ABT Sportsline is a famous name on the world of tuning, especially Audi tuning. Now the two German firms are taking their relationship to the next level but not in the way you think. Usually when a tuner joins forces with a car maker they become a new subsidiary of the big corporation. Not this time.
This time the tuner has become a racing partner for the car maker. Audi apparently wanted to be involved in the new Formula E series that starts next year, putting battery-powered Formula type car against each other. But they didn’t want a direct involvement, in case the series turn out to be a failure, so they used ABT as a proxy.
So Audi Sport ABT Formula E Team was formed, and it will now be put forward to the FIA for final approval as the seventh outfit to enter the new global electric race series. They join IndyCar outfits Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing, Asia’s China Racing and Super Aguri and fellow European squads Drayson Racing and e.dams.
ABT Sportline is of course not a complete stranger with motorsport, having worked on many DTM projects with Audi, and earlier in Formel ADAC and Formula Three. They haven’t worked on electric cars, but hey, there is a first time for everything.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich commented: “We’ve been watching this new project of the FIA with great interest and are delighted that ABT Sportsline as one of our close and long-standing partners will be involved right from the beginning. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for the squad on tackling this new challenge and are planning to support its commitment with drivers from our factory line-up if required.”