Launched in 2008, the Audi customer sport program has entered a new phase with the inauguration of a dedicated center next to Audi Sport. The new customer sport center in Ingolstadt will coordinate the GT3 sports car season’s highlight event – the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring on May 15/16.
“The customer sport program with the R8 LMS is Audi Sport’s third pillar in addition to the DTM and Le Mans, and is becoming increasingly important. By creating the customer sport center, we have found a way to do justice to the ever-increasing number of R8 LMS customers,” explained Audi’s Head of Technical Development Michael Dick.
If last year it was mostly teams affiliated with Audi that raced the sharp GT3 sports car, now the cars are entirely in the hands of private teams, with Audi Sport giving them only technical support.
“There is huge demand for the R8 LMS,” said Audi Motorsport boss Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “We were unable to manufacture enough vehicles for 2010 to satisfy potential sales, so we initially focused on the European market. The new customer sport center clearly shows how important customer sport is to Audi”, added Ullrich.
Audi Sport will deliver around 20 R8 LMS vehicles to customers in 2010. While the road-version Audi R8 is manufactured in Neckarsulm, the R8 LMS is produced in Heilbronn-Biberach, next to the new customer sport center.
Three of the Audi privateer teams are now preparing for the highlight of the season, the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring on May 15/16. ABT Sportsline, Black Falcon and Phoenix Racing will be racing seven Audi R8 LMS, some of which will be driven by big names from the world of motorsport. Last year, ABT Sportsline raced with the R8 LMS at the Nürburgring 24-hour race for the first time and won the GT3 class, while coming second in the overall classification.