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Audi Explains R8 LMS GT3 Evo II Absence at 24H Dubai

Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II still on schedule for full customer rollout in time for European seasons…

Photo: Audi

Audi Sport customer racing boss Chris Reinke has explained the absence of its new-for-2022 R8 LMS GT3 Evo II package at the Hankook 24H Dubai, confirming its rollout to customer teams worldwide later this month.

Reinke said the German manufacturer’s Evo II package, which completed several test races last year, was not made available to teams in Dubai because Audi did not have enough parts accessible to supply “all customers” worldwide at the same time.

A total of six Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo entries took part in the 24H Series season-opener, which was won by Team WRT in a 1-2 finish.

“If we go out with it, we all go out with it or none [at all],” Reinke told Sportscar365. “We couldn’t ensure that everybody gets it.

“At the same time, it’s not just the cars running here [in Dubai]. If we send it out to the customers, we send it out to everybody that needs access. 

“It’s more than just the six kits we would have needed. [When] we send out the first kits, probably 15, will go out all at the same time, for those that want to do testing, and they’ll get them all at the same time.”

Reinke said he expects the upgrade kit rollout to occur later this month to ensure sufficient timing for teams to prepare for the upcoming European seasons.

“The vehicles that are running here [in Dubai] go on the boat in mid-December,” he explained. “They get built up after the [European] season, in November, in the workshops. If you want to have the climate compressor integrated, that’s a big rebuild.

“We would have had to have the parts available at the end of October or beginning of November. We could have flown them here but then we’d be asking the customers in this kind of environment to completely strip the cars to put an update on.

“We always would have loved to have the upgrade here as we succeeded with the last Evo kit, which was always good. But this time it was impossible.”

The next major GT3 event for Audi, the postponed Kyalami 9 Hour on Feb. 3-5, will again see its cars in the Evo configuration as the event serves as the 2021 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season finale.

The cars have remained in South Africa since November when the race was originally scheduled to take place but was delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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