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What was Audi's racing budget for LeMans


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#1 David M. Kane

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:09

Congrats to the winners. Unfortunately two horrific and expensive accidents! What did it cost Audi to run LeMans? They pulled out all the stops! They also did a LOT of ads on Speed TV.

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#2 Sausage

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:20

Audi Lemans development, damage, salary, advertisements, etc. etc.: $100,000,000 (?)

A single tear from Sebastien Bourdais: Priceless.

#3 abc02

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:30

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10

The Audi R10 TDI project cost Audi $15 million a year


Le Mans gives much more value for money than an F1 project would.

#4 Meanstreak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:31

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10

Le Mans gives much more value for money than an F1 project would.

Eh... firstly that article is about R10 and if you follow the source link, it's from 2007: "It is said that Audi's factory-backed R10 program – which extends to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – has an annual budget of $15 million. Lewis' San Diego-based Autocon Motorsports has a budget of $1.2 million." In this context only way this figure makes any sense if it means what was the cost of running the team in the ALMS. I think so.

Edited by Meanstreak, 12 June 2011 - 15:36.


#5 abc02

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:35

Eh... firstly that article is about R10 and if you follow the source link, it's from 2007: "It is said that Audi's factory-backed R10 program – which extends to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – has an annual budget of $15 million. Lewis' San Diego-based Autocon Motorsports has a budget of $1.2 million." In this context only way this figure makes any sense if it means what was the cost of running the team in the ALMS. I think so.


From the source link

It is said that Audi's factory-backed R10 program – which extends to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – has an annual budget of $15 million.

So it sounds like ALMS and Le Mans. And would the R18 cost much more than the R10 project?

If someone can find a better source to correct me, please do.

#6 mursuka80

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:36

Audi Lemans development, damage, salary, advertisements, etc. etc.: $100,000,000 (?)

A single tear from Sebastien Bourdais: Priceless.



:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

#7 Meanstreak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:41

From the source link

So it sounds like ALMS and Le Mans. And would the R18 cost much more than the R10 project?

If someone can find a better source to correct me, please do.

I think this "Audi's factory-backed R10 program" could be a reference to Champion Racing/Audi Sport North America that ran the car in ALMS, since the article is about ALMS anyway. That would likely exclude all the R&D that has been done in Germany.

I just don't believe that 15 millions has been realistic ever since Peugeot came to the picture. Probably not F1 levels, but still more than 15 millions.

Edited by Meanstreak, 12 June 2011 - 15:52.


#8 Risil

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:47

As much as they needed to spend in order to win, you suspect.

#9 sheepgobba

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 15:52

To put things into perspective, in recent years the cost of running a mid-grid team in Formula 1 has been more than $200m.

"For a budget like that," says Dr Ullrich, "I could do touring cars, Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series for several year

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10282541

#10 krapmeister

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 16:24

I struggle to believe that 15 million is a realistic figure for Audi's R18 program. 100 million? Not sure but I would think that 50 million minimum would be getting closer to the mark...

#11 Meanstreak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 17:51

To put things into perspective, in recent years the cost of running a mid-grid team in Formula 1 has been more than $200m.

"For a budget like that," says Dr Ullrich, "I could do touring cars, Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series for several year

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10282541

Interesting link. That gives a very vague ballpark (so, at least <$200m). Hard to know what he means with "several" years and does he mean all of them DTM(?), ALMS and Le Mans together.

Edited by Meanstreak, 12 June 2011 - 17:53.


#12 Atreiu

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 18:07

Why don't more companies join? Do they prefer engine frozen nearly spec racing F1?

#13 30ft penguin

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 18:18

Interesting link. That gives a very vague ballpark (so, at least <$200m). Hard to know what he means with "several" years and does he mean all of them DTM(?), ALMS and Le Mans together.


That's exactly what he says in that interview. That for around $200m, he would be able to do touring cars AND Le Mans AND the American Le Mans series for several years. Let's assume that "several" would mean maybe "3", then the necessary budget for one year of touring cars, Le Mans and American Le Mans series would be 60-70m max. Or more. Or less. Depending on what "several" exactly means.


#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 18:32

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audi_R10



Le Mans gives much more value for money than an F1 project would.


Depends. It's about return on investment. I doubt Le Mans gets that much of a TV audience.


#15 Fastcake

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 18:34

Why don't more companies join? Do they prefer engine frozen nearly spec racing F1?

When's the last time you've seen Le Mans in mainstream media? If it wasn't for McNash's crash only a few people would be aware it was on.

#16 ArnageWRC

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:22

When's the last time you've seen Le Mans in mainstream media? If it wasn't for McNash's crash only a few people would be aware it was on.



