Audi Sport is expecting a “strong kickoff” for its new R8 LMS GT2 model in Europe, according to customer racing boss Chris Reinke, who said they’re ready to “supply any demand that comes up” for the new-for-2020 car.
Launched last month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the 640-horsepower supercar is expected to make its race debut in September’s Blancpain GT Sports Club race at Barcelona ahead of customer deliveries by the end of the year.
Aimed at Bronze-rated drivers for the newly launched or expanded GT2 Sports Club series in Europe, Asia and America, Reinke said interest levels have been high.
“From the beginning on we’ve had a tremendous interest worldwide, which was also surprising because obviously we used a European stage [to present it] and plan to head on around the world,” he told Sportscar365.
“For sure it was important to confirm the platform by SRO, where the actual product is meant to go.
“Now I think we have to wait a couple of months until people, out of the first excitement, evaluate and eventually decide to invest into the product.”
Having already received inquiries from teams worldwide, Reinke believes the European market, at least in the beginning, will be the strongest for the German manufacturer.
“We have the widest customer base in Europe,” Reinke said. “We expect a strong kickoff in Europe, therefore we believe the championship is suitable there.
“The U.S., for us, is more directly investor driven. We have more race day equipment, more resources, etc.
“For us what is harder to predict is Asia. We had high hopes with the GT4 car in Asia which didn’t succeed. Now we have to learn, was it the product, which wasn’t extreme enough? Then GT2 would be the one to do.
“Or is it in the end the investors operating their own equipment, is that the topic that doesn’t fly in Asia? I don’t know.”
While Porsche, which has already sold out its entire 200-unit allocation of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport, Reinke said Audi hasn’t put a set production number in mind for the R8 LMS GT2.
“It’s not a limited number we plan to build,” he said. “We have to plan to production amounts to certain numbers.
“As usual at Audi Sport customer racing, we’re ready to supply any demand that comes up.”
Reinke, meanwhile, would not outright confirm the car’s race debut for the Barcelona GT Sports Club round in September, which is being billed by SRO Motorsports Group as the first official GT2 race, although he indicated that a manufacturer-run car would likely be present.
“We will try to arrange something,” he said. “It will probably be one of our test cars. It won’t be a customer car for sure because we won’t have cars in customers’ hands by then.”