Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is set to step down from his position as Audi’s head of motorsport at the end of 2016, according to a report from Sportscar365.
Ullrich has overseen Audi’s motorsport interests since 1999, playing an integral part in its dominance of endurance racing over the past two decades.
However, with Audi calling time on its involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans at the end of the year, Ullrich will also be stepping down from his position.
The 66-year-old will hand the reins over to current head of DTM at Audi, Dieter Gass, before retiring at the end of 2017.
“This was planned for quite some time. It needed to be organized with the board and we have not officialized it, but that’s what we’re going to go for,” Ullrich is quoted as saying by Sportscar365.
“The good thing on this decision is that we now have one year to build Audi Sport the way it’s orientated for the new program.
“And maybe when I go, he has it in his hands and not needs to do it alone.”
Audi’s efforts will now be focused on Formula E, where it is set to step up its involvement to a factory level as of the fourth season, which is due to start in the fall of 2017.
ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).
“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.
“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”
For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.
“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.
“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”
Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.
“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.