More than 50 percent of the parts on the World Challenge racer are from the production R8.
SHARING THE DNA
he PWC variant of the Audi R8 starts
life as an FIA GT3-spec vehicle, and can be
readied for racing in the SCCA-sanctioned
tin-top series with very few alterations
to its LMS underpinnings.
“If you start with the GT3, 54 percent of
the parts that make that car are production
car parts,” says Brad Kettler, who runs
the American arm of Audi Customer
Sport from Indiana and also spearheads
the stateside development of the chassis.
“Ostensibly, more than half the parts
are sourceable from your local Audi dealer.
Compared to some other GT3 or World
Challenge cars that are racecars disguised to
look like something you’d see in a showroom,
the R8 really is loaded with street car DNA.”
Starting with the R8 GT production
chassis, a car like GMG’s PWC winner then
receives its powerplant from the top five
percent of V10s that come off Audi’s dyno.
Taking on 24-hour races at Daytona and
The Audi R8 LMS’s
5.2-liter, V10 engine
in PWC (and
Grand-Am spec), yet
goes 20,000 miles
GMG’s recent race
beyond the Pirelli
Starting at the
Le Mans Series finale
and continuing into
2012, GMG ran
a GTC Porsche 911
GT3 Cup in selected
ninth overall in last
year’s GTC standings.
Born to race. In fact, even the R8
LMS’s wheel nuts and wheel center
locks are the exact same parts used
on the Le Mans-winning R18 e-tron
quattro LMP1 cars. That’s hardcore.
Audi’s quattro system is not used
with the GT3-spec R8 LMS, but its
deletion is still obvious as the car’s
V10 engine is slightly offset – by
approx. 20mm (0.8in.) – to make room
for the gearbox to run a driveshaft
through the tunnel to the former
front-mounted all-wheel-drive system.
ONE CHANGED, ALL CHANGED
Possibly the most custom piece in the
R8 is its pneumatically-shifted gearbox,
which uses a drop gear to adapt the
power curve to each circuit. Rather
than dealing with the usual drawer full
of expensive gear ratios, change the
R8’s drop gear to bring 1st through 6th
into the range needed for each track.