Audi AG announcedcon Monday that it is withdrawing from DTM as the company shifts gears to a more sustainable model where they plan that by 2025, 40 percent of their automotive sales will be plug in hybrid vehicles.
The decision to concentrate their motorsport activities to the ABB FIA Formula E world championship also saw the board of Audi AG take into consideration the financial impact of the current COVID 19 global pandemic.
In a statement released on Monday Audi AG Board of Management Chairman Markus Duesmann said:
“Audi has shaped the DTM and the DTM has shaped Audi. This demonstrates what power lies in motorsport – technologically and emotionally. “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.
Chairman of ITR Gerhard Beger said:
Today is a difficult day for motorsport in Germany and across Europe. 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 approach. This decision worsens the situation, and the future of the DTM now very much depends on how our partners and sponsors react to this decision. Nevertheless, I fully expect Audi to undertake its planned exit properly, responsibly and in full partnership with ITR. My commitment remains to the year ahead, and to ensuring we provide our hundreds of thousands of fans with a thrilling and competitive season. But, as soon as possible, I also want to create planning security for our participating teams, sponsors and everybody whose job depends on the DTM.
Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Member of the board of Development with Audi AG said:
Audi would like to continue these successes in the 2020 season and bid farewell to the DTM fans with a successful title defense in all three championships. “We’re hoping that this currently difficult situation will improve soon and that we’ll still be able to contest a few DTM races this year. “The fans would deserve this, and so would the ITR, our drivers as well as our teams and partners, who will now have adequate advance notice to reposition themselves for the time after 2020. Successful motorsport is – and will continue to be – an important element of Audi’s DNA.
The 2020 DTM season is scheduled to get underway with the Norisring from July 10 to 12.