technology combined with first-rate safety has guaranteed top-class touring car sport ever since. Moreover, in 2009, Audi entered a whole new domain with customer racing.

SUCCESS AT LE MANS

After the superior quattro drive was banned from touring car racing, Audi switched to sports prototypes, also underlining its slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in this motorsport category for eighteen years. At its debut in the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours, it promptly claimed a podium result with third place. In the following years, the Audi R8 was in a class of its own at the toughest endurance race in the world. A historic hat-trick was celebrated from 2000 to 2002, also thanks to the TFSI technology first used in 2001. The combination of turbocharging and direct injection proved revolutionary at the time and is now standard in Audi production models. In 2004 and 2005, customer teams in Le Mans took two more overall victories for Audi. The R8 secured its place in motorsport history with a total of 63 wins in 80 sports car races.

PIONEERING PERFORMANCE WITH TDI TECHNOLOGY

Audi demonstrated a pioneering feat and at the same time again proved ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ with TDI technology: the newly conceived Audi R10 TDI triumphed in 2006 as the first diesel-powered racing car at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Overall, the TDI technology has won the toughest endurance race in the world eight times. Audi also won the American Le Mans Series three times in a row with the diesel racing car as well as the European Le Mans Series in 2008. With the R15 TDI, Audi celebrated a 1-2-3 victory in the fastest Le Mans race ever, setting a new distance record. In 2014 followed the 13th victory from only 16 races entered. ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ also applies to energy efficiency. In the TDI era, Audi reduced diesel consumption by 46 per cent within a decade.

Another pioneering achievement also helped here: hybridization of the drive system. With the first victory for a hybrid racing car at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Audi achieved another pioneering feat in 2012. The Audi R18 e-tron quattro remained unbeaten in Le Mans three times in a row (2012 to 2014). Many other innovations, such as the Audi laser light, add to list of technical developments.
GOING OUT ON A HIGH

GOING OUT ON A HIGH

The participation of Audi in sports prototypes came to an end in 2016, when Audi began realigning its motorsport strategy for its factory-backed commitment in the all-electric Formula E racing series. In Bahrain, Audi Sport Team Joest closed this highly-successful 18-year chapter of Audi’s motorsport history in sports prototypes by scoring a 1-2 triumph at the season finale of the 2016 FIA WEC. It was the 107th sports prototype race win for Audi.
DTM TITLES

DTM TITLES

After Laurent Aiello’s title win in 2002 with the privately entered Abt-Audi TT-R, Audi returned to the DTM with a factory-backed commitment in 2004 and won the title with Mattias Ekström – the Swede then won again in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, his brand colleague Timo Scheider took the crown. By now, Audi is the only car manufacturer in DTM history to win a title hat-trick. Martin Tomczyk completed the Audi A4 DTM’s success story by winning the title in the 2011 season. Two years later, Mike Rockenfeller clinched the drivers’ title with the Audi RS 5 DTM, marking the ninth DTM title for Audi.

In 2017, René Rast achieved a sensational result. The newcomer secured the DTM driver’s title as a rookie. The team title went to the Audi Sport Team Rosberg. Audi also rounded off a strong season by winning the manufacturers’ title.

AUDI SPORT CUSTOMER RACING

With the R8 LMS, Audi developed its first racing car specifically for customer sport. The GT3 sports car, more than 50 percent of which is standard parts, proved itself immediately. Audi has delivered more than 200 racing cars to customers. In March 2015, Audi presented the second generation of the successful GT3 sports car, which won the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring only two months later. 2015 also heralded the Audi Sport TT Cup that saw youngsters proving themselves in action-packed races over three seasons. Jan Kisiel, Joonas Lappalainen and Philip Ellis were crowned champions from 2015 till 2017 respectively.

Two years, two new models: In September 2016, the launch of the Audi RS 3 LMS marked the brand’s venture into the world of TCR competition in touring car racing. Whilst the RS 3 LMS was enjoying a successful first season in the hands of customers during 2017, the Audi R8 LMS GT4, for the ever-growing GT4 category, was unveiled in April of the same year. This completed Audi Sport customer racing’s current portfolio of the three internationally popular categories GT3, GT4 and TCR.

‘VORSPRUNG DURCH TECHNIK’ CONTINUES INTO THE FUTURE

In 2017, Audi Sport repositioned itself. The company not only demonstrated ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ in the DTM, but also in two other disciplines, which joined the brand’s portfolio for the first time. Since the 2016/17 season, Audi became more involved in Formula E, the world’s first racing series for pure-electric-powered racing cars. With success: Audi Fahrer Lucas di Grassi won the drivers’ title at the season finale in Montreal. “Electro-mobility is one of the key issues in our industry,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of AUDI AG, Technical Development. “We aim to become a leading premium provider in this field. In 2025, every fourth Audi will be an electric car.”

The commitment of Audi in the 2017/18 season was extended to a factory motorsport programme, with Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler participating in the twelve Formula E races with the Audi e-tron FE04, driven by Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, who won the teams’ championship for Audi. But the future has already begun: The new Audi e-tron FE05 will take part in the fifth Formula E season from the end of 2018.
TITLE IN WORLD RALLYCROSS

TITLE IN WORLD RALLYCROSS

In addition, Audi has provided Mattias Ekström’s rallycross team with support since 2017. The DTM champion of 2004 and 2007 celebrated the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the World Rallycross Championship in 2016, and thus continued Audi’s success story. “In 1983, Hannu Mikkola was the first to race with quattro-drive, then the Audi R18 e-tron quattro was successful over many years, and now I have been able to contribute a chapter with my Audi S1 EKS RX quattro,” says Ekström. After ending his DTM career, the Swede  focused on the rallycross season in 2018. Ekström and Andreas Bakkerud drove the second-generation Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in the 2018 season.
1908–1968: The success of NSU
1908–1968: The success of NSU

Racing history

1908–1968: The success of NSU

NSU was already making a name for itself in motorsport in the early twentieth century. By 1967, the brand had scored notable race victories at motorcycle and automobile races.

History
History

Audi racing

History

Audi positions itself as the sportiest supplier in the premium sector, and for this it has the perfect basis: Motorsport. Sportiness, pioneering technology and an evocative design lay the foundations for Audi brand’s success. The genes for this stem from racing.

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