Chris Reinke has been Head of Audi Sport customer racing since 2016 and sees major growth potential in the GT4 category.
Just shortly following the R8 LMS (2015) and the RS 3 LMS (2016), Audi Sport GmbH is presenting the R8 LMS GT4 in April 2017. What are your expectations of the new model?
Since 2009, we have delivered more than 200 units of the R8 LMS and are ranking among the leading brands in the global GT3 market that keeps growing. The Audi RS 3 LMS we’ve been offering since November 2016 has been meeting with tremendous response by customers in TCR touring car racing. The new Audi R8 LMS GT4 perfectly fills the gap in between, as GT4 racing is the ideal stage for gentlemen and amateurs that would like to race sports cars but find GT3 racing to be too complex.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 is a production-based sports car. What does that mean?
First of all, the regulations do not permit any major variations from the production standard. As a result, it’s particularly beneficial for a model to have the qualities that the Audi R8 V10 already brings to the track from the factory. This powerful and balanced base makes it possible for us to manufacture the production and the race cars at the same facilities. Accounting for more than 60 percent, the number of shared components is even higher than those between the GT3 model and the production sports car, about half of which are identical. By the way, the GT4 sports car also benefits from the experiences we’ve been gaining with the Audi R8 LMS across two generations. In aspects of safety, we’ve adopted the standard.
Are there any other synergies?
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 perfectly fits our customer sports kit – in terms of technology and logistics. In addition to the close linking with production, we even use the same parts as in the GT3 race car. For support and logistics we utilize the same network as the global GT3 program. The GT4 market is seeing rapid development in the important regions of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, with highly attractive business potential for us. The numerous synergistic effects are positive for the customers as well because the economic aspects of the race car are very attractive – both in terms of purchasing cost and cost of ownership.