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Detailing Audi’s successful 18-year tenure in the WEC

After 18 years in prototype racing that were exceptionally successful for Audi, it’s obviously extremely hard to leave

As a follow up to yesterday’s blog post regarding Audi’s final WEC race that came after their decision to bid a farewell to the sport, here is a more in depth look at the Four Ringed Brand’s history during their involvement in the Motorsport that requires real staying power.

The shockwaves are still being felt in the motorsport world following Audi’s decision to end their campaign in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) at the end of the 2016 season.

audi wec

At the time of the sensational announcement, Audi’s motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich stated: “After 18 years in prototype racing that were exceptionally successful for Audi, it’s obviously extremely hard to leave. Audi Sport Team Joest shaped the WEC during this period like no other team.”

With five Audi dealerships located across the UK, join Vindis as they discover just how successful the German manufacturer has been in motorsport for close to two decades:

Standout feats covering Audi’s entire 18-year stint in the WEC

  • Audi has never finished outside of the podium spots in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Audi has won 13 of the 18 24 Hours of Le Mans races that it has competed in.
  • Audi has achieved 106 wins and 80 pole positions from 185 starts in the World Endurance Championship.

1999 standout moments

  • Partnership between Audi and Joest Racing is established.
  • Using an Audi R8R, Audi and Joest Racing achieve a podium finish in their competition debut at the 12-hour race in Sebring.
  • Audi again reach the podium with a third-place finish in the debut at Le Mans.

2000 standout moments

  • The Audi R8 makes a winning debut at the 12-hour race in Sebring.
  • Audi Sport Team Joest achieve a one-two-three finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Audi Sport Team Joest dominate the American Le Mans Series, with Allan McNish clinching the Drivers’ Championship, Audi winning the Manufacturers’ Championship and Joest picking up the Teams’ Championship that year.

2001 standout moments

  • Using two varieties of the Audi R8 prototype, Audi Sport Team Joest achieve a one-two finish at the Le Mans race.
  • Audi and Joest Racing again dominate the American Le Mans Series, with the Drivers’ Championship, Manufacturers’ Championship and Teams’ Championship all successfully defended.

2002 standout moments

  • Audi and Joest Racing celebrate a one-two-three finish at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Audi and Joest Racing becomes the first team to win the Le Mans for three consecutive seasons while using the same three drivers.
  • Audi and Joest Racing achieve another clean sweep in the American Le Mans Series, with the Drivers’ Championship, Manufacturers’ Championship Teams’ Championship again defended successfully.

2003 standout moments

  • Although Audi concentrated its entire resources on the development of a new DTM car in 2003 so that it is ready for use in 2004, Audi Sport North America supported Joest Racing as they competed as a customer team in the 2003 American Le Mans Series. The support was well placed, with Joest Racing again winning the Teams’ Championship.

2004 standout moments

  • Audi wins the Manufacturers’ Championship at the 2004 DTM.

2005 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest was the best team in DTM which competed with cars from the previous year, with four 2004-spec cars used.

2006 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest achieves history by winning the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans race using a diesel-powered sports car — the R10 TDI.
  • The Audi R10 TDI also sees Audi Sport Team Joest win the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring race.
  • The Audi factory team wins the Manufacturers’ Championship at the American Le Mans Series.

2007 standout moments

  • The Audi R10 TDI was once again the winning car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Audi and Joest Racing successfully defend their title at the 2007 12 Hours of Sebring race.

2008 standout moments

  • Once more, the Audi R10 TDI was the winning car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Audi and Joest Racing win the 2008 European Le Mans Series.

2009 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest continue their roll of finishing on the podium of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, coming third in the 2009 hosting of the event.
  • The Audi R15 TDI made its race debut at an event in Sebring in March 2009 and achieved victory in the competition.

2010 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest completes a one-two-three finish at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans race, with a revised Audi R15 TDI used for the feat.

2011 standout moments

  • Aboard an Audi R18 TDI, Audi and Joest Racing win the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

2012 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest wins the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
  • Also at the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans event, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro became the first hybrid sportscar to win the famous race.
  • Audi Sport Team Joest wins the World Championship for sport prototypes, with the title making its return for the first time since 1992.

2013 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest wins the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans race, once again using the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.
  • Audi Sport Team Joest wins both the Drivers’ Championship and the Manufacturers’ Championship at the 2013 World Endurance Championship.
  • Audi Sport Team Joest makes history by taking the first win for a hybrid sportscar at the 12 Hours of Sebring race.

2014 standout moments

  • The Audi R18 e-tron quattro is once again used as Audi Sport Team Joest wins the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

2015 standout moments

  • Audi Sport Team Joest trio Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer becomes the most successful driver combination in the World Endurance Championships. This is thanks to the trio being world champions in the 2012 season and then runners-up in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 campaigns.

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