The GT3 racing version of the cutting-edge supercar was the first racecar built by Audi specifically for customer racing teams, and it has been a virtually unprecedented success. This past weekend, in fact, the R8 LMS scored its 100th win when Hitotsuyama Racing took the checkered flag in the GT3 Asia Series race at Suzuka.
That's a remarkable achievement for one car. All told, the 100 race wins were chalked up by 41 cars being fielded in 18 racing series around the world, in which the R8 LMS has won a remarkable one in every three races it's entered. That in itself is quite a feat, and you can read more about it in the press release after the jump.
- Milestone for the AUDI AG customer racing programme
- Already 41 GT3 cars in action worldwide
- Near standard production V10 engine guarantees long service life
Ingolstadt, August 22, 2011 – Three weeks after winning the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Audi Sport customer racing has yet another milestone to announce in the company's young customer racing programme: the 100th win for the Audi R8 LMS.
The GT3 sportscar was unveiled at the Essen Motor Show at the end of 2008. It is the first racing sportscar in AUDI AG history developed specifically for customer teams. In 2009, within the framework of a test programme, the first races were contested by teams closely associated with Audi Sport. Delivery to customers started in March 2010. In the meantime 41 examples of the fascinating mid-engine sportscar are racing in 18 championships worldwide.
Seemingly more impressive than the 100th win is the ratio: since its debut the R8 LMS won in almost every third race. As a result it is already one of the most successful sportscars in the increasingly popular GT3 category.
"Everybody who was and are still involved in this project can be proud of the success of the R8 LMS," explains Werner Frowein, who in his function as Managing Director of quattro GmbH is also responsible for customer racing activities since January 1, 2011. "The Audi R8 is a fascinating sportscar. For me personally the R8 LMS is currently the most beautiful race car in the world."
Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, adds: "You shouldn't forget that we are only at the very beginning of our customer racing activities. The positive record of the R8 LMS is all the more gratifying. And on top of this because the V10 engine from the production R8 remains almost unchanged for racing purposes and has a very long service life as a consequence. This is exactly what customer sport needs because the running costs are kept low in the process."
For example, the winning car in the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps (chassis number 218) had already completed the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring beforehand – with the same engine. Up to 20,000 kilometres are possible before the V10 power plant producing up to 520 hp must be rebuilt – a clear and strong plus point for Audi customers.
"High service life, maintenance friendly and forgiving handling characteristics suitable for amateur drivers were on the specification sheet to start," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, under whose leadership the R8 LMS was developed. "I think we managed this exceptionally well."
The Audi R8 LMS cost 298,000 Euro (net). Audi Sport customer racing guarantees worldwide spare parts supply via the Audi groups logistic department and is on location at the most important European races with technicians and service trucks.
Furthermore, the Audi race experience offers Audi customers the unique possibility of achieving a racing license and booking cost-effective races with the R8 LMS around the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
The 100th win for the Audi R8 LMS was recorded by Hitotsuyama Racing in the GT3 Asia Series at Suzuka.
The Audi Group delivered around 1,092,400 cars of the Audi brand to customers in 2010. The Company posted revenue of €35.4 billion and an operating profit of €3.3 billion in 2010. In the first half of 2011, the Audi Group sold 652,970 vehicles bearing the four rings worldwide and achieved record figures in terms of revenue (€21.5 billion) and operating profit (€2.5 billion). Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Győr (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start of CKD production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007, of the Audi A4 in early October 2008 and of the Audi Q5 in July 2010. Production of the new Audi A1 has been running at the Brussels plant since May 2010. The Audi Q3 has been built in Martorell (Spain) since June 2011. The Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 60,000 people worldwide, including around 46,600 in Germany. Between 2011 and 2015 the brand with the four rings is planning to invest more than €11 billion, mainly in new products, in order to sustain the Company's technological lead embodied in its
"Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. By 2015, Audi plans to increase the number of models in its portfolio to 42.
Audi has long been fulfilling its social responsibility on many levels – with the aim of making the future worth living for generations to come. The basis for Audi's lasting success is therefore formed by environmental protection, the conservation of resources, international competitiveness and a forwardlooking human resources policy. One example of AUDI AG's commitment to environmental issues is the newly established Audi Environmental Foundation. Under the heading of "Audi balanced mobility," the Company is directing its activities toward a major goal – comprehensive CO2-neutral mobility