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Could Audi make a move into IndyCar?

Apr 14, 2013, 3:13 PM EST

Grand Am Daytona 24 Hours Auto Racing AP

Audi may be making a bigger impact on North American motorsports in the near future, with the IZOD IndyCar Series possibly figuring into their plans.

According to a Gary Watkins-penned piece in Autosport, supplying engines in IndyCar is a possibility for the German manufacturer, as well as projects involving the Daytona Prototype class of the upcoming United SportsCar Racing series and the North American version of the DTM touring car series (which is expected to begin in 2015 or 2016).

“Another opportunity would be IndyCar, which I think is still very popular and the Indy 500 is an outstanding race,” said Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi’s new leader of research and development, in the interview.

Audi had been mentioned in the past as a possible engine builder for IndyCar before the current engine cycle began in 2012 with Chevrolet, Honda and Lotus on board. Lotus has since exited the series, leaving Chevy and Honda as the current suppliers.

The “4-Rings” are well-known for their triumphs in rallying and sports car racing. Audi has won eight of the last ten 24 Hours of Le Mans and won last year’s race with a hybrid-electric version of its R18 machine. In addition, its car in GRAND-AM, the R8, was victorious in this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

As for the potential project in USCR, which will debut in 2014 after the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series, Durheimer indicated his preference for the Prototype class because of the importance of overall wins.

“Class wins [with the R8] are nice, but at the end of the day you have to win the race,” he said.

  1. djsgalaxy - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I’d love to see Audi in IndyCar. Hopefully their commitment will be double that of Lotus’.

  2. wallio - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Audi/VW/Porsche will only join if Indycar (or anyone really) accepts that stupid “World Engine” formula the FIA proposed a few years back. Unless its a 1.5 or 2.0 litre turbo inline four, they ain’t runnin.

  3. Keith Collantine - Apr 15, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Would be a terrific change of direction to see Audi in single-seaters.

    • apexassassin - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      Yes, in F1. The only open wheel racing the matters.

      • apexassassin - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        *that, not “the”

  4. apexassassin - Apr 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Hopefully not. I’d hate to see VW waste their money on a dying series that only old people and bored nascar fans car about…

    besides Audi are def ramping up their ALMS involvement. I’ve seen the furutre of American racing and IRL just isn’t there. Neither is open wheel oval racing, thank god.

  5. techmeister1 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    Indycar would be a waste for Audi IMO, as it was for Porsche. Sportscar racing is OK and particularly racing production cars in GT is good. The other stuff is more an egotistic venture than a practical marketing exercise. Do people really buy a Honda because they provide a special non-production based engine to Indycar? Not likely.

  6. spellgo - May 1, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Shoot! Audi would be great for this series!!! Just about any manufacturer should think about coming into IndyCar (shouldn’t be called IRL anymore). The IndyCar Series is just growing to be as successful as it was when it was just one series before the 1996 split. Post 2008 unification, I’ve seen the series grown. I am a fan of all motorsports and I love the likes of the premiere open wheel racing series of IndyCar and F1. Audi in IndyCars would make the sport more competitive against the other manufacturers. Audi has worked with Le Mans Prototype cars, they should have the resources to meet the specs of the IndyCar Series. Definitely I would love to see Audi in IndyCars!

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