That I'm afraid, is the right answer. All non-F1 Motorsport is niche/minority. Same last year with Mansell's crash. It just doesn't get any mainstream coverage anymore. During the course of Saturday I was at a Rally in Sherwood forest, took my radio with me - not a mention on either 5Live or Talksport. Same again today, it was the same in most of the newspapers - the odd little column previewing the race. Even on Twitter the MotoGP, F1 was trending, but nothing for LeMans. The ACO need to move it to a non-F1 weekend, but won't.
A F1 backmarker will get likely more coverage than the winners of Le Mans, WRC, WTCC combined.....
However, if Audi/VW Group think it's worth it, then who are we to argue?

#17 johnmhinds

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:32

$15million seems about right to me, it's only one big race a year, and a few minor races, it's nothing like an F1 season of 20 multi national races and all the additional costs that come from that year long slog of development and travelling.

A front running F1 team probably gets better returns per race in terms of advertising coverage.

Edited by johnmhinds, 12 June 2011 - 22:35.


#18 Ali_G

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:45

$15million seems about right to me, it's only one big race a year, and a few minor races, it's nothing like an F1 season of 20 multi national races and all the additional costs that come from that year long slog of development and travelling.

A front running F1 team probably gets better returns per race in terms of advertising coverage.


It all begs the question, how much exactly did Aston spend on the AMR-One.

#19 krapmeister

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:51

$15million seems about right to me, it's only one big race a year, and a few minor races, it's nothing like an F1 season of 20 multi national races and all the additional costs that come from that year long slog of development and travelling.

A front running F1 team probably gets better returns per race in terms of advertising coverage.


Development costs of the R18, all the support infrastructure at the track, testing, building up 3 cars plus however many spare parts, engine development costs, personnel costs etc etc.

15 million seems way too cheap to me...

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#20 krapmeister

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:52

It all begs the question, how much exactly did Aston spend on the AMR-One.


A tenner?

#21 DanardiF1

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 22:54

Audi and Peugeot are in an arms-race, so I reckon their budgets are at least double what the most lavish of the other LMP teams are spending...

They have engine programs, advanced aero programs, reliability testing... that's big money in whatever series you're in...

Nothing under $50m at least I reckon...

#22 Ali_G

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:12

Audi and Peugeot are in an arms-race, so I reckon their budgets are at least double what the most lavish of the other LMP teams are spending...

They have engine programs, advanced aero programs, reliability testing... that's big money in whatever series you're in...

Nothing under $50m at least I reckon...


Still, that's quite a cheap deal in comparison to F1.

The cost of car development will now also be spead accross all the races in the new World Endurance Championship. You'd hope applying that name to the Intercontinental Championship may attract more sponsors.

#23 pingu666

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:37

theres not any other big money teams in lmp, notsure how much is chucked into gt2 teams.

They've got 9 drivers, extensive testing programs, 3 cars (plus plenty of spares), fairly heavy devlopment, tyre devlopment, plus plenty of staff

pretty sure there spending a good amount of money, and pug too





#24 DanardiF1

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:39

Still, that's quite a cheap deal in comparison to F1.

The cost of car development will now also be spead accross all the races in the new World Endurance Championship. You'd hope applying that name to the Intercontinental Championship may attract more sponsors.


It's probably what Toro Rosso are spending?? I reckon they spend more, probably closer to $100m, as it's a big part of their marketing as well...

#25 Meanstreak

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 23:39

I might look into this comment too much, but here Bourdais says "We don't have the same resources as our rivals" (rivals? being polite I guess). You'd think they they would be pretty even. I always thought Peugeot could be the bigger spender.

Edited by Meanstreak, 13 June 2011 - 01:25.


#26 abc02

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:11

notsure how much is chucked into gt2 teams.

Some figures were speculated in this thread: http://www.ten-tenth...ead.php?t=97336

#27 onewingedangel

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:31

We're probably talking around the mid-eight digits (probably more than Mercedes themselves put into the Mercedes GP Petronas f1 team) - but a good chunk of the engineering budget goes towards developing road-relevent technology, and not just aerodynamic developments that wouldn't contribute to their core business.

TFSI, Common rail TDI with piezo-electric injectors, LED headlights, VGT, "ultra light weight" - all philosophies that could be developed to benefit both race and road cars.

So whilst F1 may give better bang for buck in pure advertising, the LMP1 programme is far easier to justify and the advertising could even be seen as a pure bonus.

Edited by onewingedangel, 13 June 2011 - 01:31.


