Well, it’s not quite the “Audi’s back at Le Mans” story we all wanted, but it turns out that Wolfgang Ullrich wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the sport when his team pulled out in 2016.
Since leaving his post as the head of Audi Motorsport, a role since taken over by Dieter Gass, Ullrich was offered a special advisor job with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the body that runs Le Mans.
“I will be bringing all my experience of working for a manufacturer and being part of all the working groups to help the championship,” “My objective is to find a way to make sure endurance racing remains as important as it does today.”
Unfortunately, Ullrich will face an uphill battle. Since Audi left the World Endurance Championship, Porsche left, too. That leaves only Toyota in the sport’s highest class, LMP1.
Fortunately, the race will get a boost this year, thanks to the addition of F1 champion Fernando Alonso. Toyota, though, seems unlikely to keep pouring money into the sport if there is no one to compete against.
Ullrich started working at Audi in 1993 and saw the team through its most successful period in endurance racing.