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R8 goes 911 GT3 hunting

2008-08-28 07:51
This is Audi’s rear-wheel drive GT3 racing spec R8

This is Audi’s rear-wheel drive GT3 racing spec R8. Looks better than a 911 GT3 racer, and with more than 370kW on tap, should be as quick too.

Audi will have a 370kW GT3 racing version of the Audi R8 available this spring. Porsche GT3 owners have been warned.

Keen to cement the reputation of its R8 as a true supercar, Audi have decided to go racing. Subsequently a GT3 class racing R8 - with ‘more than 370kW’ - has been developed and is to be dispatched to customer racers this spring. Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racers should relish the challenge.

With huge global R8 demand and production already running at a premium, additional logistics and factory capacity required for the AUDI AG customer programme will be created over the next few months in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm and Györ.

"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.

The Audi R8 conforms to the production-based GT3 regulations allowing the car to be fielded in numerous national and international race series.

Rear-wheel drive R8?

GT3 racing regulations prohibit the use of four-wheel drive, so the Audi R8 racer is rear-wheel drive. Power is transmitted via a newly developed six-speed sequential sports gearbox. We are sure many R8 customers will be penning requests to AUDI AG concerning the convertibility of their R8 all-wheel drive systems to rear-wheel drive…

The race car uses suspension components lifted primarily from the standard R8 production line, whilst the modified front aerodynamics and a large rear-wing generate required downforce for track use. Again, we imagine private R8 owners enquiring about the availability of the rear-wing for high-speed road driving, especially if you happen to have a holiday home in Springbok or Upington…

These racing R8s, which bear the project name "R16” and have completed a successful shake-down program with factory driver Frank Biela during early August will start competing in various European racing series during 2009. First customer deliveries are planned for this spring.

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 in Györ – and no, we don’t know how to pronounce it either.

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