Audi Sport customer racing will contest the most extensive commitment in its 13-year history in 2021. Together with its customers, the brand is adding another element to its program in the 2021 season: Following a change in regulations, the DTM will be part of the customer racing portfolio for the first time.
A program full of highlights: Audi Sport customer racing and its customers face tough competition in the world’s most high-profile GT3 competitions. The DTM as a prestigious touring car series with its roots in Germany becomes a GT3 event with a Europe-wide calendar. Internationally, Audi Sport customer racing, as a participant from the very beginning, is again involved in the Intercontinental GT Challenge for the sixth consecutive year. Likewise, the brand is preparing for its 13th start at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. In the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, the new Audi RS 3 LMS will experience its baptism of fire in customer hands.
In order to tackle its most ambitious program to date, Audi Sport customer racing has expanded its driver squad from 12 to 16 professionals – including former DTM Champion and Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller as well as Nico Müller, DTM runner-up from 2019 and 2020. “Ahead of us lies the most intensive season in a long time,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing. “To this end, we’ve got the biggest driver squad ever at Audi Sport customer racing as well as a highly up-to-date and broad-based vehicle program in which no model is older than three years.”
Worldwide, Audi Sport provides its customers with a range of four models. The newly launched second generation Audi RS 3 LMS with 250 kW (340 hp) marks the entry into the world of Audi Sport customer racing. 38 racing series around the globe, spread across 31 countries in five continents, allow this TCR model to compete. In addition, there are renowned individual events, including such prestigious competitions as the Nürburgring 24 Hours or the Macau GP. Worldwide, Audi Sport remains true to the spirit of TCR and leaves the entries to private customer teams. Only in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup does the brand support the customer team Comtoyou Racing from Belgium in the debut season of the new Audi RS 3 LMS with two drivers, the Audi Sport driver Frédéric Vervisch and new signing Nathanaël Berthon.
The Audi R8 LMS GT4 is also contesting its fourth season in customer hands. The model, which was redesigned at the end of 2019, is a fixture in numerous GT4 racing series. Audi Sport has equipped the Coupé that is available with up to 364 kW (495 hp) with modern driving aids that benefit amateur drivers in particular. In customer hands, the production-based race car has already won 21 titles worldwide since 2018. Here, too, Audi leaves the field exclusively to private drivers and teams in line with the GT4 idea. With the Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup, an exclusive one-make cup for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 continues to exist for the fourth year in succession.
The Audi R8 LMS GT2 enters the 2021 season with renewed vigor. For the first time, the GT2 European Series offers this race car type an exclusive stage across Europe with five events. In addition, the gentleman drivers who are formative for GT2 racing as race car owners and drivers can chase times in numerous club sport racing series in America, in various European countries and in Asia, as well as at trackdays around the world. With 470 kW (640 hp), the Audi R8 LMS GT2 remains Audi Sport customer racing’s most powerful model.
In the battle for overall victories in the finest endurance and sprint competitions around the globe, the current evolution of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 is one of the favorites. The Intercontinental GT Challenge with four races spread over Asia, Africa, America and Europe is the only worldwide GT3 racing series. It also includes the great endurance classic Spa 24 Hours, which Audi has won four times. The Nürburgring, 24 Hours which the Audi R8 LMS has won five times, is also on the Audi Sport customer racing calendar. The GT World Challenge holds regional championships on the continents of America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For the first time, Audi Sport customer racing will make an appearance in the DTM: The popular touring car platform that has existed since 1984 will transform into a GT3 racing series from 2021. In addition, there will be national GT3 racing series such as the top-class ADAC GT Masters in Germany, in which Audi has traditionally been the most sought-after brand with a double-digit number of customer race cars. Individual events such as the Macau Grand Prix and the FIA Motorsport Games are among the other highlights on the calendar. Clubsport platforms in many countries complete the Audi Sport customer racing program.