Audi launches “race experience” * Audi customers can book racing commitments with the R8 LMS
* Vehicles to be fielded by the Audi “factory” team Joest
* Offer is unique in the world
Ingolstadt, March 3, 2010 – The Audi driving experience is expanding its portfolio by offering an opportunity that is unique in the world: effective immediately, Audi customers with sporting ambitions can book exclusive racing commitments with the Audi R8 LMS. Audi is making its Le Mans-winning team available for this purpose.
"For the first time, the Audi race experience offers customers the opportunity to participate in a race with a professional Audi ‘factory’ team without having to enter into a long-term commitment or to make a high financial investment," explains Klaus Demel, who is in charge of the Audi driving experience. "I’m very happy that we’ve been able to win Audi Sport and Reinhold Joest’s team as a partners for this project."
The Audi R8 LMS that has been specifically developed for use in customer sport and was the GT3 car to be beaten last year right in its first racing season provides the base for the new Audi race experience. In addition, as many as 120 customers had the opportunity of an active driving experience with the 386-kW mid-engine sports car at the end of October 2009 during the Audi sportscar experience.
The Audi race experience now marks the next stage. It offers customers the opportunity to contest races with the Audi R8 LMS themselves – on request even together with professional race drivers. The vehicles will be prepared and fielded by one of the world’s most successful sports car teams: the squad of Reinhold Joest that has won the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans as many as six times for Audi and that will again compete in the French endurance classic on June 12/13 with the latest-specification Audi R15 TDI.
"Actually, the idea of letting customers contest races with a high-caliber sports car like the R8 LMS could only have come from Audi," says Ralf Jüttner, Managing Director of Joest Racing GmbH. "Although this is an unusual task for us it is, no doubt, a very interesting one as well. We’re proud to have been selected as the race team."
The Audi race experience team Joest is planning a total of six races for the 2010 season, fielding two cars each as part of the "Langstreckenmeisterschaft" (VLN) on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, starting with the race on April 24. In addition, there are plans for events with the Audi R8 LMS on race tracks and at the Groß Dölln driver training facility at which the customers will be trained and can also obtain the required racing license.
"As far as I know, Audi is the first automobile manufacturer in the world to offer such a program," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "This shows yet again how innovative and progressive the Audi brand is. Our colleagues from the Audi driving experience and Reinhold Joest’s squad with whom we’ve been successfully working together since twelve years will provide our customers with an exclusive and unforgettable motorsport experience. And the Audi R8 LMS, which, according to our "factory" drivers, is a very forgiving GT3 car is perfectly suited for this project which we fully support on the part of Audi Sport."