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.
Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.
Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.
When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.
The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.
“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.
“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.
“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.
“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”
Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.
“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”