If you’re a fan of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) – arguably one of the best motorsport formulas on the planet today – then you’ll know that Audi are one of the most dominant marques in recent history. In the last 18 years they have claimed no less than 13 overall victories in the 24-Hours of Le Mans – a feat that makes them the second most winningest constructor after Porsche.
Le Mans victories aside Audi also pioneered the success of diesel engines in the sport and was the first manufacturer to build an LMP1 car with a hybrid powertrain. In short they are endurance racing demigods. Well not anymore. Today us members of the world’s motoring media received a depressing press release announcing Audi’s departure from the WEC.
Yep, at the end of 2016 the Four Rings will be gone… gone to Formula E: a ridiculous formula in which a grid of failed Formula 1 drivers race each other in what I can only describe as overgrown radio-controlled cars. Seriously, listen to them here and you’ll hear what I mean.
“Formula E?!,” I hear you saying, “What’s that?” Exactly. You don’t know. Your friends don’t know. Most people don’t know what the hell Formula E is. And even if they did I doubt they would care. Because who wants to watch silent, all-electric racing cars burning through joules instead of fossil fuels? Maybe Audi Sport knows something we don’t know but I find this decision extremely perplexing. Especially since the battle in the LMP1 class is currently the best it’s been in years. I just don’t get it. And I’m quite sure that I’m not the only one. – Thomas Falkiner