Audi celebrates most successful motorsport season
Ingolstadt/Neckarsulm -- Four rings, four wins. The end of season party at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm was celebrated under this motto, and at which Audi thanked its teams and drivers for the most successful motorsport season in the company's history. Chairman of the Board of Management Rupert Stadler and Michael Dick, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Technical Development, emphasised the importance of motorsport for the brand.
"The victories on the race track allow the four rings to shine," declared Rupert Stadler. "We are proud to have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series and the Le Mans Series with the finest diesel technology and winning the DTM title has further emphasised the dynamic of our most successful model."
Michael Dick spoke of a "historical year" which will be difficult to beat, and explained just how important Audi's involvement in motorsport is. "The members of the board examine exactly how motorsport benefits us. Studies show that the brand's image is at the top when we are at our most successful in motorsport."
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, who is manager of Audi Sport since November 1993, passed on the thanks expressed by the executive board to his employees and the Audi teams. "You have achieved something superhuman this year," he emphasised. "We are well represented with Joest and Champion Racing in sportscars and Abt Sportsline, Phoenix, Rosberg and Kolles as partner teams in touringcar racing. We sense the trust placed in us by the executive board. This is the greatest motivation for us to be successful."
In addition to the victorious drivers from the 2008 season, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro were also honoured for their special services. The two oldest serving Audi drivers make space for younger drivers, announced, however, that they want to remain associated with Audi in the future. "Both have given an enormous amount to the Audi brand. For this reason I thank them sincerely in the name of the AUDI AG," said Dr Wolfgang Ullrich.
Audi officially completed 28 races last season with the Audi A4 DTM and the Audi R10 TDI. Timo Scheider took the DTM title together with Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. Alexandre Premat, Mike Rockenfeller and the Audi Sport Team Joest won the European based Le Mans Series in Europe, Lucas Luhr, Marco Werner and Dave Maraj's team the American Le Mans Series. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Audi Sport Team Joest recorded the third consecutive Le Mans victory for the Audi R10 TDI.
Audi announces the motorsport programme for the 2009 season on 28 November at the Essen Motor Show.