Audi Sport’s race winning development program
Audi’s latest TCR weapon will hit Australian shores soon where it will contest next year’s Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series, but it’s development this season has occurred in touring car racing’s top level.
It’s been a busy year for Audi Sport and its Head of Customer Racing Chris Reinke as not only did the RS3 LMS TCR debut, but an evolution for its ultra-successful R8 LMS GT3 was revealed recently.
Focus is however on Audi Sport’s TCR campaign as it has grown significantly since the German marque joined the touring car class in 2017.
Four new RS3 LMS TCRs were entered in this year’s World Touring Car Cup where it has already achieved two wins, but this competitive environment provided the perfect opportunity to develop the new model for customers.
“We launched the new model at the start of the year and decided to run it solely in the WTCR for the first year to get more competition kilometres on it before we decided the configuration for the customers,” Reinke explained.
“We’re very fortunate in the WTCR with two wins so far, it’s quite successful and therefore we’re completely on course with the philosophy of how we launched the car.”
Off the back of a successful campaign in the WTCR and a loyal customer base, Audi Sport expects huge demand for the new model.
“How big is the interest? Obviously, we knew the update cycle of the competition compared to the limited availability of some of those models, Audi Sport runs a pure customer racing model for whatever is on the WTCR is available for our customers within the sales target price,” Reinke said.
“How did the market receive it? They were desperate and with 180 cars in the hands of customers we are the market leaders in this segment and therefore expect a lot of people will opt to get the new model.
“We’ve seen great, great interest in the new model from all national importers of ours, which have all tried to get a car early on and has been another positive for us.
“There’s excitement for TCR, which is happening in Australia, similarly in the US and Canada, in Japan, China, so we have reserved cars for each region.”
A successful model in Supercheap Auto TCR Australia, Audi has taken seven wins and 17 podiums since the category began in 2019 as Melbourne Performance Centre’s Chaz Mostert leads the standings from teammate Luke King, with two further RS3 LMS TCRs in the country.
Reinke is confident the new evolution will be just as successful as the original.
“We delivered in the first 10 months more than 100 cars when we bought the first RS3 LMS TCR onto the market and I think the Gen II car has the genes to live up to this very success,” said Reinke.
“We can’t wait to deliver the first cars by the end of the year.”