Audi’s new GT2 car is a “unique creature” with a “different philosophy” to the manufacturer’s other GT products, according to its head of customer racing Chris Reinke.
Launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday, the Audi R8 LMS GT2 is the second car to be revealed for SRO Motorsports Group’s new super sports car formula, after the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Reinke said that the Audi GT2, which customers can race from 2020, is essentially modeled on the company’s R8 Spyder convertible road car rather than the coupe.
Extra power has been achieved through an airbox on the roof to give a total output of 640 hp – 29 more than the road model – while the aerodynamic components were planned to make the car more accessible for gentleman drivers than the Audi R8 GT3 Evo.
“We have a sports car that is an R8, but we don’t have a super sports car, so we went out and created our own,” Reinke told Sportscar365.
“The top line of the model is the spyder, so we thought: let’s do something with that. So we gave it a hard top, and that gave us a unique possibility to create a [car with a] character of its own.
“We built it on a different chassis philosophy. On the engine side, we can have the naturally aspirated V10 ‘free breathing’, so we don’t have to squeeze it through a restrictor.
“But obviously, the drivetrain is similar to the GT4, without any restrictions.
“And when it comes to the extremes on the bodywork side, it is probably closer to a GT3 than anything, but with its own character.”
Reinke suggested that Audi expects to attract both existing Audi GT4 clients and new customers with its third current GT product.
Audi hasn’t released a maximum production figure for the R8 LMS GT2, which went on sale to customers immediately after its Thursday release.
“We are not overlaying our existing products in our portfolio; we are increasing our portfolio,” said Reinke.
“When we started with the entry-level TCR car [the Audi RS 3 LMS] we said that we needed an entry level GT car as well. Now we have an upgrade for gentlemen racers, because we believe that after GT4 there is a clear split.
“You have those that go to professional racing, which is GT3, and those that want to be the ultimate gentleman racer in GT2. So for us, it’s not an overlay. It’s a widening.
“I honestly believe that there is room for this category because there is a desire for an upgrade on power from GT4 cars, and there is a desire [from drivers] to not go into unforced errors.”
Barcelona Race Debut Possible
Reinke wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Audi’s GT2 car making its debut in the platform’s first multi-manufacturer race at Circuit de Catalunya in late September.
However, he confirmed that if an Audi was to join the grid, it would “not be in customer hands” because of the projected development timeframe.
“It depends on the testing schedule and the availability of cars,” said Reinke, who added that no other test race appearances are planned.
“For sure, at that time of the year, we won’t have the cars with customers yet.
“Testing has been underway already and we will proceed further until the end of quarter three, to have the car approved for customers before the end of year deliveries.”