Audi Press Release
Ingolstadt, March 12, 2015 – At the Geneva Motor Show in early March, the second generation of the Audi R8* celebrated its world debut – a high-performance sports car the genes and name of which have their origins in motorsport: in Le Mans, strictly speaking.
Following titles in the World Rally Championship (1982, 1984), victories in the famous Pikes Peak hill climb race (1985-1987), wins of the DTM (1990, 1991) and a string of success in super touring car racing (seven worldwide titles in 1996 alone), Audi, in 1999, ventured the step into the world’s most famous endurance race. A third place in its debut race was followed in 2000 by the first of 13 triumphs Audi has clinched at Le Mans to date.
On making its debut at Sebring in Florida, the new R8 clinched another immediate victory. “But we also saw at the time that there was still quite a bit left to be done before the big race, the Le Mans 24 Hours. We had a few issues that we were seeking to resolve almost up to the race. So it was a great relief to win straight off at Le Mans with a completely new car.”
On two of the three Audi R8 cars the entire rear ends were in fact changed during the night of the 2000 race, albeit only as a precaution. “We didn’t want to take any risk,” says Dr. Ullrich. “And changing a rear end in more or less four minutes was often quicker than a complex check of the technology.” The third R8, except for two punctures at the beginning of the race, ran like clockwork.
Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport