Audi is tackling the 2012 motor sport season with an extended leadership team. Dieter Gass (48) will reinforce the squad led by Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich as of January 1. The native of the German state of Hessen will assume the newly created role as Head of Racing Commitments.
"We’re facing a particularly challenging racing season with two high-caliber and intensive programs in the DTM and in the new FIA World Endurance Championship with numerous overlaps of calendar dates, new strong competitors and the development of new technologies," says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "We gave some thought to areas in which we might be able to benefit from reinforcements in order to meet the challenges that have continued to grow. One of the results of these considerations, among others, is this new position for centralized optimization of our racing commitments which we’ve been able to superbly fill with Dieter Gass."
For Gass, this does not mark a new beginning at Audi Sport but a return to the Audi family. Gass, who has a degree in engineering, was working as an engineer for Audi Sport from November 1994 to March 2001, first in the super touring car department and, from 1999 on, in AUDI AG’s successful sports prototype involvement - as a race engineer at the Le Mans 24 Hours, among others.
From 2001 to 2009, Gass was involved in Toyota’s Formula One project in a leading role, initially as test engineer, then as vehicle engineer to today’s Audi factory driver Allan McNish and ultimately, from 2005 on, as chief engineer for all test and racing commitments.
After the Japanese manufacturer’s withdrawal from Formula One, Gass switched to the Lotus Formula One team to become its deputy technical director. As of 2010, he also served as the team’s sporting director at the Grand Prix races and represented it at the FIA.
"In his eleven Formula One years, Dieter Gass gathered a large amount of know-how from which Audi Sport will benefit in the future," Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich is convinced. "We never lost touch during this time and I’m very happy that we’ve been able to get him to come back to Audi now. He was the candidate we were wishing for to fill this role."
"Even during my time in Formula One I continued to intensively follow Audi’s activities in motor sport," says Dieter Gass, who in his new role will be reporting directly to Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "I’m looking forward to the exciting projects awaiting me there. The DTM and the sport prototypes are two projects that are extremely demanding, both technically and strategically. With my extensive experience, particularly concerning racing commitments, I’m hoping to be able to contribute my part to Audi Sport’s ability to continue its success story in motor sport."
Dieter Gass studied electromechanical engineering design at the Technical University Darmstadt and did his thesis work on the development of a roll angle sensor for a motorcycle ABS system. He is married and the father of two children.
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