Its debut season was brilliant: The Audi R8 LMS GT4 won ten titles worldwide right in its first year of racing. The production-based sports car showed its fortes in sprint as well as in endurance racing.
Extremely fierce competition, 15 different manufacturers, fields with 30 to 50 entrants – in GT4 racing, this is the rule in many countries. In such tough competitive conditions, the teams managed a strong showing with the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in its 2018 debut season. In North America, three drivers’ and one teams’ title went to a customer of Audi Sport, in the GT4 European Series, two teams won four titles in total. Two additional championship wins in the GT4 France as Europe’s best national series complete the comprehensive track record in sprint racing. In addition, it reflects endurance class victories in one 8-hour race, one 12-hour event, two 24-hour plus one 25-hour race.
This race car category has long become firmly established in the hearts of fans. “As an entry-level class for “grand tourisme” racing, the GT4 concept is a resounding success,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “The great confidence many teams around the world have had in us from day one shows that we’re heading in the right direction.” More than 80 race cars were built at Böllinger Höfe of the Neckarsulm site for worldwide customers right in the first year. They are closely oriented to the production model: The 5.2-liter V10 mid-engine, the Audi Space Frame (ASF) featuring a multi-material design, the suspension with double wishbones at the front and rear and the S tronic seven-speed double-clutch transmission are superbly suited for racing. New for the 2019 season is an electronic stability program that further enhances driving dynamics. High safety reserves are hallmarks of the Audi R8 LMS GT4, as well as long maintenance intervals for economical operation. A worldwide service network ensures comprehensive customer support around the globe.
The fielding opportunities for the race car with the four rings are wide and varied: There are dedicated GT4 racing series that are recording further new entries this year. In addition to the existing European series, the ADAC GT4 Germany and the GT4 South European Series are filling previous gaps in Central and Southern Europe. The GT4 America adds regional diversity to the competitions in North America. In Canada, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is able to compete as well. Plus, there are various national and international racing series for fields featuring diverse classes including GT4 models. In Europe, for instance, it is the British and the Italian GT Championships, the DMV GTC or the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring. The Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, the Super Taikyu Series in Japan and the Australian GT are attractive for teams in Asia and Australia. Internationally, the 24H Series provides a versatile endurance racing platform with 12-hour and 24-hour races. In two one-make cups, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is eligible to race as well: in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup with events in Asia and Australia and in the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup in Europe. Finally, stand-alone competitions round out the available fielding opportunities. They include exclusive GT4 events like the GT4 International Cup held for the first time last year and planned for November 2019 at Vallelunga and the Spa GT4 Endurance Cup in July in Belgium. Major races such as the Nürburgring 24 Hours, the Bathurst 12 Hour or the California 8 Hours permit GT4 model entries as well.
With the Audi R8 LMS GT4 Audi Sport customer racing extended its model portfolio by a third pillar at the right time and instantly established itself as one of the leading manufacturers. The unbroken international growth trend of this class means that the GT4 category in 2019 continues making headway both in terms of business and racing.