When Audi announced its new GT3 class R8 LMS race car late last year it was expecting 2009 to be a year of learning and development. As it turned out, it was a hugely successful season, landing championships in the FIA European GT series, along with the German and Belgian national series. All told, the R8s captured 23 race victories.
In 2010 the new GT Challenge class for GT3 type cars will become a permanent fixture of the American Le Mans Series as the GT1 class is consigned to history. During the 2009 season, GT Challenge was mainly the province of Porsche 911s. However, with the R8s success in Europe this year, Audi is considering offering the car to North American customers for the 2011 season. While the car could probably be competitive in 2010, Audi wants to set up a customer support infrastructure first.