Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke says the updated Audi R8 LMS offers “more consistent” handling that will particularly benefit gentlemen drivers.
The German manufacturer took the wraps off its 2019-spec GT3 contender on Tuesday at the Paris Motor Show, confirming the moderate Evo package that will be offered as an upgrade kit or an all-new car.
Reinke said a large focus on the car’s development has been made with Bronze and Silver-rated drivers in mind, with Audi even utilizing several gentlemen drivers in the testing phase.
“The car’s handling performance is more consistent in many areas, which is particularly beneficial for amateur drivers” he said. “We received this feedback from them even during tests.
“We’ve designed the car’s aerodynamics so that handling performance remains very clear in a wide range.
“Our modifications that are conducive to achieving more consistent tire temperatures contribute their share to this as well.”
In addition to aero-related updates, the Audi GT3 Evo features more durable gearbox components with extended maintenance intervals, in further cost savings measures.
While several other GT3 manufacturers, including Lamborghini, have rolled out more comprehensive Evo kits, Reinke said Audi’s moderate updates have been budget-minded, particularly when taking into account Balance of Performance.
“We focused on those areas that make a difference for the customer,” he said.
“The objective was not to make faster lap times possible. The balance of performance rules level differences between the various race
cars from more than a dozen manufacturers through specific interventions anyway.
“And, financially, our approach does not require high expenditures to be made either by new or existing customers who have to upgrade their cars for FIA-regulated series. This goes down really well.”
Despite a crowded marketplace, Reinke still sees continued interest in GT3 worldwide in what he calls as an “important pillar” of Audi Sport customer racing’s business.
The Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo is the fourth different new model introduced by the German manufacturer in as many years.
“There used to be a phase of apparent market saturation at a high level. However, we’re clearly seeing continuing interest,” Reinke said.
“The number of series admitting these models is still growing – for instance in Asia. Also, new manufacturers keep entering the
market while established ones present new evolutions.
“GT3 racing for the mid-term will arguably remain the most important pillar in the worldwide customer sport business.”