Remember when you were a kid and you had your dream car, a car, that in your mind, you would take from the factory and make it the fastest damn thing the world had ever seen. Well Audi has gone part way to helping you fulfill your dream with the release of the R8 GT3 race version. Clearly the guys down at Audi Sport, quattro GmbH and Audi Hungaria Motor Kft had plenty of Meccano when they were kids and it looks as though they shared similar dreams to the rest of us. Fortunately, unlike the chavtastic ricers you see doof-doofing at your local mall, these guys have actually put their Meccano skills to good use.
The R8 GT3 is a race ready customer car that meets all GT3 racing regulations out of the box. That means the 500hp+ (375kW) normally aspirated V8 is driven via the rear wheels only. A race strength 6 speed sequential transmission has been developed. Amazingly many of the suspension components are standard OEM parts. Three purpose built factories will be opened to service the vehicles in Ingolstadt, Necksarlum and GyÃ¶r. Rich buggers living our dreams will be able to take delivery of their new dream racecar in the latter half of 2009.
Audi develops race version of the R8
- Customer sport programme with the mid-engine sportscar
- First races planned for 2009 season
- Factory driver Frank Biela completes roll-out
Ingolstadt â€“ For the first time, Audi Sport will offer a racing sports car specifically developed for customer use in the form of the powerful 500 hp plus GT3 version of the Audi R8 which will be available from autumn 2009. The logistics and factory space required for the AUDI AG customer programme will be created over the next few months in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and GyÃ¶r.
“The R8 is the first production Audi bearing the name and genes of a successful racing sportscar and is therefore an excellent base from which to build up our first big customer sport programme,” explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “Ever since the R8 was unveiled we’ve been inundated with enquiries about a race version. With the Audi R8 we will offer customers a racing sportscar equipped with high-calibre technology and the typical Audi qualities, but which is nevertheless easy to handle.”
The Audi R8 conforms to the production-based GT3 regulations allowing the car to be fielded in numerous national and international race series.
Because the GT3 regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive the Audi R8 comes with the typical GT rear-wheel drive. The power is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. The suspension uses almost exclusively components from the production line. A comprehensive list of safety equipment guarantees the highest-level of passive safety. A modified front end and a large rear-wing generate the required downforce for the race track.
The Audi R8, which bears the project name “R16” within Audi Sport, was developed under the direction of Audi Sport. Mid August, the first prototype successfully completed a roll-out in the hands of Audi factory driver Frank Biela.
The first test races in various European racing series are scheduled for the 2009 season. Delivery to the customers is planned from the autumn of this coming year.
The customer cars are manufactured together by Audi Sport and the quattro GmbH, which is also responsible for production of the Audi R8 street version, and Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. (GyÃ¶r).