Caterham reveals launch date, plans to attend all three winter tests

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The team now known as Lotus has backed out of the first Formula One test this year. The team formerly known as Lotus, now Caterham, has not.

The Leafield-based squad confirmed it will run at all three tests, Jerez and both in Bahrain, which is an excellent sign. The team will launch its new car on January 28, the first day at Jerez. Mercedes also launches its car that day; McLaren announced an online-only launch for Jan. 24 on Tuesday.

Caterham also remains the most intriguing team on the driver lineup front, as the only squad yet to confirm a single driver for 2014. A report on the official Formula One website lists the team’s 2013 drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde, along with Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson as contenders for the seats. That more or less confirms rumors over the last month or so. Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi will be in Daytona for the Rolex 24 on Jan. 25-26, racing the DeltaWing.

You figure we may get one or perhaps both driver announcements before the Jerez test, which runs Jan. 28-31. Bahrain’s pair of four-day tests are Feb. 19-22 and Feb. 27-March 2.

After finishing 10th in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Caterham fell to 11th in this year’s Constructor’s Championship behind fellow tail-ender Marussia.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

Audi Sport
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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.”