Audi to team up with Sauber for Formula One entry in 2026 Joey Savatgy wins WSX Australian GP; Ken Roczen takes home the inaugural title

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HINWIL, Switzerland – German manufacturer of Audi chose F1 team Sauber as his factory work team when he enters F1 in 2026.

Sauber said in a statement on Wednesday that Audi also plans to acquire a stake in the Sauber Group, although no financial details about the shareholding or timing were given.

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It is not yet clear whether Audi will run its own team or only supply engines to the Swiss company Sauber.

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“Becoming an official Audi factory team is not only an honor, but also a great responsibility,” said Sauber F1 Team Principal Frederik Wasser. “This is the best option for the future and we are fully confident that we can help Audi achieve the goals they have set for themselves in F1.”

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Sauber’s title sponsorship with Alfa Romeo ends at the end of next year. The team is in sixth place in the 10-team Constructors’ Championship but is just one point ahead of Aston Martin with three races left this season.

Audi, which excelled in the Dakar Rally and toyed with the idea of ​​entering the IMSA GTP class, announced in August that it would enter F1 as a powertrain supplier in 2026 under new engine regulations, and many expected it to merge with Sauber.

Sauber will continue to use Ferrari engines until 2025.

Audi will then produce its own powertrain in an era with more focus on sustainable fuels and more electrical components in engines.

From 2026, the generation of electricity by power units consisting of an electric motor, a battery, control electronics and an internal combustion engine will increase.

The electric motor would then be almost as powerful as an internal combustion engine, and the highly efficient 1.6-litre turbo engines would run on advanced clean fuels, which Audi says was a prerequisite for entering the series.

“Audi is Sauber Group’s best strategic partner,” Sauber Chairman Finn Rausing said. “Obviously, we share common values ​​and vision, and we look forward to achieving our shared goals in a strong and successful partnership.”

F1 President Stefano Domenicali said that Audi’s partnership with Sauber is further proof that the series is becoming more and more attractive.

“The combination of these two names is a very exciting prospect for our sport,” Domenicali said. “This highlights the strong momentum of Formula 1 and the belief in our strategy to further develop and improve the sport while delivering on our sustainability plans to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 using advanced sustainable vehicle fuels.”

Joey Savatgy won two of the three World Supercross Championship (WSX) rounds at the Australian Grand Prix at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne and took the overall race victory, while Ken Roczen narrowly passed him in the first championship.

“It was an amazing race,” Fox Sports’ Roczen Kristen Beat said after the finale was in the books. “I tried very hard, Joey rode very well, the track got worse. There’s a lot going on. I had a really good start and got into the corner first, but Joey popped out with a holeshot. We collided and I almost fell.”

For Champion Roczen, each feature was a story in itself. He earned a holeshot in race 1 of eight laps and led flag after flag. Race 2 got off to a similarly strong start, but Roczen hit a rock and suffered a flat tire, leaving him unable to score any points. This made Race 3 the deciding factor.

Roczen quickly broke out of the gate and took the lead in the first corner, but it was Savatgy who earned a goal shot and a clean track. Savatgi led all 12 laps of the Superfinal with Roczen in second place.

Roczen needed to hold this position. Had he dropped to third place, Savatga would have had enough points to take the title. He beat Savatgy and Vince Friese by a narrow two-point margin to become the new International Supercross League’s first champion in what the WSX called the pilot season.

“I had such an amazing experience. It’s been a tough ride for the last few years and that’s why I did it. I don’t regret it,” Roczen said, referring to his decision to turn down a contract extension with Honda HRC to free himself for the international series. “I had so much fun here.

“I love coming to Australia and can’t wait to come back again. Finally getting a title again, especially a first for my team, is nothing short of amazing.”

Savatgy settled for an overall win in Australia over podium finishers Roczen and Justin Brighton.

The schedule for next year has not yet been announced.

MORE: Eli Tomac Wins WSX British GP With Great Score

Shane McElrath and Max Anstie entered the Division 3 SX2 Australian Grand Prix with one point separating them from overall victory. Accordingly, both riders quickly jumped out of the gate and as the first lap was recorded, McElrath and Anstey were running 1-2 in that division’s Super Final.

The gap in championship points was slightly larger. McElrath entered the feature with a seven-point lead over Anstey and didn’t need a win to clinch the title. However, he didn’t want to be a winless champion and rode to the limit until the checkered flag flew at the end of the 10 lap race.

“Winning is winning; it’s never easy.” McElrath said in a release. “These guys made it difficult. We had minimal prep time, but the Rick Ware Racing team literally never stopped working.

“To come out on top and get better every time on the track, that’s really what we’ve been working towards. Thank God we are here. Child number one. I’m proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished in a few short weeks.”

Anstey led race 1 from the start and held it to the end, with McElrath earning second place.

Australian native Aaron Tanti won Race 2 to a standing ovation from the fans. In second place, McElrath continued to put pressure on Tanti throughout the race, as Anstey’s most significant pass of the night came to Mitchell Oldenburg in the final laps to keep the points in contention for both the overall race win and the championship.

The World Championship is McElrath’s first major title.

MotoConcepts won the team championship and Honda won the manufacturers’ championship after scoring two rounds.

“Fans around the world have been dying to see Supercross racing and you need the courage of your convictions to take it on,” said SX Global President Tony Cochrane. “These athletes are so talented and the world wants to see it. We are ready to test it. In my humble opinion, you will see how this championship will grow strongly in the next two to four years.



Source: motorsports.nbcsports.com

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