At mid-year 2021, Audi Sport customer racing has reached an important milestone: The 138th GT3 model of the second-generation Audi R8 LMS, which has been marketed since the end of 2015, has been built. The successful predecessor model, which was available from 2009 to 2015, had been produced in a series of 137 units. In a global GT3 market of ten car manufacturers in total, Audi Sport is thus making a clear statement.
“As we see in our competitive environment, it is by no means a matter of course that a successor is as commercially successful as the predecessor model or even surpasses it,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “For us, it was never exclusively about sporting success. Since day one, we’ve designed our customer racing program to provide teams on all continents with a high-performance product, individual support and seamless service.” To this end, dependencies have been established in Australia, China, Japan, Canada and the USA. Audi Sport customer racing looks after the European markets from Germany.
The near-production race car shares half of its assemblies with the road-legal model and is partly built in the Böllinger Höfe facilities at the Neckarsulm site. Assembly then takes place at the Audi Sport customer racing workshop in the Biberach district of Heilbronn. Its advanced chassis design with a material mix of aluminum, CFRP and steel, high reliability and economical operating conditions are just some of the key features of the R8 LMS. In the development of the evolution used since 2019, Audi has increasingly taken into account customer requests regarding running times and drivability.
Adding up the first and second generations of the Audi R8 LMS, a total of 275 GT3 sports cars have been built. To date, they have clinched 188 racing titles in various categories in America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific region with Australia and New Zealand. The tally is rounded off by 13 overall victories in 24-hour races and eight in 12-hour competitions, plus further long-distance successes. On both a sporting and commercial level, this makes Audi Sport a leader. Beyond the GT3 model, the brand has two additional racing variants of the R8 in the GT2 and GT4 models. Of these, a total of over 100 additional GT race cars have been built to date. The RS 3 LMS touring car, which has been available in its second generation since this year, rounds off the broad-based model portfolio of Audi Sport customer racing.