|With a racing version of the new Audi RS 3 that made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show, Audi Sport customer racing will extend its offering in customer sport starting in the 2017 season.|
With the Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport customer racing, in a very short time, managed to build a successful customer sport program alongside the factory commitments in the WEC and the DTM. The Audi R8 LMS has since become the market leader in its segment. Audi now has plans to offer similar programs for its customer sport clients with the Audi RS 3 LMS.
The Audi RS 3 LMS is being developed by Audi Sport customer racing for the TCR category which is still relatively new. In addition to an international TCR series, with some of its races being held as part of the Formula 1 World Championship supporting program, more and more national racing series for TCR touring cars are being founded. Even major endurance events such as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring are now including TCR classes.
“The TCR market has even larger potential than that of the GT3 category,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “In 2016, there were ten TCR series with races in 18 countries, and more and more series are being added. With the TCR version of the RS 3 we’re also reaching countries where no GT3 races are held. The costs for a TCR race car are very low. As a result, we’re going to win new customers for Audi Sport as well.”
The Audi RS 3 LMS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of about 240 km/h. In TCR trim, the proven four-cylinder two-liter TFSI engine delivers 243 kW (330 hp).
In terms of safety, Audi Sport customer racing is not making any compromises. The extensive safety package includes an FIA-conformant safety fuel tank, a racing safety cell, the PS3 safety seat, FIA safety nets on both sides of the seat and a rescue hatch in the roof like the one used in the Audi R8 LMS.
Audi Sport customer racing will start delivering the first Audi RS 3 LMS cars to customers this December, in time before the seasons of the major TCR racing series open in 2017. The purchase price is 129,000 euros for the TCR version with a sequential six-speed racing transmission and 99,000 euros for a club sport version.
Edited: Audi Sport