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Volkswagen is set to announce its departure from the World Rally Championship (WRC), following Volkswagen Group’s cost-cutting measures that have seen Audi confirm its withdrawal from the World Endurance Championship (WEC) by the end of the year, according to an Autocar report.

It has been suggested that chairman Matthias Mueller will announce the end to the brand’s successful WRC programme as a direct result of the financial strain placed on the company in the aftermath of the Dieselgate scandal. The announcement is expected to be made prior to the final round of the WRC season in Australia on November 17.

Suggestions that Mueller might grant a one-year grace period for the termination of Volkswagen’s WRC programme were quashed by sources, saying that this decision is likely to be taken in a similar manner to Audi’s, which is to be effective by the end of 2016, not 2017. Audi’s departure from top-flight endurance racing will see it focus its efforts in Formula E, increasing its involvement in Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport to a full, factory-backed programme.

“It is disappointing. The guys at Volkswagen have done a great job,” said a separate source involved in Volkswagen Group Motorsport operations. Since joining the WRC as a fully manufacturer-backed entry in 2013, Volkswagen has racked up four constructors’ titles and four drivers’ championships back to back.

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