Automobile company, sport outfit, Audi Sport customer racing will shutter its factory-supported GT3 activities and eliminate its works driver pool at the end of the year as part of a major restructuring from the German manufacturer.
Confirmed in a memo sent to its customer teams on Tuesday, Audi Sport customer racing is set to end its ‘strategic operations’ while also halting new sales of its GT2, GT3, GT4 and TCR models “after Q1 2024.”
The homologations of these cars, which are still available for order, will be extended by at least one cycle, with on-site customer support service set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Speaking with Sportscar365, Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke explained that a decision from the board was made on Monday, with Audi Sport managing director Rolf Michl deciding to inform its partners and customers today of the developments.
“In short notice, we had the possibility today, all day, to first talk to the employees, the drivers, to the team bosses to our satellite [offices] overseas, and so on, to share our plans,” Reinke said.
“On top of that we sent out [a memo] to our clients to explain what’s going on, because at the end, it’s a transformation of our main business scope.
“But as it’s the most important out of my perspective, it is the confirmation of Audi Sport customer racing’s future.
“All of the cars which are in the hands of customers, we will provide engineering support, we will re-homologate. We have an engineering team who will bug fix, if bugs come up and all that.
“We will continue to give 100 percent support to all those cars in the hands of customers, also for the future. It’s not the end of Audi Sport customer racing.”
Reinke said its strategic programs in Fanatec GT World Challenge and DTM will continue through the end of this year prior to a refocusing entirely on customer racing beginning in 2024.
Among the factory drivers affected in Audi Sport’s 14-driver pool are Christopher Mies, Frederic Vervisch, Christopher Haase, Markus Winkelhock, Mattia Drudi, Ricardo Feller and Patric Niederhauser.
A number of others, including Rene Rast, Kelvin van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor and Robin Frijns, had departed the German manufacturer prior to this year.
“We have informed [them] today that we won’t have the possibility to run them in the pro environment, which is the base of the lineup today,” Reinke said.
“We will now get into one-by-one dialogue and see how we can support and depart with the best manner and see how we can respectfully find a solution for each single one of them.”
Reinke said the reason behind the restructuring was two-fold, directly influenced by the end of production for the R8 road car as well as Audi’s newly announced venture into Formula 1 beginning in 2026.
With Audi Sport’s strategic operations mostly focused on the European market, following its earlier withdrawal from Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, Reinke said the changes will not have a significant impact on customers in other regions.
He indicated that the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II, for example, could theoretically be eligible to race until 2032, per the FIA’s rule that allows cars to be homologated for up to eight years after the end of its road car production.
Additionally, Audi’s customer support network will remain unchanged.
“Audi Sport customer racing will be out there,” Reinke said. “It will be the same people, the same staff.
“They will continue on the customer management side, the race track engineers, the spare part trucks, the complete parts logistics will be run, as before unchanged, out of Neuburg.”
Reinke said a total of 600 cars have been sold to approximately 200 operators worldwide, which he foresees to be largely unaffected.
“If I look into Australia, into China, into the U.S., they have now guaranteed support, which we never put into question, but if they have the desire for a confirmation, now they have it,” he said.
“The far majority run independent efforts and will have all of the possibilities from our end to keep running independent [programs] also for the future.”
Future Projects Undecided at Audi Sport Customer Racing
Reinke added that Audi has not ruled out future projects in the sports car racing world, although none have been decided as of now.
“From my perspective, there are quite a few very interesting projects at the moment up in the air for decision,” he said. “It’s my absolute hope that we get those decided very soon. But as long as they’re not decided, they’re not to be communicated.
“I really hope, also to keep the team together at Audi Sport customer racing, that we can use the potential and capability and talent within our operation for future projects.”
Tottenham Hotspur commence partnership with Socios.com
The Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur have inked a partnership with a next-generation fan engagement and incentives firm, Socios.com.
In collaboration with Socios.com, the side is introducing the Spurs Fan Token to provide supporters access to a variety of club-related events, benefits, and experiences from all over the world.
The Spurs Fan Token becomes available on October 4. All One Hotspur+ Members and Season Ticket Holders who are 18 years of age and older will receive five free Fan Tokens, and all One Hotspur/One Hotspur Connect Members will receive one free Fan Token.
Fans will also receive an email with a coupon code that they can utilize inside the Socios.com app. The non-transferable free token will give users immediate access to club-related polls, forecasts, contests, and quizzes. These activities allow users to earn points to access rewards and experiences.
