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Dieter Gass to become new head of motorsport at Audi

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Audi has confirmed that Dieter Gass will become its new head of motorsport for 2017, taking over from Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

Ullrich confirmed last month that he would be stepping down after 23 years at the helm of Audi motorsport, overseeing 13 victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Audi announced at the end of October that it would be quitting the FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans after 2016 in order to focus on Formula E, where it will field a works team in the near future.

In a statement issued by Audi on Friday, Gass (pictured left, with Ullrich) was confirmed as its new head of motorsport from January 1, moving up from his role as head of racing commitments.

“Dieter Gass is going to lead Audi Sport through the upcoming transformation stage and continue to write Audi’s success story in motorsport,” Ullrich said.

“He knows Audi Sport like few others do. From November 1994 to March 2001, he worked there as an engineer – initially in the super touring car and subsequently in the sports prototype program.

“Afterwards, he held leading positions in Formula One for eleven years. In that period, he gathered a wealth of know-how that Audi Sport has been benefiting from ever since his return in 2012.

“Following one year as Head of Racing Commitments and four years as Head of DTM, he is now taking his next, carefully planned step. I will be assisting him in this role in an advisory capacity, but not in the operational side of the business.

“I know that Audi’s motorsport commitment is in good hands with Dieter Gass.”

Gass added: ““The footsteps left by Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich are very large. He was at the helm of Audi Sport for 23 years and is credited with exceptional achievements during this long period of time.

“In addition to the global development of partnering teams and countless championships in super touring car racing, the 13 victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and numerous DTM titles stand out as lasting milestones.

“But I’d be remiss not to mention the development of customer racing at Audi and Audi Sport’s move to the modern Competence Center Motorsport in Neuburg designed for today’s needs. Careers like these are very rare in motorsport.”

Ullrich will remain with Audi in an advisory role until the end of 2017.

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).