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).
Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.
Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.
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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.
Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.