Saturday, January 26, 2013

No Audi R8 LMS ultra GTE for Le Mans

By Tarek Ramchani

Since last year there has been a lot of talk about the possibility that Audi plans to build a GTE version of the all conquering Audi R8 LMS for both the Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship.

We at Audi Motorsport Blog have already given our thoughts about this possibility of seeing the Audi R8 LMS ultra at La Sarthe with the current set of rules, you can read that right here. Now things are more clear from the Ingolstadt brand, and there will be no Audi R8 LMS ultra GTE spec. Our friends from Endurance-Info had a talk with Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, head of Audi Motorsport, who confirmed that Audi has no plans for such a development. This means that the Audi "R16" will stay available in two version, the GT3 version with the LMS ultra and the Rolex Grand-Am series with the R8 GRAND-AM in America. Thus Audi will not follow the steps of BMW, who recently introduced the BMW Z4 GTE, an evolution of their E89 GT3 racer. The Audi R8 LMS will only show up at La Sarthe when / if a new set of regulations allowing full FIA GT3 spec cars to compete comes into effect.

For the 2013 season Audi Sport customer racing is really busy. Firstly that have updated and improved the American R8 GRAND-AM, with very positive performances at the Daytona tests. The R8 LMS ultra will have further improvements as well to help Audi customer teams to fight against the growing and competitive rivals from other brands, more about the 2013 ultra here.

Photo credit: Norbert Kratz