Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TUSC: Audi R8 race cars set to join GT Daytona class

By Tarek Ramchani

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (TUSCC) will debut in 2014, merging both the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
The Audi brand will be represented in the GT Daytona class with the R8.

During 2012 and 2013 Audi competed in the Rolex Series with the R8 GRAND-AM. The car was basically a FIA GT3 R8 LMS ultra, but with major modifications to meet the Grand-Am GT rules. Audi teams performed very well this year by taking a fine 1-2 GT class win at the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona. For 2014 the R8 GRAND-AM will be competing in the GT Daytona class and will be joined by its sister R8 LMS. IMSA (International Motorsport Association) officials have finally allowed FIA GT3 spec cars to compete in GTD. The Audi R8 LMS will join the field with only slight modifications compared to the Audi R8 GRAND-AM. Now that we are approaching 2014 some stories are coming out about possible Audi teams and efforts with R8 race cars in next year's competition.

According to John Dagys (sportscar365.com), two Audi teams have indicated their plans to run R8 race cars in TUSCC next year. Fall-Line Motorsports, who raced with one Audi R8 GRAND-AM in the second half of the 2013 Rolex Series season this year, is planning a two-car effort for 2014. The other team is GMG Racing, the team had a successful 2013 season in the Pirelli World Challenge and narrowly missed the title. GMG Racing is planning to field one Audi R8 race car.

In addition to Fall-Line Motorsports and GMG Racing, there are also stories about possible R8 efforts from Flying Lizard Motorsports and Paul Miller Racing. Both teams competed in the American Le Mans Series with Porsches this year.

Unlike the GT Le Mans class (GTE), the GT Daytona class will adopt the Pro-Am formula and will have Continental as the exclusive tire supplier.

Photo credit: Audi Media