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Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo Set for End-of-Year VLN Debut

Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo set for end-of-season VLN debut ahead of 2019 customer rollout…

Photo: Stefano Ciabattoni

The Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo will make its race debut later this year in VLN competition according to Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke, who has confirmed the package’s rollout to customers in 2019.

Revealed in a series of spy photos of the car testing earlier this summer, the German manufacturer’s GT3 contender is set to feature significant aero updates, likely to correspond to a planned facelift for its road-going model.

While declining to go into detail on the extent of the changes, Reinke said the Audi Evo will take part in a to-be-determined VLN race later this year, as an SPX entry for yet-to-be-homologated cars.

Four VLN rounds remain this season, with races in September and October.

“We confirmed we will run it in a VLN race,” Reinke said. “We don’t know which one yet.

“Obviously we have to introduce it before the end of the year to get teams ready for next year. That’s where we are at the moment.”

Audi is one of several GT3 manufacturers that are set to roll out Evo kits next year, in the first year of the new cycle of GT3 regulations.

Details on Lamborghini Evo Expected Next Month

Lamborghini, meanwhile, expects to release details of its Evo kit next month, according to its motorsports boss Giorgio Sanna.

The Italian manufacturer’s updated Huracan GT3 has also been spotted testing at Monza in recent months, and according to Sanna, will feature aero, electronics and suspension upgrades.

Sportscar365 understands it will also include a sizable engine update, based around the new Huracan Performante.

“We are working on the Evo as an upgrade to the existing car mainly to have better drivability,” Sanna told Sportscar365. 

“This is the main target of the car, but there will be a lot of new technical features so it will be a double step compared to the existing car.”

12H Bathurst Eligibility to Prevent 2019 Evo Debut

Both Audi and Lamborghini Evos, as well as new-for-2019 cars from Aston Martin, McLaren and Porsche, will not be eligible for February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, as the race is again expected to run to the previous year’s SRO Balance of Performance.

It will therefore force Audi to revert to its previous-spec R8 LMS GT3 for the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, something Reinke said comes at a detriment to car sales.

“We would have been ready and for us, it makes total sense from a business side, to run it,” he said. “The regulations are different.

“So we’ll introduce a new car [update] and then the first big international race is with the old one.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. amg gt

    August 29, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    There is Dubai 24h before Bathurst

    • John Dagys

      August 29, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      I don’t think Dubai is considered a major international race, at least in the eyes of Audi.

  2. Av

    August 30, 2018 at 9:11 am

    They should accommodate the regulatuons. Bathurst is one of the best races of the year.

    • Old Trombone

      August 30, 2018 at 10:41 am

      Bathurst is at the wrong time of year. The traditional date is held on the first weekend of October. Apparently, the V8’s have that date and call it “traditional” but the facts are that the October Bathurst was for road-based and class-based endurance racing. The V8’s (even though they’re not even V8’s anymore, oh wait, they are for 2 more years to promo the Camaro until that series folds) should open their season with Bathurst in Feb, the October date needs to return to real tradition with class-endurance racing.

      IGTC 2022:
      Feb – Kyalami
      March – Morocco
      May – Nurburgring
      June – Le Mans (with special guests DPi class)
      August – Spa
      September – Suzuka
      Early October – Bathurst
      Late October – Watkins Glen
      November – Laguna Seca
      December – Punta Del Este finale!

  3. Paul

    August 30, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I’m trying to understand the need for Evo kits if the platform is using BOP. Can someone please explain to me the need to improve a cars speed, if BOP will decide for them?

    • Dave

      August 30, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      If a car is made easier to drive, it may not necessarily be faster on a perfect lap, but it will be able to lay down more consistent “perfect” laps. Not sure if I am making sense, but the enhancements will make the car more manageable, easier to catch when it steps out, and stickier in the down force dept. this will translate into confidence to execute a pass where you may not have attempted it before. So not faster, just easier to drive fast.

    • Pierce

      September 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Evos are either for facelifts for the manufacturer and or to make the car easier to drive for gentleman drivers.

      Eventually the whole pace of the class picks up once every manufacturer updates their cars as well

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