Audi R8 LMS set for American Debut at Daytona 50th
Audi has targeted the American motorsport market – with a new R8 LMS version, set to make its 2012 debut at the 50th running of the Daytona 24 Hours, which should be interesting. Each car will get Audi Sport customer racing to provide technical customer support. Engineers are currently building an R8 LMS to conform to Grand-Am endurance series regulations, all set for the Daytona debut. The R8 LMS has already notched up over 100 victories in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, including at the Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia, the Spa and Zolder 24 Hours in Belgium and another GT3 victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Audi say: "For use in the USA, quattro GmbH is modifying the GT3 race car of which more than 40 units have already been sold in the areas of the chassis, body, engine and suspension. The chassis is stiffened by a roll cage with wall thicknesses being increased to two millimetres according to the regulations. A new front splitter, a modified rear diffuser and a standard Grand-Am rear wing change the aerodynamics of the sports car. The rated output of the engine has to be reduced to a lower level of about 331 to 346 kW (450 to 470 HP) by an air restrictor and the engine electronics. At the same time, the capacity of the fuel tank, which can now be filled on both sides of the vehicle, is limited to 83.3 litres. In the area of the wheels and suspension three-part rims are used. The standard anti-lock system and traction control of the R8 LMS are prohibited as driving aids in the USA." Romolo Liebchen, Head of customer racing at quattro GmbH added: "We’re convinced that we’re making a very attractive offer to our customers in the USA that will meet with great response. The anniversary event of the Daytona 24 Hours is a perfect occasion for the debut of the U.S. version of the new Audi R8 LMS."
More photographs and information are available at www.audi-motorsport.info. Should be interesting to see how the German race ace goes down in the States. Porsche's GT3 R and RSR have. Will the R8?