When Audi released the news that its motorsport division, Audi Sport, would be leaving the world of WEC (World Endurance Championship), the entire motorsport world was in shock. Audi had been a giant in the WEC, taking 13 of the past 18 victories at Le Mans and ultimately being the second most successful automaker ever in Le Mans racing, with only Porsche having more total wins. So when Audi decided to pul out of WEC and move on to Formula E, many fans were devastated.
However, more sad news for the Audi Sport team, as longtime boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich will be retiring as head of Audi Sport. Ullrich was the mastermind behind Audi’s success in racing and oversaw the brand’s motorsport teams since 1993. After news that Audi Sport was pulling out of the world of endurance racing, Ullrich decided it was time for him to hang it up. Audi DTM Boss Dieter Gass will take over as head of Audi Sport.
“I will stay, but [Gass] will be the new head of Audi Sport: I will be the old head and help him, like he has helped me over the past years,” Ullrich told Autosport.
Though, Ullrich will stay on the Audi Sport team until 2017, as he helps Gass ease into the new job and helps the rest of his team find new jobs within Audi’s road car division. “We will not be able to keep everyone, but we hope we can offer them interesting jobs in our road car departments,”
It’s a sad day when one of the greatest minds in the history of motorsport retires but he’s certainly earned his retirement. We assume the Ullrich isn’t interested in starting over in a brand-new sport he has no experience with at his age (66). He did a great job while he was there and spearheaded one of the greatest eras for a brand in motorsport history. Thanks, Wolfgang, enjoy retirement.