#28 femi

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 01:41

To put things into perspective, in recent years the cost of running a mid-grid team in Formula 1 has been more than $200m.

"For a budget like that," says Dr Ullrich, "I could do touring cars, Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series for several year

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10282541


I think it has to be borne in mind that most of that money comes from sponsors and other revenues. If sponsors are willing to put huge amount of money into F1, they must believe they are getting good value for it. But I do see more car manufacturers coming into the Le Mans in the near future because it is more relevant to road cars than F1 cars. I also see the cost of particapating in these series going up as well as the number and quality of participants increases.

#29 BiH

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 03:33

Audi and Peugeot are in an arms-race, so I reckon their budgets are at least double what the most lavish of the other LMP teams are spending...

They have engine programs, advanced aero programs, reliability testing... that's big money in whatever series you're in...

Nothing under $50m at least I reckon...


agree

$15 million figure sounds too low



on side note there is article at autoblog about red bull investment in f1

"The finances, therefore, are split between the two teams, but it's no secret which one gets the lion's share. In 2007, for example, Red Bull reportedly invested £89.2m ($146m) in F1, of which £78.2m ($128m) went to Red Bull Racing, the remaining £11m ($18m) to Toro Rosso. In, 2008 the beverage company invested £82.5m ($135m), £79m ($129m) of which funded Red Bull Racing. In 2009, investment jumped to £106.8m ($175m), with £96.9m ($158m) going to RBR."

#30 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:02

15 million is what you'd spend for an entire season of CART when it was a full-strength series. So spending 15mil per year on Sebring and Le Mans seems about right.

#31 krapmeister

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:04

15 million is what you'd spend for an entire season of CART when it was a full-strength series. So spending 15mil per year on Sebring and Le Mans seems about right.


You think Audi is only spending 15 million a year? Really?

#32 Ali_G

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:17

15 million is what you'd spend for an entire season of CART when it was a full-strength series. So spending 15mil per year on Sebring and Le Mans seems about right.


That's great.

Except in CART, the teams, except for Penske were buying off the shelf, mass produced chassis from the likes of Reynard and Lola.

There is no way that Audi developed a car and a brand new diesel engine for $15m. If they did, you have to worry about how the smaller F1 teams can't build better cars for the money they are spending.


I'd say manufacturing the 3 cars that ran at LeMans might have come to $6m alone. Surely they cost $2m each ?

Edited by Ali_G, 13 June 2011 - 06:18.


#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:27

Penske is a good point. Their budget wasn't dramatically larger than anyone else's, yet they were building their cars. In a far more competitive series.

I wonder if the 15mil figure is the "Audi Sport" budget and doesn't include engine design.

#34 Ali_G

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:32

Penske is a good point. Their budget wasn't dramatically larger than anyone else's, yet they were building their cars. In a far more competitive series.

I wonder if the 15mil figure is the "Audi Sport" budget and doesn't include engine design.


I would have thought that Penske's budget was significantly larger, boosted by Marlboro cash.

Edited by Ali_G, 13 June 2011 - 06:32.


#35 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 06:38

Newman/Haas, Penske, Ganassi, Team Kool Green; were all on about 20mil. Some were 18, some were 21, but they were roughly the same.

The majority of costs in big budgets comes from finding those fractions of a second where you're right up against the limit of the rulebook. I don't think Le Mans cars, even in the battle for the lead, are quite there.

Maybe Audi spend 25million, but I don't think they're spending even backmarker F1 budgets. The opportunity for cost just isnt there.

#36 ferruccio

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:05

Penske is a good point. Their budget wasn't dramatically larger than anyone else's, yet they were building their cars. In a far more competitive series.

I wonder if the 15mil figure is the "Audi Sport" budget and doesn't include engine design.


The 15m figure is way too low for a proper full annual programme like Audi's. Maybe 15m is for the development only.

It has to be at least the 40m mark for a full year programme which includes LM24, not surprised if it's double that. The bespoke engine programme alone must cost them quite a bit. Its a fresh design. This may not include their A&P commercial spend which is really quite a bit of money. So 100m in total is not unrealistic.

I presume the chassis is still built by Dallara. Windtunnel work used to be with Aerolab but they've switched to Sauber's windtunnel for the R18. The tunnel there is more sophisticated.

Compared to F1, that kind of budget would probably put them at the tail end of the grid.

The impressive point for me is AUDI's commitment for Le Mans. They wasted a lot of money on the R15 programme because the ACO rules changed when they were building that car, putting them on the back foot. They had to ditch that programme and the car raced for only 2 seasons and had to be heavily reworked in its second season. Typically they want 3 year design cycles but were caught out when ACO made some changes. Yet AUDI Sport continues to pour money into it.

