The Head of Audi Sport customer racing talks about the new TCR project.
Why has Audi Sport customer racing opted for the TCR? After all, Audi Sport is already active in the DTM.
The DTM represents factory-backed racing on the highest level. At the moment, there’s no room for privateer drivers in this series, but the TCR certainly offers them this opportunity. This class is well on its way to becoming a globally accepted category for entry-level touring car racing. From a mid-term perspective, we see a market here that’s even larger than the one in the GT3 category.
With the TCR version of the RS 3 we’re even reaching countries where no GT3 races are held. And, obviously, not everyone can afford an Audi R8 LMS. The costs for a TCR race car are clearly lower. As a result, we’re going to win new customers for Audi Sport as well. In 2016, we delivered the 200th Audi R8 LMS. I’m hoping for us to soon surpass this number with the Audi RS 3 LMS. At the moment, we’re planning to produce five cars per week. Already in the first full season, 90 Audi RS 3 LMS cars will race around the world.
The Audi RS 3 LMS costs only 129,000 euros net. Can Audi Sport customer racing even make any money with that?
Absolutely – and that’s expected of us as well. We benefit from the fact that the Audi RS 3 LMS is a car that is based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform and that we can use other components developed within the Group as well. This considerably reduces the development costs. The idea of the platform strategy works really well in motorsport too – still, the Audi RS 3 LMS has its own, unique character.
GT3, TCR – what will be next?
We’re intensively analyzing what business segments might be of interest to Audi Sport customer racing in the future. They include the GT4 category for example.