Audi Pulls the Plug on WEC to Focus on Formula E

Audi R18 eTron Le Mans (Photo YouTube)
Audi R18 eTron Le Mans (Photo YouTube) /

In a surprise move, Audi announced that it would be pulling the plug on its WEC program to focus on racing in the Formula E racing series.

When I heard the rumor earlier this month that Audi was thinking about pulling out of endurance racing at the end of 2017, I figured it was just that; a rumor.

To me, there was just no way a huge, successful racing program like that would miss the chance at battling it out with the best prototype racing teams in the World Endurance Championship.

All that great racing history and rivalry battle never to seen again? No way.

That’s exactly what made the FIA WEC so exciting. They wouldn’t just walk away from that all that, would they?

Well, it looks like this is a lot bigger than all of us because Audi has just confirmed that it will be pulling the plug on its WEC program at the end of 2017 to focus on the Formula E racing series.

According to Audi CEO Rubert Stadler,

"“We’re going to contest the race for the future on electric power. As our production cars are becoming increasingly electric, our motorsports cars, as Audi’s technological spearheads, have to even more so.”"

Audi is now committing it’s current factory resources to the FIA Formula E racing series starting in 2017.

But the real shocker was when I found out they will be pulling out of Le Mans as well! This announcement from Audi marks the end of an 18 year run in prototype racing.

From a fan’s standpoint, this was a huge disappointment to me and is a big blow to the world of motorsport racing.

Even eSports racing fans will feel the effects as well. I can’t even count the number of hours I have clocked racing in endurance prototype vehicles in racing games like Forza Motorsport 6, running hard with and against Audi endurance prototypes.

While I understand the company’s decision to focus on electric power, their decision to concentrate on Formula E racing just doesn’t sit well with me.

I have tried multiple times to sit down and get excited about the Formula E racing series, and it just hasn’t happened yet. Will Audi joining the series change this? I guess that just remains to be seen.

Next: Formula E Racing in $1 Million eSports Event

What are your thought’s on Audi’s announcement to move to Formula E? Hit us up on Twitter @ArtofGears and let us know.