Audi Sport customer racing is looking at getting drivers into the racing seat with a more cost-effective offering, designed to meet the 2020 GT2 racing regulations. Meet the track-only Audi R8 LMS GT2.
Audi Sport Customer Racing believes the Audi R8 LMS GT2 is the solution to the gap left for amateur racing. Head of the Audi division, Chris Reinke, said: “The new GT2 class has the potential to fill a gap. Eleven years ago, we entered GT3 racing, which has evolved into a highly professional category.
“The expense incurred by drivers and teams is high, and racing there is not easy for amateurs. The GT2 category is ideal for gentleman drivers: its longitudinal dynamics stands for a new experience with Audi, while its lateral dynamics do not put excessive demands even on amateurs.”
The €338,000 (around £300,000) R8 LMS GT2 is based on the production R8 Spyder but receives a raft of features including a revised chassis, a steel roll cage and a fierce-looking aerodynamic package.
The production model’s 5.2-litre V10 engine is more powerful than ever before, delivering 631bhp and over 550Nm of torque. It includes a new ram-air intake, a reconfigured ECU, and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox drives the rear wheels.
The track-only R8 also receives a new traction control system and lightened wishbones, while the redesigned suspension geometry and reconfigured anti-lock brakes are from the same modular kit used by the R8 GT3 and R8 GT4.
As the aim of the R8 GT2 is to make the race car more driveable for the novice than a GT3, the aggressive aero package includes a large front splitter, dive planes, carbon fibre underbody panels and a rear diffuser. The exhaust protrudes through the rear bumper, underneath a gigantic rear wing.
To meet the FIA requirements, the Audi also includes a carbon fibre bucket seat with a six-point-racing harness, safety nets and a fire extinguisher system. In case of an accident, the R8 GT2 has a roof-mounted escape hatch for easy access should the rescue team need to get to the driver more quickly.
The windscreen and side window glass are made from polycarbonate to reduce weight and to meet the LMGTE side impact protection regulations, the doors are aluminium reinforced carbon-fibre units.
The GT2 class that this R8 will compete in will offer up some stiff competition in the form of the Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport, which should be the perfect recipe for exciting racing.