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Audi Sport sets up new shop in Neuburg

Thu, 04 Sep 2014

Racing fans may know Audi best for its Le Mans team that's positively dominated the endurance racing scene. But as formidable as its Le Mans program is, that's only one of the racing disciplines in which Audi competes. It also competes in the full FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as Germany's popular DTM touring car series and supports customer teams in GT racing series around the world. And now the competition division is getting a new headquarters.

Audi Sport has until now been based in an old supermarket near to the company's head offices in Ingolstadt, but is now moving into a brand new, state-of-the-art facility 12 miles to the west in nearby Neuburg. The result of some 20 years of planning and two years of construction, the complex covers 116 acres of land in Neuburg-Heinrichsheim and will house engineers, technicians and other staff who deal with the R18 E-Tron Quattro, the RS5 DTM and R8 LMS Ultra that compete the world over.

The facility was officially opened this past Saturday with participation from top Audi brass and local government officials and included demonstrations from all three of those racecars around the on-site test track. The works team has begun moving in and the customer racing department will move into its new Motorsport Competence Center in the first half of 2015.

August 30, 2014
Audi Neuburg opened in an official ceremony

Audi Sport will have a new home in the future. Some 20 kilometers west of Ingolstadt, a new facility has been completed a little less than two years following the groundbreaking ceremony. On Saturday, Audi Neuburg was opened in an official ceremony attended by the Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer and representatives of the local political community, as well as the members of the Audi board of management. The three race cars, Audi R18 e-tron quattro, Audi RS 5 DTM and Audi R8 LMS ultra, did some initial demo laps on the handling course. Previously, in May, the Audi driving experience launched customer operations on the 47-hectare grounds in Neuburg-Heinrichsheim. Audi Sport will be moving from Ingolstadt to the new facility before the year is out and in the first half of 2015, Audi Sport customer racing's move to Neuburg will follow to complete the new Motorsport Competence Center.

A word from ... Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich

Audi Neuburg was inaugurated in an official ceremony – a dream is coming true. Since when have you had this dream?
Relatively soon after I started as Head of Motorsport at Audi 21 years ago, discussions about a center of our own began. The former supermarket we were located in was always just intended to be a provisional facility. The aim was to find a location in Ingolstadt and to be close to Technical Development (TE). But Audi kept growing during this time. As a result, it became increasingly difficult to find facilities in Ingolstadt. When the opportunity in Neuburg arose, we realized that it provided many advantages and accepted that we wouldn't be in immediate proximity to TE. However, we'll obviously continue to be closely associated with TE in organizational and technological respects.

What new opportunities are opening up for Audi Sport due to the new complex?
We now have adequate grounds and perfect facilities to set ourselves up. Personnel can now be accommodated in accordance with our operational processes – that wasn't always the case in the past. In the future, various functions that are distributed to Audi Sport and individual TE departments today will be concentrated at a single complex here in Neuburg an der Donau. The fact that we now have a track for initial functional tests of our race cars directly on our doorstep is another advantage.

You're planning to move with your team in October. The sport program is continuing in parallel to the move. In the DTM, three more rounds are on the agenda, and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is starting its overseas season. What are your aims?
In the DTM, we're aiming to decide the manufacturers' and the teams' classifications in our favor. And we finally want to celebrate our first victory of the Audi RS 5 DTM this season. In the WEC, following the 13th victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours, we're in a good position. In the remaining five WEC rounds, we're set on trying everything to defend our titles again in the third consecutive year.

By Noah Joseph

See also: Audi recalling 70k TDI models worldwide over braking problem, Watch Audi's Emmy promo, starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 2014 Audi R8 V8.