Laguna Seca ALMS will be my last race with an Audi prototype.
The agreement to end this part of my career together with the R10 TDI wastaken a long time ago with Dr. Ullrich as Audi is preparing their future with a newgeneration of drivers.
A wonderful chapter of my life and career comes to an end. It is time to turn thepage.
Now I have to deal with my “incurable” passion and enthusiasm that wants meto continue racing. I feel I still have a great deal of competitiveness andexperience to offer.
I have to take crucial decisions within the next few weeks: Do I stop racing andkeep using my experience and knowledge in promoting the Audi brand, fromwhom I received a lot and gave as much, with the same passion and intensitythat I have so far but from another perspective; or do I use my knowledge andexperience in taking other interesting and challenging racing opportunities thatare available to me? Tough call!
In this respect I would like to sincerely thank all those who made me extremelyinteresting offers in the past two years, those with whom I am negotiating at thepresent moment and those who will contact me in the future. To all of them goesmy great appreciation and gratitude.
I consider Le Mans and the ALMS as my home after so many years and it is therewhere I would like to continue my involvement.
When I retired from F1 at the age of 30, I believed that the best part of mycareer, if not all of it, was over and I could never have imagined (even being an“eternal optimistic”) that I still had 15 wonderful years with Audi to come, full ofpersonal and professional success.
These 15 years with Audi are full of wonderful memories. It seems like yesterdaywhen I put the Audi 80 STW on pole at my first race in 1994 and won the ItalianSuper Touring Car championship for two years in a row; the following year 1996I went to Germany and secured the German Super Touring Car title that Audihad never won before in their home country.