Audi Sport has developed a new version of its R8 race car for customers competing in the GT2 category. The new racer made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it is the most potent version of the mid-engine supercar-cum-racer to date.
It is built using the same proportions and body as the road-going R8 Spyder but gains a unique roof with a dramatic intake scoop above. Flared arches and protruding side blades add the car's purposeful image. As there is no rear window, Audi equips the cockpit with a rear-facing camera display.
Most powerful engine to date
Powering the R8 LMS GT2 is what Audi says, is the most powerful evolution of its naturally aspirated V10 engine yet. The total power output of the 5.2-litre engine is rated at 640hp, or 123hp per litre, while torque is said to be more than 550Nm. GT3 regulations restrict that engine to 500hp, but there aren't the same limitations with the GT2 version. The lightened car weighs 1,350kg dry, making it 100kg less than the GT4 version, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 2.1kg/hp.
Ready to race
Speaking at the car's introduction, Oliver Hoffman, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, said: "This sports car with its emotive high-performance V10 engine marks the top end of our customer racing program. The legendary event at Goodwood is the ideal venue for unveiling such a fascinating sports car.
As GT3 cars have evolved over the last few years, a gap has emerged that lead to the creation of this GT2 car as Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing explains: we have created a car specifically for gentleman drivers who have been the backbone of GT racing for decades. Modern GT3 race cars have increasingly evolved into a class for pros. With the Audi R8 LMS GT2, we are now closing this gap and making a car available that is tailored to meet the needs of this customer group."
Full-spec on safety
Audi provides the R8 LMS GT2 with all of the latest safety equipment to protect the driver and car. The Audi Protection Seat PS 3 surrounds the driver and features safety nets on either side in addition to the FIA-approved six-point harnesses. It has the same safety fuel cell as the GT4 version plus a 15-litre catch tank with a fill level sensor. Buyers can also specify a quick refuelling valve for endurance racing. A rescue hatch integrated into the roof facilitates access for the extrication team in the event of a serious accident, allowing the removal of the driver's helmet safely to apply the Kendrick Extrication Device to stabilise them.
The GT2 category will slot in between the current GT3 and GT4 categories from 2020. That makes this the first race car that Audi Sport has developed ahead of the relevant championship starting. Even if you weren't ready to take on a season of racing, the new GT2 version should make for an incredible track car for those with the money to spend on such toys. If you want to have one for yourself, you'll first need to hand over €338,000 plus taxes and the order books are now open with the first deliveries due to begin in December.