The Head of Audi Sport customer racing talks about the prospects for TCR racing and the Audi RS 3 LMS.
In 2019, the Audi RS 3 LMS is contesting its third racing season. What developments are you expecting?
The trend continues to be positive. More than 150 race victories for our car, plus the “TCR Model of the Year” title, and in the face of a large variety of brands and continuously growing competitive pressure – the development of the TCR category and the position of the Audi RS 3 LMS in this environment have been positive. Economically, the project with 160 race cars in the first 24 months has seen a good development as well. We made the right decisions at the right time.
How competitive is the Audi RS 3 LMS in view of the increasingly large number of models and younger cars of the competition?
Two basic factors are decisive: the qualities of a race car and its rating by the regulations. Not only the number of its victories, but also the diversity of the competitions in which it is successful, show how good the Audi RS 3 LMS is. Our touring car is equally well suited for sprints and long distances in circuit racing as for track days and hill-climb events. With its many successes in national competitions, six victories and a total of 17 podium finishes in the FIA WTCR plus the “TCR Model of the Year” title, the Audi RS 3 LMS has been successful around the world. As far as the rating is concerned, the officials are faced with the task of balancing more than a dozen different race cars for the diverse types of tracks. That’s never easy and requires a very careful approach.
What makes the TCR category so attractive for customers?
The cost-benefit ratio is arguably unique in a worldwide motorsport comparison: For a selling price that starts at 109,000 euros (excl. VAT) customer teams get a ready-to-race car that has been developed, designed and tested for racing by an automobile manufacturer, plus worldwide parts supply and an on-site supporting concept that provides assurance. On the one hand, young up-and-coming drivers can prove their talent in this model and on the other it’s equally well suited for gentlemen drivers who enjoy touring car racing. The fact that the TCR category is so widely spread is another benefit: our customers can compete in the RS 3 LMS in practically all parts of the world, plus the large number of markets make a potential resale of this type of race car easier as well.