German car manufacturer Audi has announced on Monday that it will withdraw from the DTM series at the end of the 2020 season in light of the coronavirus crisis.
After racing in DTM over the past 20 years, Audi has decided against extending its commitment in the German touring car racing series beyond the 2020 season. The marque looks back on an extremely successful past in DTM.
Having scored 23 championship titles, including eleven driver titles, plus 114 victories, 345 podium finishes, 106 pole positions and 112 fastest laps, Audi shaped the DTM from 1990 to 1992 and from 2000 onwards. With three of three possible championship titles, numerous podiums and many other records, 2019 has so far been the most successful DTM season in the company’s history.
The Ingolstadt-based manufacturer communicated that it has made the decision to reshuffle its motorsport commitment given the current coronavirus crisis that is set to put a huge financial burden on car manufacturers and motorsport outfits. The company stressed that it remains committed to the Formula E championship which will become the most relevant series for Audi as it calculates that 40% of its car sales will come from its electric range by 2025.
“Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi. This demonstrates what power lies in motorsport – technologically and emotionally,” says Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
“With this energy, we’re going to drive our transformation into a provider of sporty, sustainable electric mobility forward. That’s why we’re also focusing our efforts on the race track and systematically competing for tomorrow’s ‘Vorsprung.' Formula E offers a very attractive platform for this. To complement it, we’re investigating other progressive motorsport formats for the future.”
With Audi quitting the German Touring Car Championship, BMW remains the only car manufacturer in the popular series. Chairman of the ITR, Gerhard Berger called today „a difficult day for motorsport”.
„I deeply regret Audi’s decision to withdraw from the DTM after the 2020 season. While we respect the board’s position, the short-term nature of this announcement presents ITR, our partner BMW, and our teams with a number of specific challenges. Given our common association, and the particular difficulties we all face during the COVID-19 pandemic, we would have hoped for a more united approch”, the Austrian said.