King could be heir to Ecclestone’s F1 throne

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Could supermarket boss Justin King succeed Bernie Ecclestone as the man in charge of the world’s number one form of motor racing?

Ecclestone’s vision has shaped Formula One for almost four decades, harnessing the vast income from the sale of television rights to make it a truly global sport.

The 82-year-old’s work ethic remains indefatigable, but it’s no secret that he cannot go on forever.

Acknowledging that, F1 owners CVC appointed head hunter Egon Zehnder last year to craft a succession plan so the sport is prepared for life after Ecclestone.

Among those tipped as a potential successor to Ecclestone is 51-yeal-old Justin King, boss of major British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.

King fulfils the first requirement of a potential successor: he’s a fan of the sport. So much so that son Jordan is pursuing a career in racing.

Jordan King has graduated from Formula Renault 2.0 to the FIA’s European Formula Three championship this year. The fact his blue-and-white Dallara’s flanks bear the logos of Goodfellas pizzas, King of Shaves razors and other Sainsbury’s suppliers has not passed without comment.

Ecclestone remains tight-lipped as ever on the subject of his successor: “I’ve no idea whether the boss of a company like Sainsbury’s could do my job,” he told The Guardian.

Whoever gets the gig certainly has big shoes to fill: Ecclestone was recently named the 22nd most powerful man in sport by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”