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.