The Spurs and Socios.com will collaborate closely to offer customized benefits for Spurs supporters, including Big Screen messages, VIP tickets, Spurs Shop gift cards, and virtual meet-and-greets. Spurs Fan Tokens will be made available to non-members after the official debut at an initial cost of $2 apiece (about £1.65), also starting on October 4.
Through the collaboration, Socios.com will also provide funding for the Reignite initiative of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, which offers adult work possibilities and assistance with a healthy lifestyle to members of the club’s local community.
Ryan Norys, Commercial Sales Director, Tottenham Hotspur, said, “We’re pleased to be able to provide fans worldwide with a new range of Club-related rewards and experiences. Our Fan Token will build on the many benefits of our existing membership scheme. We’ll be offering all our Members and Season Ticket Holders free Fan Tokens at launch and are working with Socios.com to deliver a range of rewards that carry appeal to both domestic and international fans. The partnership is another example of how the Club is working to create additional recurring sources of revenue to reinvest in our football activities.”
Emma Diskin, Chief Operating Officer, Socios.com, said, “Fans across the world are being rewarded on Socios.com with one-of-a-kind experiences simply by showing support for their club through Fan Tokens. With this launch, Spurs fans will be able to engage in Club-related polls, predictors, and competitions, through which points can be gained to unlock new rewards and experiences. We’ve now welcomed seven English sides to our group of more than 100 major sporting organisations, and we’re determined to keep improving our app.”
Tottenham Hotspur have also signed significant partnerships with Cadbury, AstroPay, Kiton and TUMI. The team is currently fourth on the points table with 14 points, courtesy of four wins and two draws. The Spurs will now next take on Liverpool FC tonight at 10:00 PM IST and will aim to put on a good show in front of their home crowd.
Inter Milan FC Reaffirm Partnership Renewal With Acqua S.Bernardo
The famous Italian football club, Inter Milan FC have announced a partnership extension with the leading Italian mineral water brand, Acqua S.Bernardo.
Following the extension, Acqua S.Bernardo continues to be the official water partner of the Nerazzurri until the end of the 2025-26 Serie A season.
Through this renewal, the mineral drinking water brand will continue to be available to all Biscione men’s and women’s teams, as well as in the hospitality rooms at the San Siro Stadium and at all press conferences and other official club events.
Antonio Biella, Director General, Acqua S.Bernardo, said, “It is a great pleasure to remain alongside Inter, who have always represented Italy at the top levels of international football. Inter is one of the symbols of Milano, a city emblematic of Italy and S.Bernardo has always privileged Italian style, the bottle for our lightly mineralised water was also created by celebrated Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.”
Before this development, the club already forged alliances with brands such as U-Power, BPER Banca, Santa Margherita, Enel, La Molisana, and Nike.
Acqua S.Bernardo spring water is defined by low levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium, as well as a low dry residue (34.5mg/L), placing it among the less mineralized spring waters. As a result of its low salt percentage, it is frequently classified as “light” spring water.
La Beneamata are at their peak, and they are performing well in the ongoing edition. Till now, they have won five games in their six matches and secured 15 points. They are all set to face Salernitana in their next clash, tomorrow, October 1, at 12:15 AM IST.
La Liga club Girona FC Sign New Sponsorship Deal with HYLO
The LALIGA unit, Girona FC have announced a new sponsorship deal with the pharmaceutical company Brill Pharma, responsible for the distribution in Spain of the HYLO range, which belongs to the German group Ursapharm.
According to the contract, which is valid through the end of the current campaign, HYLO’s branding will be stitched on the first team’s playing shirt sleeves and training uniforms.
This arrangement will not only be advantageous to the club but will also raise the profile of the HYLO brand and Brill Pharma among Girona FC’s ardent supporters as well as in the wider soccer community. This partnership illustrates the club’s dedication to excellence and its readiness to work with top companies in the industry. In Spain, the HYLO line of dry eye care products is the industry standard.
Back in August, Girona FC also developed a sponsorship deal with the Australia-headquartered forex and contract for differences (CFDs) broker, Axi. The City Football Group (CFG)-owned side is doing exceptionally well in the league, as it is second behind FC Barcelona in the standings with 19 points in seven games. The team will next take on the third-placed Real Madrid tonight, which will possibly clear out the situation at the top of the table for now.
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