Saturday, December 1, 2012

Audi Sport vs. Audi Sport customer racing: The difference

By Tarek Ramchani

Many have been confused about Audi’s motorsport efforts when reading and hearing of Audi Sport and in other cases Audi Sport customer racing. In fact these are two separate organizations within the same family at Audi. Yet they share the name and even the logo, however their work is done separately.

Audi Sport is of course the motorsport arm of the Audi AG brand. The racing department has been busy since 1980 with the first ever Audi quattro rally car. Audi Sport is exclusively responsible for full factory racing. At the moment this means, building and handling the Audi R18 e-tron quattro for the Le Mans 24 Hours and the FIA World Endurance Championship as well the Audi A5 DTM R17 for the German DTM touring car series. The head of Audi Sport is Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, who has held this position since November 1993.

Established in 2009, Audi Sport customer racing on another hand is only responsible for the customer racing projects. You may not know this, but Audi Sport customer racing belongs to Audi’s top subsidiary, quattro GmbH, who are famous for the road going RennSport "RS" models, as well all the R8 road cars. In fact at quattro GmbH the Audi race cars, which are dedicated to privateer teams, are built on site. Right now Audi Sport customer racing is responsible for three projects, the Audi R8 LMS ultra, the Audi R8 GRAND-AM and the race version of the Audi TT RS. In addition to building the cars, Audi Sport customer racing also provides technical support for the different privateer Audi teams during the racing seasons. The head of Audi Sport customer racing is Mr. Romolo Liebchen.