Standing restarts confirmed by FIA for 2015, among other updates

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Thought double points was a controversial idea? Try standing restarts after safety car periods.

But like double points, standing restarts are coming, and will be enforced from 2015. That was confirmed at Thursday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council:

“Safety Car restarts will now be a standing start from the grid. Standing starts will not be carried out if the Safety Car is used within two laps of the start (or restart) of a race or if there are less than five laps of the race remaining.”

Among the rest of the updates outlined to the 2015 Sporting Regulations, the number of engines that each driver can used will be four, and the penalty for a change of Power Unit will be starting from the back of the grid instead of the pit lane. The current restrictions to the parc fermé will now apply from the start of P3 instead of the start of qualifying, as well.

Rather than three preseason tests of four days apiece in Europe, that’s been reduced to two tests of four days. There also will be two in-season tests of two days each in Europe (instead of the current four). Two of these four days must be reserved for young drivers.

On the Technical Regulations side, a two-stage wheel fastener retaining system is now compulsory.

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.”