Audi Sport Customer Racing celebrated a packed 10th anniversary year on Friday night at their Neuberg base.
It was a night to look back at the extent of the racing efforts for Audi customers, and to look forward to programmes, and cars! to come!
The 2018 season so far, with racing still underway for customers in some markets has seen:
316 GT3 races, 132 wins
107 GT4 races, 22 wins (now 108 after the Michelin Encore)
266 TCR races, 86 wins (now 267 and 87 after the Michelin Encore!)
That little lot has yielded 30 drivers titles and 33 subcategory titles across the world with others still up for grabs before the New Year chimes in.
With awards for the title winners amongst both their customer base, and their factory-backed efforts in GT3, GT4 and TCR, plus confirmation of their return to a full campaign in the Intercontinental GT Challenge to defend their Manufacturers title with a two car effort featuring the new Evo version of the Audi R8 LMS GT3.
The IGTC effort is the headline of a planned 2019 season which is set to see further growth in the customer base for Audi’s three-tiered Customer Sports range with the TCR class RS3 LMS and GT4 spec Audi R8 LMS both proving to be successes in the marketplace.
160 of the TCR Audi RS3 have now been sold with North America proving to be the most significant market for the car in its second year of production at the Cupra factory in Spain where it is built alongside both SEAT and VW’s TCR offerings.
And the new GT4 car has had a successful first year in the marketplace too with 80 sold in 11 months.
With the Evo version of the GT3 car now on sale for 2019 customers that means that Chris Reinke’s organisation has managed a new car launch every year since 2015:
2015: R8 LMS (GT3) (centre above)
2016: RS3 LMS
2017: R8 LMS GT4
2018: R8 LMS GT3 Evo
“I’m delighted to look back too at the success that our new cars have had very early into their careers with customers. In 2017 the Audi RS3 LMS debuted in customer hands at Dubai, that customer literally rolled the brand new car from the factory off the truck and into the garage at the circuit, and it won!
“This year the GT4 car debuted in customer hands, again at Dubai and they came home with a 1-2 finish, that sort of success shows off how good the product is out of the box and certainly allows us to reference real success when discussions come up with potential new customers.
“It’s a source of great pride to all of us here that we have now delivered over 500 cars into customer hands.”
And there was more than a hint too that the cycle of new models from Audi Customer Sport Racing will continue in 2020:
“We do have something in mind, though obviously we aren’t going to tell you what that is just yet. I can say though that it will be an expansion of our offer to customers, not an evolution of an existing product.”
Food for thought then! The new car will not though be a GT2 spec car for SRO’s planned new class, Audi feeling that they do not have a base car that suits the planned regulations it seems.
In the marque’s pair of one-make Championships too there was calendar news as the Audi LMS Cup joins the support bill at the Suzuka 10 Hours with the slot that the Asian-based Series vacates on the support bill for the Nürburgring 24 Hours filled by the new for 2018 Seyffarth GT4 Cup which otherwise continues its association with DTM into a second season.