The updates made to the Audi R8 LMS GT3 for its new ‘Evo II’ specification has been entirely customer-focused according to Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke.
The new-for-2022 model, announced earlier this month, features a number of optimizations from the current Evo, primarily in aerodynamics, traction control, engine characteristics, chassis and climate control.
While covering a wide range of areas, Reinke stressed that none of the updates are performance-oriented and instead have been catered to its wide range of customers around the world.
Among the changes include an all-new rear wing for added downforce, a new intake system, four-way adjustable shock absorbers as well as a new traction control system and air conditioning unit.
“For me the soul of this Evo II is a commitment to customer racing,” he told Sportscar365. “I think each detail that has been changed on the car is solely focused on the customer.
“Our main base are customers, even though we [have] strategic entries and therefore pro drivers.
“The base is always customer racing. And no matter what we change, it’s always in the good for our customers.
“This is how we try to focus as a customer racing operation and the proof is this very car.”
Reinke said they “scratched out” any potential performance items from their checklist to instead focus on their customers’ needs.
“My pro drivers probably don’t need air conditioning,” he said. “But our drivers, such as those [racing] in Asia need it to dehumidify the air.
“We have our optimum setup here [in SRO] with the Pirelli tire used here for the tarmac in Europe. But those cars race all around the world so we need a wider window to set it up.
“Therefore the traction control is a metric system and the four-way damper will help cover the varying conditions all around the world.
“This is solely to have the wide range of opportunities to enter the car by our customer base.”
The car, which made its public debut in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock this weekend (pictured above), is slated for test races later this year ahead of a global rollout in 2022.
Customers will be able to purchase an all-new car for €429,000 ($510,000 USD) or opt for an Evo kit priced at €27,000 ($32,000 USD).
Reinke said variables relating to the COVID-19 pandemic has made it unclear what ratio of teams will be opting to upgrade their existing R8 LMS GT3 Evo or take delivery of an all-new car.
“We have a different focus,” he said. “We want to have a wide, happy customer base that grows our volume automatically.
“Most of the pro-oriented teams write [the cars] off over maybe [over] three or four years. There’s been extended periods through the pandemic.
“We know there’s a lot of chassis out there that are overdue to get exchanged.
“If they opt to upgrade them or buy a new car, whatever suits their business case, it’s important for us that their business case for the next years runs stable because they are still our customer.
“If we over-stretch their business case by motivating them to buy a new car and therefore lose them as a customer in two years because they exceeded their limits, it doesn’t help us.
“We are long-term in the business. For us there’s no certain expectations. And with the pandemic situation, we don’t have a reference from the past.”