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Old 17 Jul 2017, 16:34 (Ref:3752187)   #7989
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Originally Posted by Acid09 View Post
First off, I think it's pretty clear that Porsche is gone. This follows the script of many factory pullouts we've seen over the years: Persistent rumors in the media, a team principal who says he doesn't know anything and the team keeps working as normal and when the announcement comes, people already sort of knew it was coming, so it's not a big shock anymore.

That's how Audi pulled out, how Toyota & BMW pulled out of F1 etc, it's a proven technique to handle this. Peugeot's exit was an exception because that one was really rushed and unexpected due to the economic pressure within the company.

What I find baffling however is that many people expect Toyota to pull out when in fact, there's zero incentive for them to do so. They wouldn't even need to invest anything in the current car to clinch pretty much a sure-bet Le Mans win next year, why would they even consider leaving as well? That makes no sense at all.
Could it be that Toyota would have no incentive to compete. Believe me Peugeot and Toyota coming in probably played a part in Audi staying around after 2006. As I said, yes, the incentive of being the first diesel car and first hybrid car to win LM was a part of it, too.

But I could bet that Audi were a bit tired of not facing any formidable competition (see the failure of the Cadillac program in the ALMS/LM in the early 2000's) and that probably would've lead to burn out eventually if not for Audi setting up a semi-factory privateer program centered around customer cars with the R8. Even if that was to fill in the gap/time until the R10 was ready, it did allow for them to still be involved with a customer car effort when things went the privateer route in the dying days of LMP900. And they were able to do so for relatively little money compared to a 100% factory program.

We also have to remember that Peugeot's pull out in 2012 nearly put the LMP1 class in the WEC in danger of not having a true manufacturers' championship until Toyota came in and the ACO pulled some strings.

As I said, Audi Sport might be the first domino to fall, Porsche could very well be next. But sadly, if this is what it takes for LMP1 to have a big reset, then so be it for the longer term health of the series. Unfortunately, the ACO seem to be only concerned with LM and the WEC's short term developments.

Overall, I still believe that dieselgate is just a public justification for doing what VAG have been doing with cutting back racing programs. Consider that VAG are still turning over huge profits in spite of the lawsuits and their settlements. And keep in mind that Daimler, Fiat/Chrysler, GM, PSA and Nissan/Renault are also being threatened with lawsuits over diesel regs cheating. I think a lot of it actually has to do with accomplishing goals quickly and getting burned out on the series they're racing in (the whole return on investment thing--in short not getting the bang for their bucks that they want). Especially as they can go somewhere else and race for cheaper.

Last edited by chernaudi; 17 Jul 2017 at 16:40.
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