Chris Reinke has been Head of Audi Sport customer racing since 2016. In an interview, he explains why the Audi R8 LMS GT4 has received a product upgrade after two years.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 has been successful in the customer’s hand for two years. Why has Audi Sport customer racing updated it now?
Without a doubt, the car has already clinched many nice successes, so there was no urgent need to update it. Even so, there were two reasons that motivated us to offer an upgrade to our customers: First, the race car now sports the new look of the production model and therefore seamlessly matches the sports car family. Second, we specifically optimized some areas that represent an equally affordable and useful package for customers and that also enhance driving dynamics. Customers should feel that now they’re using an even better product.
What exactly has Audi Sport customer racing developed?
Two key features impart an even greater sense of dynamics to the driver. TC traction control and the ABS system were standard features before but can now be adjusted with great precision in eight levels. This is done very easily by using a rotary switch on the new steering wheel that has been adopted from the Audi R8 LMS GT2. Amateurs and gentleman drivers, who account for our regular customers in GT 4 racing, are now able to set up the race car to suit their preferences according to track and weather conditions even better than before.
Right in the first two years, you found customers for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 around the world. What are your next goals?
In North America and in several European countries, the car is already widely used and a fielding opportunity has emerged in South Africa as well. However, in Asia and Australia, the multi-make GT4 category has not yet come to be accepted to the same extent. There are already some customers relying on the GT4 race car in the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup but we’d like to see the model in many other Asian and Australian series. Basically, we feel that the GT4 class has the potential of thrilling new customers there, too.