Audi announced it is preparing a version of its successful R8 LMS customer sport model for the U.S. market. A dedicated racing version conforming to Grand-Am regulations is planned to make its debut at next January's Rolex 24 at Daytona 24 Hours in January 2012 in the hands of customers.
Audi's GT3 sports car has scored more than 100 victories to date in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America, including overall victories at the Bathurst 12 Hours in Australia, the Spa and Zolder 24 Hours in Belgium and another GT3 victory at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. The new U.S. version of the car will feature modifications to the chassis, body, engine and suspension.
The chassis is stiffened by a roll cage with wall thicknesses being increased to 2mm, in line with the regulations. A new front splitter, a modified rear diffuser and a standard Grand-Am rear wing change the aerodynamics of the car.
The rated output of the engine has to be reduced to between 450-470hp by an air restrictor and the engine electronics. At the same time, the capacity of the fuel tank, which can now be filled on both sides of the vehicle, is limited to 83.3 liters. In the area of the wheels and suspension, three-part rims are used. The standard anti-lock system and traction control of the R8 LMS are removed, since such driving aids are prohibited by Grand-Am rules.
"We're convinced that we're making a very attractive offer to our customers in the USA that will meet with great response," says Romolo Liebchen, head of customer racing at quattro GmbH. "The anniversary event of the Daytona 24 Hours is a perfect occasion for the debut of the U.S. version of the new Audi R8 LMS."
Audi Sport will provide technical support to customer at all rounds of the Grand-Am Rolex Series. The manufacturer said it also is “exploring the possibilities of future uses of the Audi R8 LMS at other endurance events in the United States.”