Thursday, January 2, 2014

TUSC: IMSA GTD Audi R8 LMS vs FIA GT3 Audi R8 LMS ultra

By Tarek Ramchani

The Audi R8 LMS will take part in the newly formed TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in North America. The car will enter the demanding GT Daytona (GTD) class. The GTD Audi R8 LMS is slightly different from its European based FIA GT3 counterpart, the Audi R8 LMS ultra.

We recently interviewed two Audi GT factory drivers who had the privilege to drive both specification versions of the R8 LMS. Christopher Haase and Christopher Mies gave us their thoughts about the two cars and their differences.

Christopher Haase: "In comparison to the Audi R8 LMS ultra the R8 Grand AM Version hasn´t any ABS, TC and much less downforce. Both cars have their own setup. To be honest the racing in the IMSA with the Audi R8 Grand AM remembers me to the FIA GT1 cars. Okay the car has less downforce but you need so much feeling to be quick. One slide then you are off time."

You can read the full interview with Christopher Haase here.

Christopher Mies: "To make it not too long the GTD car has less Aero, no ABS or TC. I'm glad we will get some side windows now, before they were forbidden. Open your windows on a motorway when you are as fast as you can. It's so horrible loud. We are going around 300 kp/h at Daytona, I couldn't hear the engine anymore. The last difference is that the teams can change many parts like dampers, antirollbars, brakes and so on. So not every Audi has the same configuration."

"Our Ultra car is much quicker in the corners and we can brake much later while we can go on power earlier. The big advantage of the GTD R8 is the topspeed. Less Aero makes a better drag and that means a better topspeed. So the GTD car is around 20 to 25 kp/h quicker on the straight. Both are fun and especially the GTD car is a new challenge. I like both but if you want to push really hard, if you want to give 110% of your knowledge then the R8 Ultra is easier to handle."

You can read the full interview with Christopher Mies here.

Photo credit: Flying Lizard Motorsports