Audi’s Rally Raid Program Ends Abruptly: Financial Penalties Loom

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Following a successful debut win in the prestigious Dakar marathon in Saudi Arabia in January, Audi’s plans to conclude its third and final season in the FIA-sanctioned series were abruptly halted. The German manufacturer announced the immediate termination of its cross-country program with the RS Q e-tron hybrid.

This decision, however, comes with financial repercussions, as stewards at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge imposed penalties on Audi for missing the second round of the W2RC season, citing regulations that necessitate participation for registered manufacturers.

Consequently, Audi faces a hefty fine, with stewards mandating a penalty of €750,000, of which €562,500 is conditionally suspended, contingent upon no further similar infringements during the season.

Audi has expressed its intent to appeal the decision, but the outcome remains pending as the process unfolds. The German automaker had cited challenges with spare parts availability and high consumption during Dakar events as primary reasons for prematurely ending its rally-raid program.

Despite the setback, Audi’s victory in the 2024 Dakar event with the RS Q e-tron underscores the technological prowess and performance of its powertrain, derived from Formula E and DTM experiences.

With Audi’s rally program ceasing, the brand’s factory motorsport involvement will remain dormant until its anticipated entry into Formula 1 in 2026, following its acquisition of Sauber.

Dana Phio

By Dana Phio

From the sound of engines to the spin of wheels, I love the excitement of driving. I really enjoy cars and bikes, and I'm here to share that passion. Daxstreet helps me keep going, connecting me with people who feel the same way. It's like finding friends for life.

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