Audi has confirmed neither it nor Porsche will field a third car at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2016 in the interests of 'cost efficiency'.
The Ingolstadt marque, which has amassed 13 Le Mans 24 Hours wins in 15 attempts, has traditionally run a third car at the round-the-clock classic, with sister company Porsche following suit when it made its LMP1 return in 2014.
With the 'guest' car of F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber going on to claim a shock win for Porsche in 2015 event it was considered the German marque would continue with a similar programme for 2016.
However, with Hulkenberg prevented from defending his title due to commitments in F1, Porsche – along with Audi – have opted to instead focus its efforts on just the two entries in an effort to keep costs down. Rivals Toyota have also traditionally only entered two cars, though Nissan did prepare a third car this year for its ultimately poor comeback effort.
Audi – which took the wraps off its new R18 TDI LMP1 this weekend - has confirmed it will retain the same drivers of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer, Oliver Jarvis, Loic Duval and Lucas di Grassi across its two cars for the World Endurance Championship and Le Mans.
Porsche hasn't confirmed its driver line-up, but is unlikely to deviate from this year's ultra successful combinations of Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb following its WEC title triumph.