In the 2018 motor racing season, AUDI AG will be competing in traditional race series such as the DTM and Rallycross. The pioneering Formula E also provides the perfect stage to develop innovative technologies for volume-production use.
The world’s first electric race series entered its fourth season in Hong Kong in early December. This was also the green light for Audi to line up actively on the grid with its own team, and not just lend its name to the series as it had done so far. By taking over ABT Sportsline’s place on the grid, Audi became the first German carmaker to enter Formula E. With the two works drivers Daniel Abt and Lucas di Grassi the four rings has an experienced, successful team at its disposal. After all, the two drivers have sat behind the wheel since Formula E was founded in 2014. Last season, the team with the ABT Schaeffler FE02 racing car took the drivers’ championship and second place in the team rankings.
Audi intends to shift the focus onto electric mobility with its involvement in Formula E. The first all-electric volume-production vehicle is set to roll off the e-tron production line in the Audi Brussels plant in late 2018. The sport SUV Audi e-tron quattro concept and the Gran Turismo Audi e-tron Sportback concept were the prototypes. The two show cars were presented at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in 2015 and at the Auto Shanghai show in spring 2017 respectively.
Audi is continuing its tradition in touring car racing with its ongoing involvement in the DTM. The DTM has a unique format: it is the world’s only race series where only works teams line up on the grid. It has been enthralling motor racing fans since 1984. Three German premium manufacturers battle it out for the title in 18 spectacular races. Audi is a strong rival with the Audi RS 5 DTM.
In the 2017 season, the brand with the four rings topped the driver’s, team and manufacturer’s standings. In his first full year of DTM, rookie René Rast picked up the tenth driver title for Audi.
Rallycross, as a combination of racing circuit and rally, is an adrenaline- packed addition to Audi’s intense involvement with motor racing. The races have achieved cult status at many event venues. With their festival atmosphere, races also give fans the chance to meet the motor racing stars up close.
The factory-supported EKS team has been successful in the FIA Rallycross World Championship. In addition to the regular drivers Mattias Ekström and Toomas Heikkinen, the youngster Reinis Nitišs also raced the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro in 2017. On challenging asphalt/gravel tracks, Ekström finally took the runner-up spot in the championship and the team claimed third spot overall.