Audi to leave Formula E and focus on Dakar, Le Mans

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A logo of the German car manufacturer Audi is pictured at a dealership in Kiev

(Reuters) - Audi will withdraw from the all-electric Formula E series as a works team at the end of next year to focus on the Dakar Rally and endurance racing including an eventual return to Le Mans, the carmaker said on Monday.

The Dakar Rally will replace Formula E as the Volkswagen-owned brand's focus, although Audi said customer Formula E teams will be able to use a newly-developed powertrain beyond next year.

Audi will compete in the Dakar with an electric SUV prototype.

"Cross-country rallying will be the spearhead of the factory motorsport commitment in the future," Audi said in a statement.

The marque has been involved with Formula E since the series, now a recognised world championship, started in 2014 and won the team title in 2018.

Audi said it will enter a new LMDh category class of the world endurance championship, without setting a date for a works return to Le Mans.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)