Audi motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich says he has been surprised by Peugeot’s complaints about the legality of the Audi R15 during this week’s build-up to the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Peugeot lodged an unsuccessful protest with race organizer the ACO over the front bodywork of the R15, and will now take its appeal to the FIA.
However, Ullrich says that the issue has not been a distraction for Audi, as it bids to win Le Mans at the new car’s first attempt, and questioned the timing of Peugeot’s protest given that the part in question has been unchanged all year.
“This [protest] is a one-off, and it comes because one company has decided to go down this route,” Ullrich told AUTOSPORT. “We will see how this ends up. For us, I would say there is no difference because we know that our car has been homologated as it is and we have run through scrutineering here, so there is no reason for us to be concerned.
“The ACO has always found solutions to bring the manufacturers together and discuss about rulebooks of the future. This will be done for sure again and I hope that in the future always discussions like this can run in preparation, and not to bring it at the race weekend.
“If somebody is surprised by how our car looks like now, I do not understand because it has looked like this since eighth months.”
Ullrich also says that the issue should not detract from the event itself and is expecting a hotly-contested race tomorrow.
“I think we should not put the whole system under questionmark because of this,” he added. “The Le Mans 24 Hours is not the very first time that something happened, because in any race there can be a protest coming against any other competitor whatsoever, this is part of motorsport.
“I am quite sure that there will be a very close race, and I think it will be one of the toughest races ever.”Full Q&A with Wolfgang Ullrich