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Audi opts not to appeal Silverstone disqualification after all

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Audi, which initially didn’t, then planned to appeal its disqualification from the FIA World Endurance Championship season-opening 6 Hours of Silverstone, has now done a 180 and will not appeal after all.

The team’s No. 7 Audi R18 of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer won on the road but was disqualified after the race due to a skid block thickness violation discovered in post-race technical inspection.

Audi has now updated its plans and won’t appeal after all.

Here’s its updated statement, posted Thursday to its media site:

Audi has chosen not to lodge an appeal following the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the United Kingdom. After Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer had won the Silverstone 6 Hours on April 17, their Audi R18 was excluded post-race from the classification due to a violation of the LMP1 class Technical Regulations.

The thickness of the skid block of the number “7” Audi R18 represented a breach of Article 3.5.6 a3 of the regulations, according to the assessment of the Technical Delegate. “We accept the exclusion from the classification and, in the interest of the sport, jointly look ahead,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, justifying the decision. The skid block suffered above-average wear during the season opener. An analysis revealed that its wear was attributable to unexpectedly heavy “bouncing,” in other words an up- and downward movement of the race car. “It it is our job to avoid increased wear – we accept this responsibility,” Dr. Ullrich said. “We made our decision in the interest of the sport and hope that the eight remaining world championship rounds will be similarly thrilling as the season opener.” In just two weeks’ time, on May 7, round two of the season will be coming up at Spa (Belgium).

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.