The Audi driving experience is expanding its portfolio by offering an opportunity for Audi customers to reserve exclusive racing commitments with the Audi R8 LMS. Audi is making its Le Mans-winning works team available for this purpose.
"For the first time, the Audi race experience offers customers the opportunity to participate in a race with a professional Audi ‘factory' team without having to enter into a long-term commitment or to make a high financial investment," explains Klaus Demel, who is in charge of the Audi driving experience. "I'm very happy that we've been able to win Audi Sport and Reinhold Joest's team as a partners for this project."
The Audi R8 LMS was specifically developed for use in customer sport and was the GT3 car to be beaten last year in its first racing season, and provides the base for the new Audi race experience.
Some 120 customers had the opportunity of an active driving experience with the 518hp mid-engine sports car at the end of October 2009 during the Audi sports car experience. The Audi race experience now marks the next stage. It offers customers the opportunity to contest races with the Audi R8 LMS themselves – on request, even together with professional race drivers. The vehicles will be prepared and fielded by the squad of Reinhold Joest, which has won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans six times for Audi and will compete in the French endurance classic on June 12-13, with the latest-specification Audi R15 TDI.
"Actually, the idea of letting customers contest races with a high-caliber sports car like the R8 LMS could only have come from Audi," says Ralf Juttner, Managing Director of Joest Racing GmbH. "Although this is an unusual task for us it is, no doubt, a very interesting one as well. We're proud to have been selected as the race team."
"Audi Race Experience Team Joest" is planning a total of six races for 2010, fielding two cars each on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, starting with the race on April 24. In addition, there are plans for events with the Audi R8 LMS on racetracks and at a driver training facility, at which the customers will be trained and can also obtain the required racing license.
"As far as I know, Audi is the first automobile manufacturer in the world to offer such a program," says head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "This shows yet again how innovative and progressive the Audi brand is. Our colleagues from the Audi driving experience and Reinhold Joest's squad with whom we've been successfully working together since 12 years will provide our customers with an exclusive and unforgettable motorsport experience. And the Audi R8 LMS, which, according to our 'factory' drivers, is a very forgiving GT3 car is perfectly suited for this project, which we fully support on the part of Audi Sport."