The Germans are very serious. Noticed they also employ external racing teams to run the show, albeit under Joest. Race engineers Howden Haynes, Leena Gade and a few others are from the same British race outfit contracted out to Joest. Brad Kettler is American and probably hired out by an American outfit to Joest.

It seems Joest runs the racing and Audi Sport does all the car development though they likely contract that out to firms in Europe.

#37 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:07

You're dramatically overestimating. 100m is what Williams run on, and they have 20 races a year.

#38 ferruccio

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:23

You're dramatically overestimating. 100m is what Williams run on, and they have 20 races a year.


And they don't build their own engines.

I am saying it is certainly not 15m but 40m at least.

#39 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:37

It might be 15million Euros, but I think you guys have a case of F1-itis.

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#40 Ali_G

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:43

I just find it hard to believe that there aren't a lot more manufacturers at LeMans if 15m would cover the entire cost.

#41 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:44

The value might not be there. You'll have a tough time convincing the board that you want to spend 15-20mil to enter one race

#42 krapmeister

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:52

The value might not be there. You'll have a tough time convincing the board that you want to spend 15-20mil to enter one race


But it's not just about the cost to enter one race, it's also about marketing, engineering/technology development etc. The cost and percieved return is spread across Audi on a global scale - 50 million in that sense isn't relatively a lot of money...

Edited by krapmeister, 13 June 2011 - 07:55.


#43 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:00

I'm not convinced the marketing of Le Mans is that high a value. Valuable yes, but not enough to justify the budgets you are guessing at. Which is why I am inclined to think it is actually much lower.

#44 blackonyx4

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:03

15 million is what you'd spend for an entire season of CART when it was a full-strength series. So spending 15mil per year on Sebring and Le Mans seems about right.


You forgot to add inflation.

15 millions from those times almost equals 25 millions today.  ;)

#45 ferruccio

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:07

It might be 15million Euros, but I think you guys have a case of F1-itis.


Yes it can be 15m (though i was thinking dollars) and even a lot less actually, to race in LM24. But we're talking Audi's level of racing (and Peugeot).

15m for Audi for a year programme racing in (3 cars, testing, some ALMS, some LMS) is IMPOSSIBLE. That I can say with absolute certainty. Doesn't matter if its in Euro or US Dollars.

Don't forget testing. They run multi test programmes including a 30hr endurance test.

Edited by ferruccio, 13 June 2011 - 08:12.


#46 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:13

With long life parts. Running an enduro car for 30 hours is not going to burn money the same way running an Indycar for 30 combined hours would.

When customer teams ran R8s at Le mans the budget was a million or two, it would make sense that the factory cost would be about 10 times that. I don't think you guys fundamentally realise just how much money 15million is. Even spread out over an entire season of racing.

#47 ferruccio

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:18

We cannot compare same spec with series where you build your own chassis.

I can tell you that it costs around USD 6m annually to run 1 car in say A1GP, slightly less in GP2 (though you run 2 cars). Like wise about similar if you wanted to run your own private LMP1 team just for LM24 race where you buy one chassis and engine for supplier.

But as soon as you do what Peugeot, Audi or even Aston Martin are doing the costs structure becomes entirely different.

#48 Jazza

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:19

I fail to see why more teams are not entering if you can win LeMans for 15 million. If Toyota's F1 budget was to be believed, they could have used that money to enter LeMans for about 350 years.

If someone could argue to a manufacture to spend Over 15 million a fortnight in F1 to fight for points, 15 million a year for a chance of challenging for the win at LeMans seems like an easy sell.

#49 ArnageWRC

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:23

What's stopping more Manufacturers from joining? Diesels, lack of promotion, etc
I find it sad that only 2 Manufacturers think it's worth spending big bucks on to win overall. Where are Ferrari, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, etc
C'mon, this is Le Mans.....

#50 ferruccio

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:31

What's stopping more Manufacturers from joining? Diesels, lack of promotion, etc
I find it sad that only 2 Manufacturers think it's worth spending big bucks on to win overall. Where are Ferrari, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, etc
C'mon, this is Le Mans.....


They're coming in. There are about 5 manufacturers showing serious interest for next year.

There is a reason why Toyota is powering Rebellion Racing's LMP1 with exclusivity only for this year while Nissan powered several LMP2 teams with good performance. Honda has been supplying HPD engines for a few years now. BMW in GTE is not a privateer team. Likewise Chevrolet.

Understandably manufacturers get one foot in first by supplying engines, paving the way for bigger involvement.

Expect more manufacturers next year. Interest is growing.