Audi leads field for farewell lap ahead of WEC swansong in Bahrain (VIDEO)

© Audi

Audi took part in a special ‘farewell lap’ in the minutes leading up to its final race in the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain on Saturday afternoon.

Audi announced last month that it would be withdrawing from the WEC and Le Mans following the 2016 season, ending an 18-year stint in the premier class of sportscar racing.

The German marque makes its final start today in the 6 Hours of Bahrain, with the no. 8 Audi R18 starting from pole position.

Despite its sister no. 7 car starting only third on the grid, both Audis were given the chance to lead the field for the first of the two formation laps in Bahrain.

With the WEC’s safety car being an Audi R8, fans were offered a chance to see an Audi 1-2-3 as race director Eduardo Freitas offered a thank you message.

With just over 30 minutes of the race complete, Audi’s pole-sitting no. 8 car leads the way courtesy of Loic Duval, with the no. 7 running second following a fine pass by Marcel Fassler early on.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”