Thursday, March 29, 2012

Exclusive: An inside look at the Audi R8 LMS and its future of racing in the U.S.

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GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS

Audi's customer racing program with the R8 LMS has been an unequivocal success. Since the delivery of the first race car in March of 2010, more than 40 examples have competed in 18 different championships worldwide, racking up more than 100 victories. In 2011 the R8 LMS captured important wins at the 24 hour races at Spa and Zolder, as well as claiming a GT3 class victory at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Most recently the R8 LMS won the Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia for the second year in a row.

One of the places the R8 LMS hasn't had a big impact, though, is here in the United States. For 2012, Audi did finally homologate a version of the race car for Grand-Am, but it's a version that's significantly changed from the model that competes in the European GT3 series. The aerodynamics of the car are less aggressive to meet Grand-Am standards, the 5.2-liter V10 is detuned by around 75 horsepower, and driver aids like ABS and traction control have been removed.

With the R8's success in motorsports internationally, Audi has hinted that it is currently looking at expending the car's presence to other racing series stateside. One man, James Sofronas, isn't waiting around for the good folks at Ingolstadt to take action, though. He got his hands on a pair of GT3-spec R8 LMS race cars and is in the process of homologating them for a racing series here in the United States. He recently invited us to take a closer look at the R8 LMS and learn more about the car's domestic racing future.

Continue reading An inside look at the Audi R8 LMS and its future of racing in the U.S.

An inside look at the Audi R8 LMS and its future of racing in the U.S. originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kevin Paul Lepage William Ashton Lewis Jr Sterling Burton Marlin Mark Anthony Martin

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